Let’s discuss a very interesting scenario, which goes like this: you’re in an exclusive, committed relationship with someone. One day, or night, your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife is out somewhere without you. It could be at a sports bar watching a game, having a good night dancing, at an awards ceremony, hiking with a social group, or any number of situations.
While your partner is enjoying themselves, someone kisses them with no warning whatsoever!
Yup, your partner is kissed by another! Your partner didn’t consent to the kiss; your partner wasn’t consciously flirting, antagonizing, or doing anything they were aware of to invite the kiss. After the initial shock, they stop it by any number of ways: slapping the person, pushing the person off, backing away, however.
Should your partner tell you or not?
If you have a girlfriend, and are coming back after winning a major sporting event, and some random girl comes out of the crowd and kisses you, should you tell your girlfriend?
It’s a slippery slope.
OMG! Someone kissed me! Should I tell my partner or not?!
Having spoken to a few friends (some of whom have been in this exact situation!), work colleagues, and posted to a few discussion forums, there’s three schools of thought:
1) Yes, your partner should tell you
Some people think that this kind of transparency shouldn’t be a big deal because your partner did nothing wrong.Honesty is the best policy. If you want them to be honest with you, you have to be honest with them.
In a good, loving, trusting relationship you should be able to talk about it openly.
You should tell your partner everything that ever happens to you or that you ever do, right?
If your partner doesn’t tell you, you infer they’re keeping a secret, and thus may be considered to be hiding something, deceiving, or cheating.
No secrets right? Why else wouldn’t they tell you?
That leads to the other side of the equation.
2) No, there’s no reason for your partner to tell you
You put your trust in your partner, and they did what they were expected to do.
Do you require your partner to tell you about every little detail from their day whether good or bad?
No, you don’t.
So why should this be any different? They didn’t violate your trust, nor disrespected your relationship. In fact, they defended it.
They’re not lying or deceiving you by not telling. There are worse actions we practice regularly to not “rock the boat”. Little things like “no, that dress does not make you look fat.”
A bunch of people will say, “Of course I’d want to know if…” but they don’t, not really.
Your partner’s conscious might feel better, but being on the receiving end, you might feel worse if you don’t get sick with jealousy first. Or it might put you in an unpleasant position. Would you leave your partner over such a kiss? No, hopefully not, but what do you say? “These things happen”? Would you feel like an idiot? Would you go through dreadful talks you can’t win and continually question what or how it happened? Why your partner was with or around that person? And every time your partner went out again would you be a little anxious while trying not to come across as a little anxious: “Er, have fun!” ??
In short, if you’re told you might be upset and disappointed to no end. It may eat away at you. Or you may get over it after a while, but will you wonder how much you can trust your partner thereafter? Will you continuously wonder if your partner is letting themselves be kissed by every one out there when you’re not around?
No harm, no foul. Ignorance can be bliss.
3) If you have a good relationship it doesn’t matter if your partner tells you or not
The last school of thought: if it’s a strong relationship, it doesn’t really matter if you tell or not because it’ll be fine either way. Seriously. It is hard to break a great, close relationship.
Tell your partner
It’ll be fine.
To illustrate the point, here’s an example a friend emailed me as it happened in their relationship:
This happened to me! I came home after a work event day and said, “Oh god, I have to tell you something” and he said, “Ok…” and I said, “I was out with these colleagues and at the end of the night this guy swooped in and kissed me goodnight and I feel horrible and I wanted you to know and…” and he said, “Ok” and I said, “Ok? Aren’t you upset?” and he said, “Well, I’m not thrilled about it, but it’s sort of amusing to see how upset and guilty you feel about it, and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to do it again, right?” And I said, “NO! I feel terrible!” and that was the end of that.
* * * * * * * *
Men versus Women on the topic
Asking some friends and work colleagues for their thoughts on the scenario, the responses have been fascinating, summarized as follows:
- most of the women I spoke with said they would want to know
- most of the men I asked said they would not want to know
Granted my sample size was small (20 – 30 people total), but to me it is just amazing how it’s mostly one way or the other depending on whether you’re asking a man or woman.
Carrying the conversations further to get an understanding of the individual reasonings lead to another generalization:
- women seemed to want to tell their guy more for a reaction than anything else. Almost as if telling him were a test to see if he was bothered, angry, jealous, or turned on.
- the men clarified and said they didn’t want to know unless it went any further. Their rationale is why would they need to know if it was quite clearly a misunderstanding?
Two people told me it would make them wonder what they did that might have encouraged it in the first place.
What else can I deduce?
Men have it the toughest if they’re caught up in this situation: if they don’t tell their girl and she found out, she would not be happy; if he was upfront and honest, it would play on her mind. Either way, depending on his girl, the guy wouldn’t come out unscathed.
If your partner was kissed by another, would you want to know?
What do you think? What are your thoughts? Would you want to know? Or not?
Let me know in the comments below!