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love out loud: the (my) bottom line

I can’t imagine it comes as much of a surprise that I am an avid fan of Sex and the City. But contrary to popular opinion (mostly amongst those who try to cut me down by telling me I’m a Carrie-Bradshaw-try hard and the like), this column isn’t an effort to emulate the work of a fictional person (though I can think of far worse things than writing one article per week and magically getting paid enough to buy designer clothing). Certainly, I like Sex and the City because I like obsessing over relationships, but I probably also obsess over relationships because I like Sex and the City; it’s a bidirectional relationship.

Anyway, this happily means that I can watch the show under the loose guise of ‘research’, and this was just what I decided to do some days ago, and settled in to watch an episode where Carrie thinks that she is in an exclusive relationship with Big and realises her mistake when she runs into him while he’s on a date with another woman.

We all have our deal breakers. Mine is monogamy.

I understand not wanting to invest too much in a person before you know if they’re right for you, but I’m also skeptical that this ever takes that long to do. Sure, I had my reservations about Julio in the first few hours of talking to him, but by the end of our first date, I knew he was going to be someone important to me, and he was entirely unfazed when I told him soon afterwards that I wasn’t okay with him seeing anyone else. The times when I haven’t been sure of this are times when I’ve tried to talk myself into someone, and it’s never worked.

Exclusivity is often seen as an unreasonable request in the early stages of dating, and even as a means through which to trap someone into a relationship, but in truth, I don’t really care. I know that there are some who date multiple people at one time and then do just settle with one of them, but I also think it’s often a juvenile attempt to retain control of a situation or to avoid seeming desperate or vulnerable. This probably isn’t true for everyone, but it’s still not a situation I want to be a part of, and that’s why monogamy is my bottom line. The choice for the other person is whether they want to date me under these terms but of course, no one is obliged to do so and it rarely takes more than a couple of dates to see if you’re compatible with someone…asking for fidelity during the time it takes to execute these couple of dates is actually not a lot to ask when you think about it.

This is something I may change my mind about in time, but right now, I know enough about myself to know that I don’t want to be involved with someone who’s seeing other people. And whether it’s monogamy, or something else entirely, everyone should feel free to demand boundaries that they’re comfortable with, no matter how long they’ve been dating someone, rather than compromising themselves for another person.

Because let’s be honest, where did being okay with the extracurricular dining get Carrie?

A 10-year on-off relationship with a guy who left her at the altar.

(Image credit: 1.)

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