That was one of the most poignant lessons learned from my mommy. It was a statement simple and powerful as I was growing up and entering the dating world. The first time I heard that statement, I had met a wonderful young man who was smart, considerate, gorgeous and talented and I asked, “Mommy, isn’t he perfect?” Her response was “He’ll do in case of emergencies”. What? Hold up. Rewind. What does that mean?
It meant men are disposable, interchangeable and you should always have a back-up. Not quite sure what I was expecting at 16, maybe a little more, “Yep, baby. I can see why you like him.” But, that was not my mother’s nature. Her desire was to give it to you straight with no chaser. Did it make me pause and think maybe “the one” was a myth because every man would do in case of emergencies? Yes, Absolutely!
I read this article on the Washington Post and it kinda confirmed that not just women are doing it, but men too. It stated that “Men have back-burners at roughly twice the rate of women”. Wow! So, in this digital age, women aren’t alone. Men have been using technology to keep in touch or hook up with exes or women that they’ve flirted with in the past. Social media has made it easier for folks to hook up and have romantic affairs with people outside of their current mate.
Researchers are calling it “digital cheating or cyber infidelity”. Umm, can anyone say that they are surprised by it? Probably not, but what surprised me was the fact that it is now easier to get it on with someone from your past or a co-worker without ever raising suspicion. Facebook has broken up many a “happy home” because people can’t seem to let go of the past. How many times have you caught your significant other texting or emailing someone from their past with questionable responses? Hmm, not wanting to admit it huh? What about your girlfriend’s sister’s cousin’s brother who was cheating on his wife of 10 years with his old college girlfriend? Why did he do it? Convenience perhaps? Opportunity to water the grass on the other side? Perhaps.
But, the one thing for sure is that technology has made it easier to get your “freak on” with folks without ever having to leave your zip code. You don’t have to do much. Think about it…Two people fed up with their current partners arguing or fussing that they comfort each other. That comfort leads to something more, but they’re not going to leave their “boo thing” for you. It was just time and opportunity. You console each other and confide how unfair your partners demands are. However, you never want to leave your number one for your number two on the back burner. Why? Because you trust number one. I bet you know some men like that right now.
However, it’s not just men though, because last week The Huffington Post reported that “Uh-Oh, Survey Says Half of Married Women Have a Back-up Husband in Mind”. Really? I didn’t know it was that many. I mean I thought 20%, but more than half? Who are these Plan B men? Men from their past: old boyfriends, men who they’ve flirted with or colleagues. Okay, I get the past boyfriends, but casual acquaintances a relationship don’t make. However, it does support my mom’s theory that women should have a back-up. Maybe their mothers told them the same thing.
But, I have to wonder…in the dating world where people are making more connections on line and through various social media platforms, does that mean you are going to have less of an opportunity for survival in a healthy functioning relationship because you have alternatives in your friend list, circle or network? Will more people just hook up instead of commit because we’re too lazy to work at something? How many of us have pressed rewind on a relationship from the past and found out that it was true love? Sometimes it’s the thought of knowing someone so well that you don’t have to spend time learning someone new.
Where is the fun in that? Maybe people should spend more time protecting something special instead of settling for the he/she person that will do in case of emergencies. Limit your choices. Eliminate your alternatives and build with the possibility of “the one” something incredible. It would probably be fewer divorces. IMJS.