You Don’t Get To Choose The Good Bits And Leave Out The Bad

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John and Sly at a Cafe in Paris
4 mins read

Last week I explained how what attracted me to John ended up being one of his most significant flaws. Read all about it here:. This week I share the second lesson that I learned during our tumultuous storming stage: You don’t get to choose the good bits and leave out the bad. Catch up on the first article in this series here:. Read on for some unique courtship insights.

The Lesson

Simply put, my lesson was, when you date somebody, you date the sum of the whole person, not just their desirable attributes. It is up to you to decide if their good outweighs their bad. Too often, people are looking for the perfect mate, or think that they can find somebody with minimal flaws that they can groom into the ideal mate. This is rarely the case. Dating is a game of continually weighing the pros and cons. It’s all about balancing the net good versus the net bad and making sure you are in the black. There is never an absence of imperfection. In the medical field, for example, we assess a drug’s efficacy versus its side effects. If the medicines benefit outweighs the side effects, then it is deemed useful. This is the same philosophy as relationships. You are going to get the bad, the question is, is the good worth putting up with the bad?

Flaws And All

Every time John and I had a big fight because of something he had done (or not done), I found myself wrestling with the same thought – can I stay with him if this (whatever it was we had fought about) doesn’t change? In other words, am I willing to accept this flaw as permanent? If the answer is no, then it is a deal-breaker. In which case, you approach that conversation very pointedly. Otherwise, you accept it as part of the sum that makes up the person you love and move on. This is a simplification of a lengthy process in which you learn to pick your battles. It takes time and patience. Here is an example of an issue that we fought about time and time again until I had to decide if it was a deal-breaker for me.

You Say She’s Just A Friend

John had a lot of friends who were girls. A lot! Scrolling through his phone, you would have thought you were scrolling through a girl’s phone, most of the numbers on it were women’s numbers and one or two dudes. At first, this didn’t phase me. We had had candid conversations about dating. We talked about seeing other people, and who we were seeing, etc. (remember Regina? Catch up with that story here coz she is about to fuck shit up!). We were technically free to see other people. We had not discussed exclusivity, nor had it been a prerequisite for engagement. All we had done was promise honesty. You see, when John and I first started dating, I had zero expectations. I knew he had a thing with Regina, I thought he was going to move away and approached it as a “you only live once” kind of relationship. So, I was very generous with my leash.

As we continued to date, I naturally started to expect more. We had the “conversation” and dedicated ourselves to each other. But the calls from girls continued, and our fights over them increased in frequency. The crazy thing is he wasn’t secretive about them. He would leave his phone in plain sight where I could see who was trying to facetime him. It was infuriating! After countless fights about this issue, I was faced with the decision; is this something I was willing to accept, or was it a deal-breaker? John doesn’t have many flaws as a partner, but the ones he does have are challenging, to say the least. This is the first of two issues I shall discuss that had me on the ropes (Second issue will be in next week’s article, be sure to subscribe.)

Say My Name

After pondering on the question long and hard, I reached a decision. I knew that I would not win an argument against “I have known her since we were toddlers.” So I conducted some research (wink, wink) on who was who. My “research” involved me injecting myself into most of their conversations, like picking up the phone when they called or asking to say hi when he was speaking to them. By doing this, I found out that most of his women friends were innocuous contacts. Don’t get me wrong, I knew most of these girls would eat his face if they had a chance to, but I couldn’t prove it and had to accept that. His friendliness to his past was almost a deal-breaker, but it wasn’t. I was ready to compromise but with a caveat. Here is where I drew the line.

You Can’t Do That

I knew John was still in communication with Regina. He had been to see her not too long ago and barely shared any details about the trip. He was outrightly cagey whenever the topic even came up. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to know and didn’t give a damn. As long as he was clear on his trajectory now. He had assured me of his commitment to staying in California (he and Regina had discussed him moving to the east coast.) I took his word for it. So why was he still in contact with her? Every time we were about to establish a cozy condition with some Netflix involvement, we would be interrupted by her call. Worse even, he picked up! He always fucking picked up her call! Okay, I thought, I am willing to put up with all his “childhood friends” but I drew the line on Regina. I had found my limit, Regina was my deal-breaker.

Tune in next week for John’s take on this story. Also, You don’t want to miss how I finally put a dramatic stop to the Regina saga. Plus, I share the second flaw that I wrestled with. Share, follow, subscribe!

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