I am in bed...with a man who is not my fella. We will call him Blake. It is before 6 am. Blake thinks I'm sleeping. He reaches for his phone...slowly......quiety....and.............texts someone....then slowly....quietly...puts the phone down.
This is nothing new. I have had many conversations with my fella about when it is and is not appropriate to text other women. I feel like I want to be the focus when we are hanging out...even though he says he doesn't mind if I text other dudes while we are together.
But I mind. It is already hard enough to create an environment of intimacy without the interference of other people. It is a challenge to feel like I am important to someone if they are picking up their phone and messaging other people while we are together. Even more so when I have to wait for a response when I text that same person.
A couple weeks ago, I texted Blake about plans. Eight or nine days later, I got a response. So...does this mean something? Should it bother me? If I had been sleeping, I wouldn't know that he made it a priority to text someone else while he was lying next to me....it wouldn't matter at all. But I know.
I choose a life of the open relationship where I have sex with men on a casual level. Some of them tell me they love me, but honestly, it's hard to know what that even means when people are so easily discarded. When people are so easily ignored. The cell phone has made intimacy a highly processed and chemical-laden experience. Much like what McDonalds did to the chicken, technology has turned intimacy into something that is hardly recognizable, kinda like the McNugget.
To want love, to want to be loved, is utterly human. To work towards it, to sacrifice for it, and finally, to be vulnerable enough to allow it, is also human, and becomes more and more challenging as time goes on. Allowing love involves being seen. Not just the good parts. All the parts. Even the ugly ones. Even the ones you cannot bare to look at yourself.
What I cannot bare to look at is what I can hardly admit. I have broken into my fella's phone to see who he is messaging. It is something I am so ashamed of I can barely stand it, but I do it, then I talk to my fella (okay..not in a kind way) about what I have found, which is usually upsetting, then everything blows up. I have violated his trust. He wonders why I don't trust him. I wonder why I don't trust him. We push each other further and further away.
Then, a miracle of sorts occurs. I wake up next to another man texting while he is lying next to me, and I get it. I understand completely why I break into my fella's phone. I understand because I don't really care who Blake is texting. I don't really care who it is, what she means to him, or why I don't rank high enough on his list of priorities to just wait a couple hours till I am gone and he can text in peace.
With my fella, I care. I care that he is paying attention to someone else in my presence. I care that even though he tells me he cherishes me, he behaves differently sometimes. And I guess I do too.
In the land before time, before technology took over, relationships were still a challenge. But before cell phones, before computers, the world was more quiet. There was more down time, less distraction, and more awkward pauses. There was more opportunity for human interaction without distraction. The lack of other stuff provided space for people to talk with each other, spend time together, quiet, alone.
Now, reaching for phones, for our own little personal computers, seems to be a compulsion. While I am sure it has led to a much needed increase in people dining alone, it has also created a barrier, and when I feel it between myself and a loved one, I vascillate between outrage and indifference, between caring greatly and giving up completely.
I am glad I woke up next to that man while he was texting someone else. Now I see a lot of things differently, including myself. I could never have seen this looking in to my phone. I could never have seen it watching porn.
The in-person experience is the one I want. It is the one that means something; when I can feel a person next to me, smell them, look into them, then I am alive, I am sustained. The only reason I would ever look into a phone instead, I now understand, is because I am afraid of what I might see staring back at me. And I don't ever want to be afraid of myself in that way. I don't ever want to avoid a human moment or an opportunity to know myself better.
I have so very few of them left.
This was hard. Share it. It just might help people. Speaking of HELPING PEOPLE, now is the time. Go on over to aloverebellion.com and see what I am up to. There is also a list of things you can do to help (even if you just do a fraction of what is on that list it will help), and if you cant do that, just be nicer to yourself. It will make a world of difference!
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