A Curious Double Standard

Now that James and I have been dating for about a year and a half, I’ve come to realize that there is a double standard in our relationship. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying it exists. I… tend to get hit on by guys every once in a while. Little things, nothing that means anything. Like the guy at Starbucks trying to look cool by flinging cups around, and accidentally spilling them all over the floor. Oh, and a guy at the car place changed my oil for me for free, just because I looked hopelessly confused. I had no idea what I was doing obviously, but I didn’t want to pay to have someone do it for me.

I’ve also recently had one of those, “I’m pretty sure we’re just hanging out but I really hope that he doesn’t think it’s a date” kind of situations, and I told James that something like that was happening. Last week I was chatting with my bank teller, and told him I’m in the military. His response was “I’ve always wanted to join, but haven’t had the time for it until now. We should go for coffee and you can help me out!” You have to admit, that sounds completely harmless. James wasn’t happy about it, but he trusts me and knows I love him. And in my defense we did just talk about military and now he’s joining. This one was safe.

But… I also know that if James had been in the exact same situations, I wouldn’t be so trusting. Maybe I’m just the jealous type. When James was texting his ex one night last summer when we were at a party, I was not too happy with him. Wow, now I just sound demanding… oh well, it’s the truth. And I know if he told me he was getting hit on by girls, I would be really annoyed. This post really isn’t portraying me in a very positive light…

I know this isn’t fair. There shouldn’t be a double standard in our relationship, especially one that revolves around trust. Maybe it’s because I’m young and get kicks out of flirting with guys a bit. Or maybe I just like the attention I get, which growing up never happened. Life sucked up until high school graduation, and I kind of hated myself. Not that that makes this okay or anything, it’s just something I’m not used to so it’s exciting. And it doesn’t happen very often, so I don’t see it as particularly problematic.

Has anyone else had something like this exist in their relationships? I’m not sure what the solution is. I can’t stop Starbucks guy from making a fool of himself. And I don’t let it persist or try to give them the wrong idea. Perhaps I should just not tell James about it?


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About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

11 responses to “A Curious Double Standard”

  1. Lex says :

    Well Janine, let’s just say, there doesn’t seem to be much left for James ‘to find out,’ he can read it all on wordpress. Your life, your decisions, do whatever makes you happy, but the only thing missing here are the cameras: EdTv 1999. A lot of this stuff is very intimate – you should sort out with him.

  2. sabcooke says :

    Everyone deals with things differently and everyone is different. Some people would call me a flirt, when in truth I’m just friendly. I’ll talk with anyone and I’m a very helpful person. If I can help someone, I’ll do it. Apparently this is misinterpreted as flirting by a lot of girls.

    My girlfriends knows this and, although she can be quite paranoid, we make jokes about it. Same works with her. If a guy is checking her out or trying to impress her, I’ll usually give her a little nudge and say she should ask him out.

    For us, joking makes it less of a problem. And we’re both the type to be a bit paranoid.

    I know it’s not that useful but every couple is different. Ask him what he wants. You shouldn’t stop being who you are, but you should accommodate him, obviously.

  3. eddy says :

    Don’t hide it from James. It’s okay if guys flirt with you. And it’s okay if you won’t like girls flirting with James. There isn’t much of a problem here. This is how relationships are. Just stop taking things or services for free from guys. That sounds wrong.

  4. sofiebergh says :

    Hi, Janine!

    Thank you for this truthful post. I think a lot of people (including me) are more jealous than they want to admit.
    I actually experience the exact same double standard in my relationship as you described:

    I get attention from guys. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t know how to turn them down properly. It is always completely harmless, and I can’t stop it (I won’t start wearing a plastic bag over my head to keep my boyfriend from being potentially jealous).
    And my boyfriend still has some contact with his ex. Honestly, I hate that! I’ve told him how I feel but he refuses to stop and says I have nothing to worry about. And I think I should respect that and trust him in that matter. Even though it’s hard, it’s just one of those things you do in a relationship.

    Still. I feel like there’s a big difference between being friendly with someone you once dated, and being friendly with a total stranger. To me, the first scenario is the most upsetting because I live in the past and I’m afraid he’ll think back to the good times.
    But maybe my jealous boyfriend finds new temptations (strangers) harder to swallow because he looks into the future and imagines that I’ll want change.

    Either way this is a personal issue and irrational feelings that vary from person to person. I guess you two need to find a way to deal with it. And it’s good to at least be honest. Otherwise, your anger will bottle up and that can be very dangerous

    Good luck!

  5. marieltan says :

    I understand where you’re coming. I used to think it was just okay to hang out with guys even if it doesn’t mean anything but I kind of stopped it because I didn’t want the guy I’m dating to casually hang out even with his girl friends. Yes, I guess I am the jealous type but I try to return the favor just to show I make an effort. I still hang out with my close friends but I haven’t hung out with new guy friends yet. HAHAHA

  6. Hanno Phenn says :

    Let me put it that way boys like to flirt with cute girls and the girl of this boys hat it .that is the rule ,and nothing els it has something to do with jealousy or not .just don’t get to worried about it .life is a bitch.

  7. Taylor H. says :

    We (both sexes) will always enjoy the positive attention that flirting so loudly omits, it reminds us we still have something to offer. I have had numerous occasions of getting the cute girls attention back fired on me, the pitiful thing is that it was never worth it in the first place. Because honestly; I don’t give a damn about them until I can have a few decent conversations.

    Which is why we are usually with our significant other in the first place. Because we enjoy their company, conversation etc. So perhaps the often missing key is just flirting with that which is ours more often? I’m sure it would affirm that you trust in each-other.

    Thoughts of heartbroken man (my own fault).

  8. spritesquadron says :

    gosh i’m soo happy your post was so honest.
    me and my bf (Edwardo on my blog) have been dating for 4 years now, and i’m just turning 21.
    Edwardo is a filmaker, photographer, but i don’t give him the chance to take pictures of models because it screws me up. to me, modeling is on the light end of the sex industry spectrum.
    i hope i find the ultimatum, because insecurity and jealousy tarnish beautiful romance. I also hate peeking under the door to see if Edwardo is watching the pornstar Faye Regan or gawking at the models that graduated from highschool.

    i guess the most important lesson here is to love yourself, and people are going to do what they want even if they are your other half.

    sorry this is so jumbly, i haven’t had time to really conclude what i’m trying to say here….

    ….i have the same problem…..

    take this fine example, if your still reading. I was outside in my garden when the electric company came to turn my power off. The driver is a biologist, working on his phd and we really hit it off. He spilled his darkest secrets to me about his drunk brother, maybe by accident, and asked if we could do lunch again.

    i didnt get the chance to do lunch because Edwardo found out, and flipped out. His defense is that no man wants to JUST BE FRIENDS with me. they’re picturing you naked or trying to make you laugh.

    i liked that this esteemed scholar was interested in me, a college drop out. but i promise, i never thought about having an affair with the guy. no way! coffee would’ve been nice. relationships are a full time job, after all.

    now, switch the tables….

    Edwardo was hiding a model behind my back. they were having secret conversations while i was working the overnight shift. she is a professional model, takes nudes professionally and all around, I admire the woman’s artistic integrety. Edwardo’s interests went beyond that. You can feel it.

    So, when your intuition is telling you that there’s something going on, then it’s not unreasonable to think it’s true.

    Now, I don’t have ANY guy friends. Come to think of it now, I don’t have any girl friends either. On my blog, I mention Laurel, a chick i try to connect with, but that fell out. At one point, I thought Edwardo was flirting with the classy Laurel.

    Edwardo doesn’t have any friends, but unlike me, Edwardo gets messages from old girlfriends, asking to call him, out of the blue, girls hoping that he’s okay. Not one of his old friends takes the time to know the woman he’s been with for 4 years.

    It makes me uneasy, and I ranted on here because I just want someone to love me.

    • janinerussell says :

      Wow, thank you for your complete honesty. It’s really something to be admired. I wonder if he feels that no man could want to just be friends with you, or if he generalizes it to all women? It sounds like both of you have the same issue regarding who other people get to see, and I think it all boils down to trust. I think you should be able to go for coffee with Mr. PhD if you want to! You knew it would have been just as friends, and I wish Eduardo trusted you enough to let you go. Are you having doubts about your relationship with Eduardo? Personally, I can’t imagine having a 4-year relationship start at 17. There’s just so much going on and so much that changes. I mean, at 17 I changed ideas of what I want to do with my life pretty much daily. I can’t imagine knowing at that time that the relationship I’m in is going to last. But that being said, it shows how committed you both are to this relationship. I hope he sees that you need an outlet other than him. We need support from other people, not just the one person we are dating. And that doesn’t mean that they aren’t enough and should be insulted either. I think you should talk to him and figure out why he doesn’t trust you enough to let you make friends. I sincerely wish you all the best. It would be awesome if you checked back in and let me know how it goes.

      • spritesquadron says :

        i think it would be really neat to meet others on this blog o’sphere with similar intrests. I imagine like, a little engineering team of dreamers.

        I’ve often wondered that too, if he generalizes it with all women. I’d like to think that’s not so, and that he believes my personality is attractive. That’s what i tell myself ^^

        After our debacles concerning other relationships, and just how badly we hurt each other in the past, it’s taken a long time to trust Edwardo again. Laurel thought I should see Ph.D again too, but to be honest, I eventually got real nervous just thinking about it. Why did I need someone to admire me, if the one person I care about already loves me more than any one could? Who’s approval was I really looking for?

        I’ve always been told that I’m an old soul. I mean, there’s sometimes thoughts that I have like, well, we’re both young, and he’s a tiger! y’know, and am I stunting his growth? am i stunting my own? and then i come to the conclusion that my heart loves Edwardo that I – I don’t want to love any one else. I’m very lucky, i think, to share this sacred bond with Edwardo.

        Actually, now that you mention it, i’ve been thinking alot about how you end up being with someone that just so happens to look like your father, or is petite like your mother. Are we fatally attracted to each other? Are we helplessly in love?

        That’s what it feels like.

        I could ask him why he doesn’t trust me, but I think it boils down to the deep hidden truth that some men don’t trust themselves. I don’t want to make him feel ashamed, so I do my best to pay attention to his efforts for our happiness.

        Wow! i spilled a lot of my heart out here. Sorry for rattling my mouth. It was nice to talk to you, and I hope your own romantic endeavors brings you poetry.

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