I've spent a lot of time over the past few months musing on relationships (the good, the bad, the epic fails...). Romantic relationships, in particular, are a favorite topic of mine on which to meditate, and it was while watching one of a bagillion episodes of Sex and the City airing this past weekend (hip hip hooray for mindless marathons) that I had an epiphany:
Perhaps telling our girlfriends everything about our romantic relationships is not the best idea ever.
Alright, calm down! I am not turning my back on Girl Power or anything. (If that reference doesn't date me a bit, I don't know what will. Oh, my beloved Scrunchie, you say? Nerds!) Hear me out...
Relationships are complicated. (Thank you, Countess du Obvious.) People are complicated. It's difficult enough navigating the Tour de Hot Mess that is learning to co-exist with another human. Add to that the inevitable pressure of contextualizing your relationship for those around you, and you've got a recipe for a wicked "What does it all mean?!" mascara-soaked meltdown.
I think there is a lot to be said for exercising prudence in terms of transparency about the goings-on within a budding relationship, particularly regarding disagreements. Now if your first thought is that this position has scary implications for those involved in unsavory, unhealthy couplings, which may otherwise go unchecked without an intervention, I don't blame you. I certainly think the argument could be made that talking it out prevents you from moving forward or becoming too invested in a dead-end, no good match with Dealbreaker Dude.
However, I think it's uber easy to over-complicate (read: over-analyze) things. Think about it: what are usually clucking about with your girlfriends when it comes to relationships? Are you gushing about BF's/Hubby's sweet, thoughtful gestures? Probably not. I mean, it's tricky sharing that without sounding like a braggart or causing a gagging situation. More often than not, it's the ugly that's shared. And we all know that our girlfriends have AMAZING memories when it comes to the ugly. Sure, it's good for a check and balance of sorts, but perhaps oversharing on the yucky and undersharing on the lovely does a disservice to both you and your fella. Not to mention, often our girlfriends are great at bolstering our self-worth and (God love 'em) justifying otherwise unattractive behaviors because...well...they're our girlfriends. That's what they do.
But sometimes, let's face it: we are the ones who behaved badly. We flew off the handle. We lost our shiz. We had too much wine. Sometimes, sometimes, it is our bad. It's important to take responsibility for our crazy. Own it. And work on giving it the boot, yo.
That being said, I do wholeheartedly advocate sharing details about your relationship(s) with a carefully chosen few for feedback/soundboarding. And I don't mean "carefully" choosing those with whom you always agree and share the same outlook on relationships, dating, comfort food, etc. In fact, I suggest having a small group on whom you can call who share distinct POVs, perhaps different from your own, but who aren't afraid to call you out when you're acting a fool. Find a friend who is willing to play Devil's Advocate and force you to examine things from the other side (not to be confused with the dark side...), even if just for a little perspective and to get you off your high horse for a minute. (This goes back to my diatribe about grace.)
Because even if you had every right to shut it down and act a little foolish, pride gets you nowhere and can drive a mondo wedge between you and some really lovely humans. We have to accept that we all misbehave...you, me, Crush Guy, Hubby, Bestie, etc. And while being a doormat is no bueno, it's OK (and indeed pretty awesome) to accept responsibility (for you and you alone, of course), play nice, heed the guidance of a few rockin' friends, and bury the hatchet in exchange for a chance at real love.