Everyone Has a “Work Spouse”

Everyone Has a “Work Spouse”

What’s a Work Spouse ?

It’s that one person at work that you gravitate towards, to perhaps share a meme, or notify when there’s cake in the conference room. That one person you share an inside joke with via text during a pointless 40 minute meeting.   C’mon you know what I mean… you’re work spouse.

Now, it’s cool when your single and it can develop into something. But what happens if you’re already taken; might your relationship with your work spouse give your significant other cause for concern?

No one wants to be cheated on: it’s a ridiculing, heartbreaking, and energy draining to say the least.  Being deceived is painful and if you’re not careful it can cause you to grow subsequently jaded about both  future partners and relationships. Cheating is just not a black and white affair.  There is a emotional and sexual cheating and I must confess that I sympathize with one over the other.

Cheating …

In my opinion emotional cheating seems to have more long-term effects,than its physical/sexual counterpart (provided that you don’t catch an STD or get knocked up of course). It could add a generally healthy/refreshing twist to the mundane bullshit (provided those involved are firstly fulfilled in their current relationship and mature enough to respect boundaries).

An emotional relationship with a person, say a co-worker, or classmate channels some of the energy, creativity, and enthusiasm you’d normally would invest in your partner/spouse into someone else because of your given circumstances. For example, say you and a co-worker share an organic interest in a specific comic series, one no one else understands. In addition to this hobby, you both share a similar sense of humor as well as other happen to have more mutual interests. I think it’s fine because I believe that platonic friendships outside of a relationship (male and female) are healthy and necessary.

I’d go crazy without a work spouse. In fact when I first start a new job, after I get the hang of things, one of the first things I do is vet people for their potential as work spouse (male or female). To reiterate, you’re walking a slippery slope if you seek a work spouse and also feel unfulfilled in your relationship: “emotional cheating”, gone awry may very well lay the foundation for a sexual affair.

 

How do you avoid cross that line?

Concerning work spouses I draw the line at financing unnecessary meals and gifts (especially out of context), exchanging suggestive photos or jokes, engaging in inappropriate physical touch, and using very personal pet names for each other. These violate the boundaries of an intimate relationship, and when engaged in with your work spouse threaten the reliability and stability of your current relationship.

Let me explain. Money’s a touchy subject, and one that I’ll get into eventually. Sharing finances is a very important bond and incentive linking a couple together. So, expenses which leak out on your work spouse, outside the work/classroom context can jeopardize the financial goals and the general well being of the couple. While taking turns buying your morning cup of Joe from the street cart on the corner is innocent and acceptable, consistently picking up the tab on her/his $6.00 caramel cappuccino from the cafe can certainly add up and pose future financial concerns.

Sharing suggestive photos,  and sexual innuendos or jokes blur the lines between a healthy work spouse relationship and a potentially sexual partnership. Just as a friendly grip around the waist would certainly give off a stronger signal than a jovial punch in the arm or high five. Your work spouse isn’t your “bae” – You get the point right?

Thoughts?

THE OFFICE — NBC Series — “Drug Test” — Pictured: (l-r) — NBC Photo: Chris Haston

 

 

Why I Can’t Get Married (again)

A little back story, and I promise this post won’t be terribly long:  I’m 26 and recently divorced.  My ex husband, Jon, is a great person, we have a 3 year old son together and I think we make a pretty decent co-parenting team. We were high school sweet hearts, together for 7-8 years and married for 2. Our marriage, heavily coerced by our unplanned pregnancy, wasn’t well thought out or deliberated.  I think I will always love Jon as the father of my son and life long parenting partner and wish him nothing but success and happiness in future relationships and endeavors.  The cause of the relationship’s demise though was infidelity on my end. The cause of infidelity? Well, I’m still trying to figure out; but, from what I can put into words, there was a lack of subtitles, closeness, intimacy, and communication that we lacked, and I so desperately yearned, especially after we had our son. My love languages had also changed, and I felt myself become more and more over-bearing and less easy going due to that seemingly insatiable void.

I don’t want to sugar coat what I did nor justify it.  Cheating  was the wrong thing to do and if I could go back in time, I would’ve gone about finding happiness and fulfillment a better way, with more transparency, open communication, and breaking things off clean. I still mourn over our lost investment in time and inability to identify and address the issue quietly brewing within us for so many years.  So, we split.

Sure, there was loneliness, spells of depression, hook-ups, and series of unsuccessful dates and shots of alcohol that I needed to bleed out of my system.  However, in the process I learned so much about myself…

I’m extremely strong willed, decisive, and introspective (often times without any desire to put words to thoughts that go through my mind.) I usually find my own ways to solve problems, even if it means vetting the hard way; and anyone who knows me well knows I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission.

“Kneel before me!” -General Zod

I see life as a series of experiences, and would hate to miss out on any interesting ones, due to a conflict of interest with my partner. So, I enjoy reporting to myself with ideas for future vacations, what to do with my funds, and how to spend them. I enjoy being the only person to clean after, and the only person to be financially responsible for (outside of my kid of course). In a nutshell, I like to be in as much control as possible, and I hate needing to compromise on how or why to get things done.  Let’s call it, compromis-ophobia?

And here’s another thing.  I refuse to be willingly remain unhappy, I believe in the right and ability to step out of a relationship if for any reason it’s still not satisfying or is causing distress or unhappiness after an earnest effort to compromise. Here’s how I see it:  If you order a dish at a nice restaurant, and find it unpleasant in some way, you wouldn’t take another bite would you?  You may perhaps give the dish the benefit of the doubt, and take another bite, but you’d certainly order something different the next time you visit if you were still unsatisfied, wouldn’t you? Likewise, I believe and stand by the ability to step out of a relationship if after a sincere, yet unsuccessful efforts to address points of contention.

 

ckThe notion of marriage though, contractually contradicts my “fix it or split it” take on relationships. By all means, I’d love a diamond ring (I’m a size 8); but you can keep the commitment that comes with it. It requires a couple to remain together until death, regardless of changing circumstances and inability to compromise. Life doesn’t follow contracts or constraints, so why should we? If as humans, we naturally adapt to the the ever changing state of affairs in our lives, why should we remain stagnant? For the sake of an image? Kids? Religion? Financial stability?   I say, fuck ’em and move on, find happiness and orgasms elsewhere. The break up will be hard, no doubt; but gaining the lost time will be harder. I will never ask anyone to do something that doesn’t come naturally to them, so I march to the beat of my own drum, and am willing date anyone willing to harmonize with all the noise I make and I love it that way.

 

 

Forgiving Time

As the saying goes, “el tiempo no perdona – time does not forgive.” When my mom would tell me that growing up she painted time as some kind of relentless force aggressively pushing us through the realms of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, rushing us to a grave, without any regard to our desire to slow it down, persue our goals, or simply relish in a moment.

Where Are They Now?-steve-cutts

But, time, as I’ve come to learn, is completely unbiased and innocent; it has no vendetta against us or our purpose.  On the contrary, I believe that it can serve as an ally and collaborator to our developing characters and if understood and respected, could be an invaluable asset to what it is we’re truly called to do.  The difference between this relationship and the former I described, I believe, is utter an awareness and forgiveness in ourselves and our actions.

Consider this analogy, just for a second (and take it with a grain of salt): Imagine yourself in the passenger side of a car, and the driver, “father time” stays at a steady 50 mph going no where in particular on autopilot. For the first stretch of the trip, the excitement and anticipation of it all is refreshing, we can’t bare to blink an eye and take in the open roads, the landscapes, and people you see along the way.  Father time isn’t driving fast enough, as the thirst to see and learn more is great. Inevitably, as the roads grow predictable, and the people less interesting on this trip, we may nod off, and upon awakening come to figure that your sights around you are different and have naturally developed. However, seeing as you weren’t aware, it may feel as though father time was driving too fast, you ask him to slow down since you don’t recall experiencing the development of the landscapes and don’t understand when the peaks of the mountains leveled themselves.

Am I suggesting that society slumbers through their existence? Yes, and no. Here’s what I mean… Although we are not literally sleeping, every minute we spend without ourselves and without learning or producing (for ourselves, not an employer), perhaps on our cell phones or watching television, are moments of us nodding off to the experience of living. The lack of cognizance and respect for the space, personal value, and potential of  say, a single minute within the 24 hours of a day, along with accepting our processes and the complexity of our personalities, gives way to a more meaningful and conducive relationship with our time. Of course, we all know that a single minute has 60 seconds in it, but knowing that a minute has 60 seconds, and feeling the 60 seconds purposefully, lets us better gauge and allocate our time and choices.

Time can be squandered, it can saved, it can be relished, folded, invested, and wasted. And, I’m guilty of it all, and I think it’s all ok!  I think it’s a necessary part of the human experience and the living experience in general.  Nonetheless, the effort to achieve particular goals requires a cognizance of the time behind the decisions made. The simple awareness of this, would naturally allow us to prioritize and follow through with what a moment, circumstance, or goal truly calls for.   In doing so, we “forgive time,” so to speak, we understand its potential lags and speeds, and respond by not pressuring it to comply with what we need to do, but with working along with it, by baking in our needs within it as the moment sees fit and necessary. We thereby forgive ourselves for the wasted time, and give an effort to function better under our own unique circumstances and will.

Inaugural Blog Post: a Reclaimation of Existence on Social Media

HIDING-BEHIND-A-TREE1

Too often I find myself reading interesting articles or links videos on social media, Facebook specifically, and scrolling through provoking without giving so much as a mental thumbs up, or superficial “like.” Now, if a post is from someone I know somewhat well, I might offer further commentary–a question, suggestion, answer, or some sign of approval or agreement.  Sure, I’ll give out a thumbs up generously, but when it comes to where I place my words, I feel like a spectator carefully navigating my way through my news feed, not wanting to step on anyone’s toes, while remaining politically correct, and upholding a some sense of professionalism that would make me a good candidate for a future job–“Don’t want to post anything that’ll bite me in the ass later, right?”

I’m part of the majority of Facebook users, who don’t use the platform to socialize or connect, but rather to cautiously and tentatively peer into the opinions and interests of the minority of users who fearlessly and innocently use space for its very intention, to socialize. I’m not proud of it, I can’t remember the last time I posted a status onto my Facebook page without feeling as thought there may be future hidden repercussions.  I’d like to say I know most of my friends, perhaps about 65% of them.  The rest are either acquaintances I may have met once, during some kind of retreat, elective class, or shin dig or co-workers.  In its glory years, when I actually personally knew most of my friends and, would willingly share most of their opinions on the platform, Facebook really felt like a social playground of sorts, for adults. I felt open to starting public conversations, commenting on political news, and  contributing my voice to the conversations happening through my screen.

There’s this fear which, I believe, derives from the growing spotlight of protecting our online presence, especially on social media. As more and more awareness came about regarding dismissals or rejections from employment opportunities or schools and organization based off decisions made on social media, the more users began to tip toe around what they choose to link their names to online. Now, on some level, I can see how an employer might want to refer to a social media profile to get a sense of character. But the fear might deepen and complicate itself when thinking about the employers biases and whether or not any content on your profile may conflict with them.  Thus, the idea of having nothing to show, would be servicing ourselves with the best future opportunities possible. Nonetheless, however legitimate or illegitimate this fear is, I’m firm on it doing more harm than good, in stifling literacy, and widening the gap between our thoughts/intentions and actual initiative.

Perhaps, then, this is why more websites have been incorporating the “SnapChat” feature within their existing platforms–it’s low stakes and more inclusive (for the most part). One can unapolegtically post, and forgivingly browse and participate without worry of how much poise or purpose their contribution may or may not have. But, I feel as though this shouldn’t be the case. A user shouldn’t need to contort themselves in accordance to their followers on a particular social media website. The integrity of our characters, virtues, vices, preferences, humor etc., should permeate through each online representation of ourselves equally. Should it not? We otherwise (inevitably) compromise sincerity and transparency to our followers and ultimately ourselves.

As for me- I’m not quite there yet; by choice, I’m choosing to remain a passive user on most social media platforms.  I’m still a millennial after all.

But until then, Welcome and cheers to an unadulterated version of yours truly!

#CatchmeonWordPress

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