Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Six Degrees of Separation

Anyone ever found out their significant other dated someone you knew? How about someone you knew well? How about someone you knew really well?

Yeah, well that happened to Easy and I last weekend. We had already long ago discussed our past relationship history. Easy and I tend to over-share anyway, plus neither of us wanted the other to ever be in a situation to deal with surprises.

Easy has a friend from high school. They met up to hang out last weekend and Easy was telling this old friend from high school about his new fiancee. When he showed him a picture, the friend was surprised to find he knew the woman in the picture. He informed Easy that he knew me when I was in medical school.

Turns out I know this guy because I went on a couple of dates with one of his classmates in law school. When he and I discovered we had absolutely no chemistry and our involvement was going to go nowhere, I moved on... to another friend in their group. These guys weren't friends at all actually, but they moved in the same circle. I met the second guy through the first.

Moving on. This second guy is the one I dated for a number of months. He and I didn't work out because he had some habits I couldn't get over. We have remained friendly and Easy knew of this guy by name. I never mentioned his last name though. Apparently I should have because this guy went to high with Easy and the guy who recognized my picture.

Easy and I had a discussion about it on and off for a couple of days. He seemed pretty upset about finding out I dated someone he knew (years ago) and used to hang around (years ago). I got upset because I felt like it was his fault that it was a surprise. When he told me about his past relationships/dating folks, I asked follow up questions if there was a chance I knew them.

I ruled out names, professions, colleges, and ages. I know for a fact that I have a ton of degrees of separation between myself and these women. But he didn't do his due diligence. He recognized a name and college and just assumed it couldn't be the same guy.

We've settled the issue since then, but it was a lesson learned. Even with our over-sharing, it's possible to be surprised by information about our partner. He's fine that I'm still friendly with this guy because this guy know I'm engaged, and he's dating someone else now, so there's no torch-holding going on for me.

And this led to a discussion of our values about gender stereotypes and double standards. I won't get into it, but let's just say that there is some unequal judgement of pasts that was (is?) going on. Honestly, I'm just glad we're able to have these discussions no matter how uncomfortable because we know that there's nothing either of us could say to make us change our minds about spending the rest of our lives together.

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