I Foresee A Short-Lived Relationship

Controlling Jerk

There’s a scene in the 2000 movie X-Men in which Logan/Wolverine is pitching some serious woo at Jean Grey but is interrupted by Scott/Cyclops, who is Jean Grey’s love interest. Wolverine asks Cyclops “You going to tell me to stay away from your girl?” Cyclops replies “If I had to do that, she wouldn’t be my girl.” After a few more lines of dialogue, Cyclops says “Oh, and Logan…stay away from my girl.”

Sure it’s a comic book movie about super-powered mutants, but there’s a moment of truth in those few lines. I think it’s natural to be a little bit protective of a significant other, even jealous when a romantic rival vies for her attentions. From a biological perspective, a monogamous relationship represents a significant investment of energy and resources – not to mention an active commitment to eschew other mating opportunities. The last thing you want is for some jerk to make a move on your woman.

We humans like to believe that we have – forgive me for using this term improperly – evolved past the behavior of other animals. We count ourselves as civilized. We are able to think and reason and discuss the nature of our relationships in a way that no other animals can do. Rather than viewing our mates as simply a means by which to propagate our genes, we can think of them as friends, confidants, and partners. We can trust them.

Or at least, we should be able to trust them. The creator of this meme obviously has issues trusting his girlfriend, which says a lot more about him than it says about his girlfriend. The sentiment expressed in this meme is almost a human rights violation. I expect to see UN helicopters and blue-helmeted peacekeepers swarming around this guy’s house any day now.

If you cannot trust the person you’re with, then you need to deal with that. If your mistrust is well-founded – say, because your current girlfriend has cheated on you or stolen from you – then it may be time to move on. If you don’t trust anybody, then perhaps some therapy would help. In any case, you cannot block all of your girlfriend’s contacts. Your girlfriend has rights too, whether you like it or not. Learn to live with those rights or leave the poor girl alone.

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