There are many types of behaviors that can be referred to as UnderG: cheating when you have an official partner; sleeping with someone your friend is seeing or is interested in; seeing multiple partners (whether or not you’re single); purposefully leading people on; and deliberately hiding official relationships (Part One). UnderG is a way of life that has really permeated our societies. And worse, it lives under the guise of ‘privacy.’
The UnderG Series Part Two touches on the unofficial, seriously clandestine and heavily cloaked relationships we maintain but not a soul is aware – for whatever reason. This is a form of relationship that has always existed and will always exist, but every now and then I think we all need reminders about how futile and foolish this type of relationship is.
Let me add a disclaimer here that I believe in privacy. It really isn’t necessary to broadcast or share the details of your relationships with everyone. Your business is your business – granted. But there is also something called dishonesty. And when you consciously hide, lie or deceive people about very basic things like who you’re seeing or hanging out with, it’s plain, unnecessary dishonesty.
Here’s a quote by Billy Graham that I particularly like.
“A true Christian is one who hands his pet parrot to the town gossip, and doesn’t worry about a thing.”
What secrets can the pet parrot of a Christian share that no one else must know about? I just think that sometimes we all need to rethink the actions and activities we do under the cover of darkness and with the excuse of ‘privacy.’ It’s unhealthy, it’s destructive and someone always gets hurt.
Let me break it down into manageable chunks.
Before you assign titles, like boyfriend or girlfriend, there is a period of ‘getting to know each other.’ During this time, you’re hanging out, watching movies, going out to dinner, talking, chatting, texting, etc, and it’s all part of exploring possibilities. What can make this relatively normal and simple dating ritual underg, is when neither party (particularly the guys I’d say) wants no one, not even their close friends to know. It’s okay if when you meet someone fresh, you want to keep it quiet a little, because maybe you’re not sure if he or she likes you and you don’t want to make a fuss about it and end up looking silly or embarrassed. That’s okay. I’m talking about the type where the guy won’t even acknowledge you. He can take you out to dinner Friday night, kiss you goodnight and he’ll see you at a party the next day and not even look your way. You think that’s rare? It’s unfortunately very common.
Boys are usually charming – they spew you a line about how very private they are and how they just don’t want to broadcast their private lives. When they’re alone with you, you’re like Cleopatra, they act like they worship you and there is no one else besides you. When you’re in public, they’re afraid to even hug you an extra second too long. You sit in a corner while they dance with multiple girls, talk loudly to their boys and have fun like they have no cares in the world. Next time they’re alone with you, they tell you how much they kept wanting to be with you as you sat there. BS. I’d say if this goes on beyond a month, please walk. He’s not into you. He’s not going to date you. He’s not going to introduce you to his friends. He will keep you in the situation you’re in for as long as he can and he will convince you that it’s only because he’s private and he wants to take his time. Total BS.
Unfortunately, women continue to fall for this over and over again. We feel what is said to us in private extends to the real world. The cliché ‘actions speak louder than words’ isn’t a cliché for nothing. No matter how much you hope and wait, he’s not going to give you what you’re looking for. And you can bet that you’re not the only one in his life. As a reformed participant of UnderG activities, I firmly believe a guy needs to acknowledge you even if you’re simply just hanging out. Simple acknowledgement doesn’t mean social media broadcast.
When a man loves a woman, truly loves a woman and is proud to be with her, it is a very different story. When these types of UnderG relationships end, and they almost always do end, the women unfortunately have common tales. ‘He told me he loved me. He bought me gifts. He would call me at 5 a.m. He remembered I was taking an exam. He was thoughtful. I know he loved me, he just couldn’t express it.’ When a man loves a woman he doesn’t spend a year hiding their relationship, he doesn’t even spend 3 months.
Here’s a very simple message for women:
If you’re in some low-key secretive ongoing relationship with a guy who will not tell his friends about you and will not acknowledge you and the relationship in public, you’re wasting your time and emotions. It doesn’t matter what sweet nothings he whispers to you at night. It doesn’t matter if he utters the L word once or multiple times. It doesn’t matter if he’s there for you, if he calls you 10x a day, if he texts you incessantly or if he hugs you late at night like he wants to suck the life out of you. Bottom line, he is sucking the life out of you. When he finds the one he wants to be with, he will be with her, in a way you never thought possible. When the love bug bites him, he will be the man you wanted but never got. The thing is if your undercover relationship stretches into months, you’re honestly not it. It’s a painful realization, to admit and accept that someone doesn’t really love you, to know that you’re not what he wants. It’s best to come to that realization early than later. No matter how much you love him, no matter how much you feel you need him or feel he’s the one, walk away now or you’ll waste your life away. Those moments of affection are fleeting moments that mean nothing. It doesn’t matter if he had a tear in his eye when he muttered it. If he won’t let you wholeheartedly into his life and into his world, then you’re not the one. And if you still fall for him, and still let him treat you the way he does, then please, don’t shed a tear when he’s gone, and don’t you dare call him a heartbreaker.
And an even simpler message for men:
Please don’t lie. Just don’t. It’s one of two things for me when a man carries on a secretive relationship where he spews lovey dovey things to a woman; it’s either you love her or you’re a evil, cruel person. Enough with the excuses. Enough with the ‘I say what she wants to hear’ or ‘She hears what she wants to hear.’ You know you said it. You know the texts and calls are all leading her on. Sex really isn’t that hard to come by. You can still get laid even if you’re brutally honest. And if she won’t sleep with you because you told her all you want is sex, then someone else will. Please don’t lie. It’s very dishonest and cruel and just not worth it. Of course, I know you will argue and say there are situations where you don’t say the L word, and you outright say to her it’s not serious and you’re just having fun and you’re not ready, and she still lets you in so you’re not to blame. But when you’re alone at night and you think really hard, you know you may not have used the L word and you may not have directly shown affection, but you knew which emotional buttons to press and you pressed them. Don’t lie, if it means be cold, be cold. If it means don’t text or call her for days, don’t, that is if you don’t like her in that way. I think you know what you do, what you do that keeps her hanging on. Whatever it is, stop it.
There are a lot of these types of UnderG relationships going on. Everyone who is involved in such a relationship has a reason why they want to keep it private. It is not worth it. Even if you’re single and he’s single – if he’s not ready to acknowledge your role in his life, you’re not the one for him, and he shouldn’t be the one for you. You think its painful now? Wait till he gets a girlfriend. I’ve been there and I’ve wondered why not me? There really isn’t any nice answer. The answer is not – he really likes you but…. There are no buts. It just wasn’t you, and deep down you sort of knew it. You hoped, you hoped really hard he’d have the balls to make you his for good. It’s not a matter of balls or courage. You just weren’t it. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t agonize over it. If you’re still in it, walk now, seriously. His options are open, and he is looking and probably talking to others. He’s simply waiting to meet and fall for someone else. All you’re doing is waiting with him.
If you’re out of such a relationship, good for you. Really, it is good news. Just don’t let someone else treat you the same way. But let me say this – stop thinking about when he was with you. Stop thinking about the things he said to you, what he did for you and what you believe truly happened. It probably makes you feel better; those memories make you feel like it meant something. Who knows? Here’s what the cynic in me will tell you. You don’t need those memories to feel better. You don’t need confirmation that he cared about you to feel better. Dwelling on those memories will feed the illusions of love we cling to that leads us to make mistakes and repeat disastrous cycles.
Here’s something else that feeds our illusions – secrecy. Today at Church, the pastor talked about the difference between wise people and fools. You can distinguish a wise man from a fool based on how they receive advice. He who heeds advice is wise. Based on UnderG Part One, I know most people’s initial reactions are ‘I don’t want anyone to know because everyone has an opinion.’ Being able to take advice and think on it and do what’s right, makes a person wise. The pastor said as human beings, we’re just not smart enough to see our own mistakes. Great men in the Bible were always advised. So if you’re living in darkness and hiding stuff because you’re afraid to share, afraid of the various comments and ‘advice’ you’ll get, my Pastor has 4 suggestions:
- Change your outlook when it comes to correction. A biblically wise person listens to advice and then prays on them for guidance.
- Cultivate personal humility before God. You’re just not smart enough to know everything.
- Let others know you’re an open candidate for advice. Doesn’t mean you’re like a straw in the wind – blowing all over the place. Let people advice you even if it is unsolicited. Allow people into your lives. Listen and continue to pray.
- Thank God for those who love you enough to advice you.
Here’s everything in a nutshell. UnderG activities continue to be perpetuated thanks to the ‘privacy’ excuses people are spewing; and the notion of avoiding gossip and comments. Enough with that excuse really. If you’re truly wise, mature and secure, you can open up without fearing the reactions of those close to you. And women, know this – if a guy isn’t loving you openly, he’s not loving you right. No matter what seemingly logical rationale he gives you, staying in the cover of darkness will only bring you pain.
So I say hand over your pet parrot to the town gossip – and let it blab. What have you got to hide?