Meet Joel, our resident dating expert. He’s no Tony Robbins. He won’t ask you to pay a zillion bucks to attend his seminars or ask you to walk on hot coals – ouch. He’ll just tell it like it is, from the wise POV of someone who’s out there dating — just like you! Ask Joel “What’s the Deal” or anything else.

Post your questions/comments to Joel in the comments section below. 

Dear Joel,
What’s the Deal?!?

I check my partner’s email and Facebook. I know it’s wrong but I can’t help myself. Help!

—Can’t Help Myself

Dear Can’t Help Myself,
Here’s the Deal:

This is a difficult conundrum indeed. An ideal relationship requires complete trust, but trust cannot be earned without respect for privacy. Why do you feel compelled to check his emails? Do you think he’s cheating on you? Do you think he’s in money trouble? Do you have to snag his Bed Bath & Beyond 20% offs before he sees them?

Consider this. By expecting full disclosure you may be making him more likely to hide things from you. If he knows you check his account it would be very easy to create one you don’t know about. Why? Because human beings thrive on secrets. And not all secrets are bad. What if he bought you that perfume you’ve been hinting you wanted? What if he finally planned a surprise Vegas birthday duet with Wayne Newton? 

I bet there are things you want to keep to yourself too. I think that you need to shift your idea of trust here to include each partner being able to have some things they keep to themselves. If your suspicions are right and you are finding shady stuff that is damaging to your relationship, then email trespassing isn’t your biggest problem. It’s unfortunate that you had to resort to this. And if you’re only doing this to your trustworthy man because past boyfriends have hid things from you, that just isn’t fair to him. Change your ways. Make a date out of it. Toast champagne as he resets the passwords to all of his accounts and be okay with it. And tomorrow when you wake up and try and guess his new passwords click on and reread this posting.


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