Sexting and Second Helpings

Bet you didn’t know that your super sized burger and electronically cheating on your spouse are likely connected. There is actually a logical connection between Anthony Weiner’s antics and that oversized slab of cheesecake.

The obesity epidemic is a controversial issue in the US, but the one thing we cannot deny is that portion sizes have gotten WAY bigger in the last 20 years and so have we. As I discuss in my book You Are WHY You Eat – we were taught to clean our plates when we were young, and if someone puts more food in front of us – we just keep eating it (even if we are not hungry). Americans, as a rule, aren’t good at saying no – especially to good stuff. It’s too easy to eat too much.

So how does that oversized portion relate to your cheating heart?

In our electronically infused world – it’s too easy to be unfaithful. Either virtually or literally.
Once upon a time, in order to have an inappropriate dalliance outside of a marriage or a committed relationship – it took LOTS of logistics –pay phones, cheap motels, back seats– it wasn’t easy, and society didn’t support it the way it does now. And because of that – people likely worked hard and worked through their relationship issues. Back in the day when you were feeling frustrated by a spouse? You couldn’t just pop on Facebook and chat with an old high school girlfriend, or text a lusty coworker. And with cell phones, email, texting, FB, and numerous dirty apps that let you find interested trysters who may be nearby – it’s too easy – just like a 99 cent cheeseburger. With all these options – it’s easy to not do the heavy lifting in a relationship, it’s easy to get ego stroked by equally empty people on the other side of the keyboard, and let the consistency and virtues of an otherwise healthy relationship wither on the vine. Sadly, it also allows people to stay in broken relationships long after their shelf life. Getting by on a steady diet of “electronic quickies” a person may decide to stay in a busted marriage – trust me, you aren’t doing your kids any favors by raising them in a household of antipathy.

Can you imagine back in the day your dad getting a bikini picture of a coworker sent to his telephone or even worse – dear old dad sending a picture of his dick to the enticing young lady across the cul-de-sac? Gross – yes – but it is happening all the time these days.

In the case of a tool like Weiner – the ingredients – a nerdy sociopathic narcissist is able to get the girls who he couldn’t get in high school via sexting and power– certainly technology facilitated it, but he would have found a way to behave badly even without such weapons. But for many of us – the ease of these electronic gateways means you just eat the chips out of the bag without thinking about it. And the hurt that can ensue is real.

Just like it is too easy to gain weight in our culture – it is too easy to “play” outside of our relationships. To fight back the temptations at the table, the restaurant, or the drive-through requires MOUNTAINS of discipline and mindfulness. To fight back the temptations of ex-boyfriends who send flirty instant messages, sexts and bawdy BBMs, to be able to sit in the living room at night while your wife is asleep and computer chat with a liaison met in a bar on a business trip, while dealing with what the monotony of monogamy –– requires MOUNTAINS of discipline and mindfulness.

Increasingly, relationship scholars are acknowledging that this new world of technology is rewriting the script on relationships, fidelity, and communication. Call me old fashioned, – but I think that just like a goodly chunk of folks in past generations were able to keep it together and not turn to the empty comfort of another when the going got tough – we can too.

In both cases – cheating and cheeseburgers – dopamine and the Jedi mind tricks it plays on the brain makes this a tall order. This is about learning to say no to quick fixes like second helpings and sexting. Bottom line – Facebook and French fries are empty calories. In moderation – they are fine, but when they become your “go-to” – then not so good.

And you may find that as you learn to become more mindful, that your relationship and your real life may start filling you up again. Because when our hearts are full, and our lives purposeful, we tend to eat less. When we are living honest and authentic lives, we don’t need to use food (or creepy texts) to numb ourselves.
Put down the phone and the fork – and start paying attention to what is in front of you. It may save your waistline, and your soul.

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 5th, 2013 at 6:35 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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