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Thursday, April 7 2011

Ashley Madison: is it so wrong?

This is a blog post about Ashley Madison, whose tag line - life is short. have an affair - has made me one to hurl on more than one occasion. But after having been inspired by my dear friend Abby’s successful and concurrent dates via AshMad, I began to rethink this one. Abby’s at her happiest since becoming single over a year ago, and so….

My friend Abby.

Abby’s not wrong for putting herself out there like this. In fact, it makes perfect sense. She’s single. She’s urban. She’s over 50, but she acts and looks way younger than what most people expect 50 to live and look like. She doesn’t have children, sans the wheezing, coughing dog she’s been fostering, and she can’t stand the grandpa’s she’s meeting on other free dating sites. When she’s done with this dating, she should become a relationship counselor. Who would be better than someone who is living her life? Definitely not someone who is living a lie.

Don’t get me wrong, I think marriage, partnership and monogamy are fantastic goals and definitely the direction I want to take my life in. But that doesn’t mean that I think everyone who has completed the above three goals (especially with one person) is living to their full relationship potential. Here are some reasons why:

Maybe they got married super young and have too much at stake to risk it all for a f-ck but their sex life is over. Example two. Man or woman has just gone through a death or divorce and aren’t looking for a clingy partner, just someone who can be around enough, and then gone. Example three. The example that most pertains to Abby. A newly-single woman who isn’t enjoying traditional dating begins to use AshMad so that she can get her groove back, like that Stella chick in the movie that must obviously be about such things, since it is called How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

In the first case, it would be ideal for husband and wife, or same sex partners, to communicate. That would be tops. But when things hit the bottom, and one or both partners isn’t armed with the relationship/communication skills of a trained communicator, then what would be great doesn’t always pan out. In fact, it hardly ever does.

In the other cases, AshMad boosts self-esteem, gets sexy back, and makes people feel alive again.

Whatever the reasons people flock to Ashley Madison, part of it is because they’ve had enough of not getting enough, whether it be attention or sex. I can’t say when enough is enough, although eight is enough, yes, but I can say that I wish we could all talk about the truth that humans are not monogamous creatures by nature, more by culture and nurture. If we were all happy with one person/one life then sites like AshMad - where affairs are guaranteed - wouldn’t be as hot as they are.

What has always appalled me about AshMad is the whole idea of “cheating” because that word promotes lies, but I’m not opposed to being open with our partner. And on top of that, and even better, I’m all for re-upping and reevaluating a marriage or partner every seven years. Think about it, after being with someone for a 7-year “contract” we could all accurately, and with great care and research, determine if this is, or isn’t, still working for us. From there, we can decide to stay married or partnered, or make time to move on, and get on, with this crazy little thing called life.

The point being, while I have often thought that Ashley Madison was NOT a good thing, I’m starting to think it’s not that bad. My friend has been trying to date on free sites like okcupid for quite some time now, and she feels like it’s an epic fail. Now, in one night, two dates Abby is back and blooming, and I love it. What if the site works well for women frustrated and having a difficult time meeting men of interest (referred to here on out as moi) and allows them to get in touch with moi while keeping their distance? What if this breathes new life into self-esteemometer for a woman who hasn’t been feeling it for a while?

Yes there are bad people everywhere. Evil-money-sucking-fang-teethed-wearing-black-snake-on-a-plane types of people who are only looking for their next kill or catch. But that’s not every woman, man or beast. That’s not Abby.

Read Abby’s post here.

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