I am half-embarrassed to admit that I watch Married at First Sight. I'm not a huge reality show fan but there are a few that I watch. Mostly benign stuff like Project Runway and Bachelorette. None of the other Real Housewives type nonsense. Anyway, this isn't about television. For once.
During the Married show, they give couples bonding exercises. Some of them I find excruciating and forced and some of them I consider/ponder.
But this one...this one I was All Oh HELL No.
They had couples trade cell phones and give each other unlimited access.
Firstly, our phones are like computers. it's not just just calls and text messages. It's email, social media, search histories, lists, documents. There are health apps on most devices now.
Secondly, I could equate it to someone going through your diary. It's such an invasion of privacy.
The point of the exercise is that a person shouldn't have anything to hide. As someone who has been in a nearly 30-year relationship, I say:
That is...how shall I say this? ADORABLE.
I'm not talking about anything nefarious or illegal. I'm talking about finding personal items that are meant just for you. A photo you took because reasons that are private. (not nakey ones, for the love of dog) I'm talking about snarky texts to your best friend that could hurt someones feelings. Social media stalking that Every Single Person has done and don't start lying to me now. Any thing can be taken out of context, really.
And really, these folks have been together, like, five minutes. They don't even know each other's middle names yet. Let's throw a firebomb of High Level Snooping into their laps. I don't think most long-term relationships could sustain an exercise like that without at least a little turmoil.
I rarely look at Kevin's phone. I don't need to. If something happens, I'll find out if he wants me to find out. I'm not going to find out because I searched out of nosiness, boredom, or whatever. Oh, and he has work stuff on there that is 100% not my business. I forgot that element of access.
And he rarely looks at mine. I often have notifications flashing because I don't have the attention span to swipe them away 75% of the time. Google Photos, mostly because I take a truckload of photos. It makes him a little twitchy but he'll usually just say "Your phone is flashing" in a tone and that's it.
I asked him what he thought about this "trust" exercise. He, like me, paused and went "Oh, no. That's a bad idea." I do have to tell you: I was a little relieved. But I was pretty certain he would think that was Next Level Ridiculousness.
It just feels like it sets people up to fail. It feels like creating unnecessary drama. It feels like a boundary that doesn't need crossing. Everyone has something, if they've been dating for a year or married fifty years. Everyone has something.