This week, my friend D and I have been talking about triggers. Here’s the most fucked up thing about new and fresh relationships: People lie. People pretend they don’t care about the things that really punch them in their sensitive. Equally as bad is that people let things go that will eventually come back and punch their partner in their ass, put them in a headlock, and give them a few knees to the face.
It’s funny, isn’t it? That in 6 out of 10 new relationships, I pull statistics out of my ass, and then I write things like: People do this because they don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to upset the balance of the new relationship because it should be fun. Which, I agree. It should always always be fun and it should only keep getting more fun because life is far too short. That said, conversations about personal triggers are necessary from the outset. Especially if you actually genuinely care about the new person and the new relationship. Don’t bother if this is lookin’ like a solid long weekend of mayhem with Taylor Kitsch. (TAYLOR!! CALL ME!! I’M STILL SINGLE!!)
The alternative? People engage patterns which the partner pretends are okay (when they are not), and then slowly, like a simmering crazy irrational pot, the “trigger goes click” (thank you, Big Lebowski), and a relationship turns into a genocidal shooting range. Basically, suddenly standing in left field are a whole bunch of sorry people completely in the dark, running in irrational patterns not knowing from where the next bullet is coming.
They’re called ‘triggers’ for a reason, and I am convinced it’s because they set off the one person, who then transfers the trigger action onto the individual before them. That said, there’s enough blame to go around:
– The onus is on you to be aware of your triggers so that you may own, be responsible for, and manage them as best as you can.
– The onus is on you to tell your partner your triggers. TELL THEM.
– The onus is also on you to learn about your partner’s triggers. ASK THEM.
It’s on this bridge that the two of you can engage in a dialogue that will lead somewhere, to a defined playing field on which you are both comfortable. Unspoken, the triggers will explode and we won’t know what in the shit is going on; instead, we’ll watch our new piece shut down, distance themselves, get angry, and ultimately either walk, or worse, stick around in a disasterous relationship bound for heartache and pain for the both of you.
These conversations don’t have to be difficult if you follow some ground rules like these, and they don’t even have to be long (e.g. Trigger: “it doesn’t work for me when I don’t hear from you for a couple of days”; Response: Don’t fucking dissapear if you care about the person who just placed their heart on their sleeve and said ‘oh look!’).
Me, my triggers are simple and I know to where they are rooted in my personal history. Learn yours, share yours; learn theirs, action what you need to in order not to trigger them to the best of your ability. Else, get the fuck out of your relationship, grow up, and come back to the world of dating in a few years.