Kelly has been dating Brad for six months, and pretty much every time they’re out in public other guys are obviously checking her out. It’s happened to her since puberty hit, so she hardly even notices it anymore, but Brad gets pissed off every single time it happens. The problem is that he gets pissed off at Kelly instead of at the guys who are eying his girlfriend. He’s bitten his tongue every other time, but after they go shopping at Kohl’s one time he can’t hold it in anymore.
“Why do you encourage that?” he asks once they get back to her place one day.
“What are you even talking about?” she counters, staring him down.
“You know what I mean, with all those guys,” he spits out, voice elevated.
“I haven’t done anything with any of those guys,” she says.
“But you wear those short skirts, and you smile at them,” he accuses, on the verge of tears.
“You smile at people too,” she answers, hurt. “Do I question your intentions with each smile?”
“It’s different for girls,” Brad maintains.
“Why? Because short skirt means prostitute?” retorts Kelly.
“I didn’t say that,” he quickly answers.
“You didn’t have to,” Kelly responds sadly. Because she knows where this conversation is going. In fact, she knows where the whole rest of their relationship is going, and it’s not to a place with waterfalls and butterflies. She sighs and tunes Brad out as he continues to rant on.
Trust. It all comes down to trust. Kelly and Brad don’t have it. Well, Kelly trusts Brad, but Brad obviously isn’t there yet, or maybe he never will be there if he thinks Kelly would even consider doing anything with anyone else. Of course Brad is also an ass, as evidenced by the above conversation, but that doesn’t change the landscape really. The biggest problem is that trust can be earned, but if someone has mistrusted before it can be impossible to build any kind of foundation with someone new.
So Brad is jealous, and it wouldn’t have mattered if Kelly had worn baggy sweatpants to Kohl’s, he would have still doubted her intentions with those shiny guys who seem to like looking at her. He’s looking for a fight, and so he’s going to find one come hell or high water. Eventually Kelly will realize that she can’t change this about Brad and they will go their separate ways. Hopefully at some point Brad can go to therapy for his trust issues, but Kelly shouldn’t have to be his therapist. No one in a relationship should be another person’s therapist. No one in a relationship should have to “fix” the other person’s problems.
Kelly deserves someone who will be able to trust her. Everyone does. Having someone constantly looking over your shoulder, judging every single move, that’s not a relationship. That’s a paranoid stalker, someone who needs constant validation, and who still can’t accept the truth when it’s in front of him. Luckily for Kelly she hasn’t been seeing Brad that long, but for some people coming to a realization like that can take an eternity, then there are so many other factors to consider that can change the decision. That’s why trust is so important in any relationship, and why squandering it means losing out on a big opportunity.
But that’s not Kelly’s fault, and she shouldn’t have to pay for whatever happened to Brad in the past. If she stays with him, though, he will eventually start a fight with one of the men who smiles at her, accusing them of sleeping together. She’d be better to avoid that scenario now rather than later, even if it means giving up all the positive qualities of Brad, because odds are he won’t change. They hardly ever do, not after trust has been broken. Not after short skirts and smiles that could be interpreted oh so many ways.