You don’t mean to, but you overhear people talking about your friend’s girlfriend or boyfriend. They saw what? With who? Last Friday? At Steve’s party? You suddenly feel outraged and want to immediately tell your friend. Suddenly a rumor is started…
Sometimes rumors are spread with innocent or good intentions. However, it can be devastating if you don’t have all the facts straight. Lots of arguments and break-ups happen because someone started spreading misinformation. What makes it worse is many couples don’t feel entirely confident with themselves or the relationship, so any hint that someone is cheating can cause a lot of drama.
Sometimes rumors are spread with evil or bad intentions. Camera phones and social media have made it even easier to get revenge or ruin someone’s relationship without trying too hard. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is talking to someone of the opposite sex even just to say hi, it can be caught on camera and uploaded to Facebook in 2.5 seconds. Someone with intentions to screw up your relationship can post the picture so you can find it easily when you log on to your Facebook page. The logical part of your brain says not to worry, but the emotional side of your brain can’t help but panic and wonder if your boyfriend or girlfriend is possibly cheating on you.
Rumors start whether you want them to or not. People talk and social media makes it even easier to spread crap around. So how should you handle it if it happens to you? First, consider the source. Is your source an eye-witness? If they are a friend to you and they were an eye-witness, then the information may be more credible. However, before you jump to crazy jealous land, slow yourself down and remember you still need to talk to your partner. If you love them, they deserve to be able to share their side of the story before you allow yourself to go all Jersey Shore on them. Why waste a bunch of energy if you don’t have to? There will plenty of time for a freak out if you come to the conclusion that the rumor is true.
If your source is a friend, but they weren’t an eye-witness, try to find out who was there to confirm the rumor for you. Do your best to get your facts straight before confronting your boyfriend or girlfriend. Your friend may be trying to help you, but if they only heard something second or third hand, it still may not be reliable information. Again, remember to not let yourself freak out until you’ve heard the whole story. The whole story includes your partner’s version. You will hurt your partner and your relationship by jumping to conclusions. It is easy to overreact to a rumor. Work on being more confident in yourself and in your relationship. It takes time and effort to work on being more confident, but it also takes a lot of time and effort to worry about something that probably isn’t true.
If the source is someone who wants to get with your partner or doesn’t like you for other reasons, you should be very skeptical. Most likely the information coming from this source isn’t true at all. Stay calm and try to find out more information from a more credible source if possible. If that isn’t an option, then continue to stay calm while you relate the details of what you saw or heard to your boyfriend or girlfriend. Try to keep paranoid accusations out of the conversation because this will only make your partner defensive. Try to be factual with the information and then listen to what your partner has to say about it. Hopefully they will be able to put your fears to rest and you can move on with your life.
What if the rumor turns out to be true? Well now it is more acceptable to be upset within reason. It doesn’t give you permission to be emotionally or physically abusive to your partner. It is devastating to find out your partner has been cheating, but do your best not to make a horrible situation even worse. Realize that you do have some power to decide which direction your relationship is going to go in. You can break-up and start to move on by yourself, or you can give your boyfriend or girlfriend another chance. Either choice is going to be hard. If you decide to give them another chance you will have to find a way to deal with your hurt and angry feelings. Many people choose to stay but don’t let go of the anger and resentment. This will only kill your relationship slowly over time. You will need to find a way to forgive and trust again for it to work long term.
Rumors can be very deadly, but you don’t need to let them ruin your life. Remember it is easy to overreact to something you hear. Try to keep yourself from jumping to conclusions. Rumors are often not reliable and it is worth the effort to find out more information before letting yourself get so upset. Anger is a powerful emotion that sucks a lot of energy. Energy you desperately need. Try not to waste it on something that may or may not be true.
Sometimes you have to live with the fact that you will never know the whole story. Sometimes it is a matter of he said/she said. If in doubt, believe your partner. You chose to love them for a reason. Rely on the history of the relationship to decide what further action to take because history has a way of repeating itself. If your partner has always been faithful, try not to let your fears get the best of you. Work on that confidence to keep you from causing unnecessary drama. Trust me, if the rumor was true, it is only a matter of time before things will start to add up to confirm your fears. If it becomes obvious for other reasons that your partner is cheating then you can deal with situation. Until then, hang tight and don’t let others rob you of your happiness.