I’ve been contemplating the word loyalty recently. A few months ago I was told that I was loyal by a married friend of mine (Let’s call him Joe) because even if another guy was around who was better looking I would not abandon him to hang with the more attractive person. The first thing that is odd about this is that I am engaged (getting married in about a month) so other men around me, I barely  notice unless they are a friend or client of mine. I contributed the comment to a night of far too much alcohol and not enough food or sleep. It was not until it was repeated by Joe that I realized he was REALLY hitting on me. Some background on Joe, he is an older man who is married to a good friend of mine and they have a mutually “open” relationship. I put “open” in quotes because the wife will tell you that even though they flirt and will kiss and do other things, they do not sleep with other people, while Joe says that they do whatever they want. First clue your relationship is very wrong, you blatantly look the other way while your husband makes a fool of you. Joe has also said that he only got married again because he “felt [my wife] deserved that]. Second clue your relationship is wrong, your husband admits he really did not want to get married. 

The loyalty comment was made after a very lengthy explanation about how I am loyal compared to another of my very good friends within our circle. My other friend (we shall call her Jane for this posts purposes) Jane, is the same age as I (mid 20’s), single and is looking for a relationship that could lead to a very happy and loving future for her. Joe, in his constant ambition to try and sleep with every girl hits on Jane constantly, makes her seem like the most important girl in the world and while she is around refers to her as one of his most beloved friends. The second she is not around, Joe will call her disloyal for flirting and talking to other men whom Jane is interested in while Joe is around. Joe goes as far to put down the men and in a way condemn Jane for considering even speaking to them, or say it will be “bad karma.” In essence, Joe becomes jealous and angry when Jane does not show Joe all her attention while he is around. This is not the only time Joe does these things, Joe also says a lot of rude things about another girl, though I do not like this girl, but then will flirt, hang out with and help her in anyway he can. Yet, the second she walks away he goes back to disliking her and making comments behind her back. 

This all leads me to believe that the story is no different with me, once I walk away Joe probably has a lot of very rude things to say, especially since I make it clear almost every time I am around him that he does not have a chance at sleeping with me, even though he makes advances and invitations quite often. But why take the time to call me loyal and give me a long speech on how I am such a loyal person in front of numerous people only to probably complain and make comments the second I turn around? 

What is loyalty then? To me, loyalty has always and will always be a promise to my friends and family to love and cherish them and help them in anyway I can when they are in need. Joe seems to take loyalty as meaning you will hang on his every word and suck his junk. If you had asked me two months ago if I was loyal to Joe, I probably would have said yes, I am. He is a friend, I cherish him and would help him if he needed it. That has seemed to devolve as of late as I have had on numerous occasions been present as he put down my fiance and out right tried to tell him that he was bad at his job because my fiance does not perform his job as Joe thinks he should (mind you, Joe is a part time bartender and spends 90% of his time wasted on tequila while my fiance is a full time armed security guard) and my fiance also does not always respond to situations in a positive way. Where as Joe thinks he can ignore something and it will go away, my fiance will confront the issue and try to fix it. Both approaches have their pros and cons, but let’s face it, when you just ignore things they tend to blow up further. 

Loyalty would be NOT talking down to your friends, as Joe tends to do. Loyalty would be to go to your friends if you have a problem, Joe just tells everyone else the problem. Finally, loyalty is respecting when a friend says no to something and not constantly pestering them about something, Joe tends to want me to go to “privet parties” him and his wife have knowing my fiance works nights and would not be able to attend, that we are not in any type of open relationship and that my fiance and I keep our privet life very….privet. 

So I may be loyal to him, but in what ways is he loyal to me? Or to anyone else? I am starting to believe that he values my loyalty because he lacks the ability to be loyal.