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A writer has outlined the trust issues he’s faced in his relationship since he and his partner downloaded the “Find my Friends” app.
She just wanted to know where I was.
But she didn’t ask with suspicion, she sat there on the couch as she mindlessly flicked through her phone.
I hadn’t been anywhere.
I’ve been living with Naomi* for the past three months, we eventually made the decision to get serious and combine our lives. In the six years that preceded the decision, we’ve had our fair share of trust issues. We’ve both been guilty of betrayal, indirectly and directly, but we’ve eventually moved past it, replacing it with moments that meant more. I am aware that we’ll never fully regain the trust we misplaced, but in saying that, times have markedly improved.
That is, until recently.
We recently traded up to the latest iPhones, and while app shopping, we fooled around with the “Find my Friends” app. (For those who don’t know, it’s a function where the location of someone’s phone is calculated by GPS.) It started off as a bit of fun, but has resulted in the reemergence of old habits and unresolved issues.
After those unresolved issues reappeared during dinner one night, we agreed to delete the app. But the next weekday evening the app was back. I rung her on the way home from work to tell how long I’d be. She simply said: “I already know…” I decided against initially saying anything, which I feel was a mistake. In feeling the guilt of what I did, I made it an issue again.
She always says to me, “You can look me up, I have nothing to hide”, but neither do I. To diffuse the situation, I offered to turn over my phone whenever she requested it, to show her that I have nothing to hide. She refused this, because she “always knows where I am”. My previous betrayal has birthed another I can’t speak about. It seems cheap in light of what I did to her, so the GPS related betrayal of my trust feels unimportant.
It’s a strange feeling though. Driving back after work, knowing that she’s watching my progress, feeling that the slightest of detours may again trigger bad memories from a mistake made years before; which in turn may earn us more arguments and more distrust. It might be an exaggeration, but it brings other feelings to the surface – of which, to be honest, there’s some part of me makes me want to stray, to justify her paranoia. It’s that same part that caused the friction before, which makes me loathe her assumption that I’d still think in those terms, because I still loathe what I did. But that was the old me. He’s been rehabilitated.
But it’s her usage of the app that makes me feel like a criminal under house arrest.
What happened, happened. Surrendering to a lazy cliché, “We were both different people”, (which is true,) and I don’t blame Apple’s pioneering technology, but they’ve helped re-introduce the ghosts of the past we escaped to make this new start. I don’t want to address the app issue, because I don’t want the re-emergence of the old issue to flame what we’ve built in the time since.
I’m unsure if this is an issue with other couples, or if it’s a unique situation to us, but if it is, the lesson I can offer is, either resolve the issue when it happens, or don’t.
But if you don’t, make sure you don’t download the “Find my Friends” app.
*name changed at author’s request.