Warning: Sports analogies ahead …
In theory, the concept of a relationship hall pass sounds like a novel idea. Getting actual permission from your partner to employ the services of a side chick or side dude for a set amount of time without any repercussions? It’s not my cup of tea, but if two consenting adults agree on this swingers’ arrangement, then by all means do you. Just leave me out of it.
In practice, however, hall passes sound like anything but a novel idea. In fact, it sounds like a really, really dumb idea. I’m talking Michael-Jordan-deciding-to-quit-basketball-so-he-can-start-playing-baseball kinda dumb.
Here’s what I mean by that:
One of the primary requirements of being in a committed relationship is, you know, actually committing. I’ve seen enough episodes of Maury to know that concept is still a work in progress for far too many people, so I’ll sidebar that argument for now. I’ll also table concerns of sexually transmitted infections and the obvious emotional reneging that can occur once someone actually uses a hall pass.
Some may say that the only thing better than a fish taco supreme is some new fish taco supreme, and while that may be true in most cases, sometimes old and reliable is better than new and unknown. I mean, there’s a reason I only order three to four things off a Chinese-food takeout menu. I know exactly what General Tso’s chicken tastes like. and I don’t care how many faded pictures of mystery meat in lobster sauce I see on the wall; I have no desire to take my couch-cushion earnings and roll the dice on something that looks like man milk. But seriously, in all my years, I’ve never known anyone to ever order lobster sauce, and I sure as hell have never seen a lobster in a Chinese-food spot.
But I digress. I promised sports analogies and, well, here they are:
Speaking as a man who’s been faithfully married for four years (after committing to the same woman for three years prior), I enjoy the perks of the home-court advantage. After several years, I know exactly where to post up to bank my shot and how to hit the basket from deep. Basically, after seven years of practice with the same team, I’m Steph Curry with the shot. (Corny, I know, but you get the point. So moving along … )
No matter how great a player I might be on the home court, there’s no guarantee that the same would apply if I were to move to a completely different arena. Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, but he was everything but great when he took a hall pass from the game to try his hand at minor-league baseball.
The result? A total of 114 strikeouts, 51 RBIs, 30 stolen bases and a measly .202 batting average. You don’t have to be a baseball fanatic to know that those are some pretty unimpressive stats, especially for someone who’s considered a GOAT in another sport. Sorry, Mike, we can’t all be like Bo Jackson.
The lesson to take from this is that people should just stay in their lane. You can’t reach MVP status in a sport you’ve played exclusively for a decade and expect to excel right away at another sport.
And by “sport,” you know I’m talking about sex, right?
Good, because I’m too old to repeat myself and too grown for hall passes. I love the team I play for, and my coach considers me the greatest of all time, so even though I might watch a few different games every now and again, I have no interest in having practice scrimmages with any other teams. Matter of fact, you can hang my jersey in the rafters now. Just make sure it has No. 23 on the back and not No. 45.
Anslem Samuel Rocque is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based writer who previously ran the popular relationship site Naked With Socks On. He’s currently wearing way more clothes while working on his debut novel. Follow his thoughts in 140 characters or less on Twitter and on Instagram.