Tuesday, June 23, 2015

An Open Letter To Meghan Trainor

To Ms. Trainor,

First off, I wanted to thank you for attending the couples counseling session we set up between you and your (now) former boyfriend.  I always strongly encourage couples to do everything they can to work through issues, and the fact that you both were willing to show up indicated you both still had hopes that this relationship could fix what you felt was wrong.

However, after you both had your turns talking to each other and to me about what you feel is missing, I feel like there were a few points that need to be made.  I've made notes in this letter following phrases and sentences I wrote down after you said them, because in my years as a couples therapist, I've found that it's only in extreme cases is the fault entirely on one side.  I'm also writing one of these letters to your ex, because I feel that to not try to help both of you after this break-up would be not fulfilling my job as your counselor, and I don't want this experience to hinder either of you from finding the relationship that's right.

Boy, look at me in my face,
tell me that you're not just about this bass.

This is good.  I remember telling both of you early on that this works best if you talk to each other, not use me as a sounding board for your problems.  I'll admit, I'm not quite sure what "this bass" is supposed to mean.  I know that many relationships based purely on physical appearances can fizzle past the initial attraction, but was "this bass" just supposed to be a reference to your posterior?

You really think I could be replaced?
Nah...I come from outer space
And I'm a classy girl
I'm a hold it up
You full of something but it ain't love
And what we got is straight overdue
Go find somebody new

Here, I feel I need to explain that this is where some of my confusion as to what you were upset about later in the conversation stems from.  When you were talking about "the bass" and being "a classy girl" I took that as your being upset that your former beau only wanted you for your looks, and was treating you like an object to possess, not as a person.

I know I cut you off there, because the purpose of this session was to express the issues in the relationship in an attempt to figure out the cause and possibly fix them.  While I initially felt you showed up willing to try to talk things out, here it felt you came into this session with an opinion that the relationship was already over, which seemed counter-intuitive considering how expensive couples therapy can be.

You can buy me diamond earrings
And deny-ny-ny, ny-ny-ny, deny-ny
But I smell her on your collar so goodbye-bye-bye

I'll admit, I was taken back a bit by this part of the session, as I was not informed ahead of time that there were any fidelity issues in the relationship.  Had I been prepared, I would have pushed a bit more for both sides of the story here.  Having a perfume or lipstick or other indicator of someone else being in that close proximity can be a rather large warning sign, but as mediator, it was my job to make sure that both sides had a chance to speak, which is why I didn't appreciate the following interruption during his turn.

I know you're lyin,
'Cause your lips are movin,
Tell me do you think I'm dumb?
I might be young
But I ain't stupid
Talkin round in circles with your tongue

I did want to point out that you made an important point here, one that I hope you were also aware of.  You are young, and this was clearly a serious relationship if he's purchasing diamond earrings for you.  I know many people who don't buy diamond earrings for their girlfriend or wife until the relationship is extremely stable, or a marriage in everything but title.

I gave you bass, you gave me sweet talk
Saying how I'm your number one

This is where I got extremely confused, and I wanted to apologize again if the misunderstanding was on my part.  Before, you seemed upset that your (then) boyfriend appeared to only want you for "the bass."  You were emphasizing your class and strength, but here it seemed you felt that "bass" was all you needed to bring to the relationship.  This felt like a very strong mixed message, and while I'm not attempting to divert any blame from your (former) boyfriend for his mistakes (relationship issues aren't a zero sum gain, after all), I hope you realize that perhaps he needed more than just "bass" to feel satisfied in this relationship.

But I know you're lyin
'Cuase your lips are movin
Baby, don't ya know I'm done

Ms. Trainor, why did you even show up if you were so determined to have the session be one big break-up?  You do know that I still need to bill you both for my time, correct?  I feel it would have been more cost-effective if you had decided to declare you were done almost anywhere else.  The stands at a baseball game, after dessert at Red Lobster, anywhere else.

Hey, baby, don't you bring them tears
'Cause it's too late, too late, babe, oh
You only love me when you're here
You're so two-faced, two-faced, babe, oh.

While I'm not sure it was your actual intent, I feel I once again need to point out that, in the end, it was an improper use of my time to simply use our appointment as a platform for your declaring the relationship over.  Your (ex) boyfriend seemed to strongly believe that there was a chance for you two to work things out.  Now, in light of the revelation of the cheating, I can say I'm not surprised you'd conclude that the relationship had, in fact, come to an end, but to use me as a means to an end shows a disrespect for both me and my profession, and it was not appreciated.

All I ask is that you please think about just what it is you want to invest in a relationship, because I truly feel that both sides need to contribute for a relationship to be healthy and strong.  If you feel that this "bass" that you keep referring to is all you should need to provide, I hope you won't be surprised when someone decides they need more and might need to look outside the relationship for that additional substance.  I'm not saying he's even remotely justified in having this affair you accuse him of having, but again, it's not often that fault lies 100% in one partner in a relationship.

Please find attached a bill for my services, it appears that Blue Cross will not accept you using your (former) partner's insurance for this session.  Plus, he paid in cash.

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