Who do you tolerate?


Several years ago during a heated conversation that I was having with an ex-girlfriend she told me that “no one will ever tolerate [me] the way that [she] does”. Aside from the several other things that were said in the course of the fight this one statement really stood out. I never thought of myself as somewhat that needed to be tolerated in order to be with me. For several years I believed that I was so intolerable of a person that I was a burden as well. Well, here I am years later and I realize now that what that ex said to me was the biggest “fuck you” I think I’ve ever heard. The memory of that argument was stirred the other day at a work lunch when some of us were asking some personal questions. When two people that I work with stated that the most important attribute of their partner from their last relationship was that they were tolerant I got a little worked up.

Miriam-Webster’s definition of tolerance:

1 : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina
2 a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own b : the act of allowing something

The discussion continued with me arguing that tolerance in an intimate relationship is not something that should play a big role in that relationship. It should play a small part, like tolerating that your significant other clips his or her toenails while in bed. I argued that I tolerate my co-workers and family because I don’t choose to be around them as much as I am forced to be around them. So if I am choosing to be with someone in a loving relationship then tolerating them is going to be the last thing on my mind. I want to enjoy their company, not endure it.

The conversation just fizzled because I was up against one guy in particular that knows everything and talks over everyone. I continued to talk and called him an asshole twice quite loudly but he didn’t hear me because he’s so self-involved and can’t be wrong. He proved my point in a way because I was tolerating him as well as I possibly could.

Douchebag.

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4 thoughts on “Who do you tolerate?

  1. bart says:

    Now all of your co-workers are going to be wondering if he’s the douchebag.

    Because douchebags so rarely realize their own douchbaggery. I should know.

    Oh, and you have a little typo in there, big fella. “I never thought of myself as somewhat that needed to be tolerated” – shouldn’t that be “someone” and now “somewhat”?

    I love you, man. Even if you think I’m a gigantic douchebag.

  2. brett says:

    Hey, you never know who might stumble upon your stuff. Stranger things have happened.

    It was a random Google search (for my own site) that led me here. Who knows what your co-workers could be searching for that might lead them here…

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