Mutually assured destruction (MAD) is a doctrine of military strategy and national security policy in which a full-scale use of nuclear weapons by two or more opposing sides would cause the complete annihilation of both the attacker and the defender (see pre-emptive nuclear strike and second strike). It is based on the theory of deterrence, which holds that the threat of using strong weapons against the enemy prevents the enemy’s use of those same weapons. The strategy is a form of Nash equilibrium in which, once armed, neither side has any incentive to initiate a conflict or to disarm.From Wikipedia’s entry on Mutual Assured Destruction
I don’t do mutual assured destruction.
A.K.A. “I won’t do something that I want, if you ALSO don’t do that same thing that you want. Because then we BOTH get to not get what we want. But if either of us do the thing that we both want– but promised not to do– than the relationship is over. Agreed? Agreed.”
Long before I discovered kink and explicit consent, I held this standard as core to my belief system. You see, I don’t care what you do. It doesn’t bother me what you like. As long as what you want and what you do does not harm anyone else (no, I will not tolerate that, either), you can do as you please.
Call yourself whichever label you want. You want me to call you “she/her,” regardless of what lies beneath your clothes? Why should I care? What business is it of mine? And, hey, your kink is your kink. If you like those kind of relationships? If they make you feel safe? Cool. I just want no part of it.
I won’t do any of this:
“So I won’t date girls, if you don’t date boys.”
“So then, neither of us will. Because, you know, if you do show interest in other girls, than I will let myself fool around with other boys, and then the relationship is obviously, well, poof!”
Right? That’s how MAD works. I won’t launch my nukes, because then you’d launch your nukes. And then, obviously, the world explodes.
Worse, sometimes it gets outright malicious. Time and time again, I’ve seen people who genuinely thought that it was okay to hurt someone else, because, after all, the person was hurting them. And that it was just cool to be in a destructive relationship like that, because it was MUTUAL destruction. So, you know, it’s fair and all. And it was, like, this fun game to play. How to both hurt each other in such a way that it kept up the game, but it didn’t totally destroy the other (you don’t actually want to put the other player out of them game, or the game is over.)
But, honestly, I just don’t want to bother.
Unless I’m your mother, and even then there are limits, I don’t get to tell you what to do. I don’t even want to tell you what to do. It’s not my kink. I don’t feel all warm and fuzzy from you loving me “soooooo much” that you’ll sacrifice potential happiness for my sake. It makes me feel sad and gross. If you cannot respect yourself enough to stand up for your personal desires, why should I respect you? And if I can’t respect you, I can’t trust you. And if I can’t trust you, we have no relationship.
So, whatever. If you simply don’t want to date other people, cool. Only date your partner or me or whomever. But if you’re into the whole concept of “It’s okay for me to tell you what to do, as long as you get to tell me what to do,” well, kindly scurry off and find someone else to date.