Sex & Relationships

Playing Relationship Chess – Her Strategic Moves and my Toothbrush Rant

I’m not a conspiracy theorist.  Really I’m not.  Just because you can’t figure something out before the commercial break ends doesn’t mean that some clandestine organization headed by a shadowy figure with a raspy voice, a computer from the 80s and a cat that will clearly have intimacy issues with its next owner is responsible.   But there really is no other logical explanation for how every single woman tests the boundaries of a new relationship in the exact same way.   Without fail, every time I’m in a relationship that enters the sleepover without titles phase I wake up to the same sophistic paradox; a nonindigenous toothbrush belligerently positioned in my bathroom.

toothbrush -
“Ordinary toothbrush to you, Pawn to Queen 3 for me”

If the battle of the sexes were a game of chess then this would officially be “check “.  The exquisite treachery of this maneuver is that she is that it puts her in a win win situation, which pretty much means I’m in a lose lose situation.   If I do nothing, then what essentially happens is my metaphorically native ass sits back while her metaphorically European ass just strolls up onto MY shore, plants her flag on MY beach and all I do is offer her maze and compliments on the thread count of the itchy blankets she leaves in front of my tepee.  If I choose to react, then I’m entering into an argument where she has the upper hand.

Why does she have the upper hand?  Because she set the parameters of the argument and they are all in her favor.  First of all, she didn’t make herself vulnerable by bringing up the potentially awkward conversation about where we are in our relationship, she made me do it.  Advantage, her.  Second, we aren’t even directly talking about the issue at hand, we’re using a toothbrush as a proxy and she has the stronger argument.  The game is now instead of us being on equal footing and discussing our relationship like adults, I have to pretend that an oral hygiene product that takes up 2 square inches of space vertical somehow severely limits the functionality of my bathroom.

But we both know it really isn’t about the space or that she absolutely has to have a toothbrush there.   It’s an involuntary game of chicken where I have to admit to not wanting her toothbrush around because I either have other girls over or want to keep that option open or keep the toothbrush there.  But she never directly has to ask that question.  It’s the most Machiavellian use of a toothbrush outside of the prison industrial complex.

My biggest issue is that yeah, I appreciate the beauty and gamesmanship involved, but is that really the best way to address legitimate questions in a relationship?  It’s just not isolated to this one scenario, but this happens to be the on my mind right now.  At least in this one I know what the argument is about, half the time I’m not even sure what we’re actually arguing about.  This really can’t be about my lack of hoodies that match your contacts.  Lets say that some other guy who isn’t me does yield in the toothbrush standoff, but legitimate concerns remain unaddressed.

Ladies, help me out, is winning more important than progress?

-Medium Meech


Updated on 01/15/19. Originally entitled, “Relationship Chess, Her Move and My Toothbrush Rant”


  • fourpageletter

    lolllllll. i loved this post for a few of reasons
    1. men HATE that question, so putting it in the dudes court means you get an answer without having to ask the question that sends them for the hills (that are alive with the sound of music)
    2. i had this battle with my ex. he’s sleep over, so use one of the new toothbrushes i keep for overnight guests (not just males, my mom, my friends etc). we’d get into a fight/stop talking – i’d throw it out. the next time he would come over, he’d ask about the toothbrush and i’d have to explain why i threw it out. and then the cycle would start again. i went through at least 3. lol.
    3. it cracked me up.
    good post.

  • Jo

    This is hilarious! But couldn’t this all be avoided if the “where we stand” convo was had before the toothbrush takeover? And should toothbrushes be introduced if no one is clear about where things stand? I say…Hell No! As a woman, my toothbrush doesn’t stay until things are clear. And his can’t stay either. Get up early & brush your teeth at home. Lol! Until things are clear, travel toiletries!

  • dontdestroyrelationship

    I find this post interesting and yet unsurprisingly true. The obsession for marriage in the day and age is highly overrated. And the need to feel secure in a relationship implies relationship trouble before the onstart. It would be great if we as women stood up and was more objective in thought action and deed rather than place tools for communicating on a very serious subject— Relationships! Rather than enjoy the ride, learn more about each other in the various hundreds of facets in the relationship, maybe our ex-list would be lower and those relationships we intellectually choose to embark on, would be stronger. The next step does not always mean the next step to relational solidity or marriage. Great post!

    • Mr SoBo

      “Rather than enjoy the ride, learn more about each other in the various hundreds of facets in the relationship, maybe our ex-list would be lower and those relationships we intellectually choose to embark on, would be stronger”.
      I think this is rather important point, and a common sense approach to relationships.
      Welcome to the OM!

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