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“I remember this night like it was yesterday,” says April Lovett, Creator and Host of Success in Black and White, The Podcast. “We were out at a bar, celebrating the college graduation of some of our friends. At one point, Darryl (my partner) went up to the bar to grab a couple drinks and before he could get the bartender, a girl was up by his side, going in to give him a hug. We were surrounded by friends that night, so because of how fast it happened, he naturally assumed it was one of our friends and let the girl hug him.”

“The next thing I knew,” says Darryl Lovett, Creator and Host of Success in Black and White, The Podcast, “was that she had her hands on my butt and went in for the squeeze. She got a good handful before I realized what happened and pushed her back to look at her face. I got out of there pretty fast (albeit awkwardly), and made my way back to where April and the group we were with was.”

“I was so angry,” says April, “but I couldn’t say anything because most of the people we were with didn’t even know we were dating at the time. So to them, I shouldn’t have had anything at stake in that situation. But I did, and we both knew it. I was upset the rest of the night.”

Have you ever been in this type of situation? Either one partner or the other has an awkward encounter that makes you feel uncomfortable or even jealous, and you let it ruin your night together? After having a few moments like these throughout the course of our relationship, we’ve come up with the following strategies:

1. Know how to read your partner’s non-verbals in a situation. Not every situation calls for a dramatic exit. Some are harmless and you and/or your partner may not be bothered by the scenario. Together, identify non-verbal cues you should both watch for in situations that approach the “awkward” spectrum. This may be eye rolls, facial expressions, or your partner shifting uncomfortably from side to side.

2. Address the situation as soon as possible after it occurs. Don’t try to ignore the situation; it’s better to address what happened up-front, even if it means some uncomfortableness as you’re talking through it. But you’ll be better able to positively move forward with your night and enjoy your time together if you get the situation out in the open.

3. Affirmation. Even if the awkward encounter wasn’t your fault, if you were party in it, you may want to take the extra step to reassure your partner that your love them and only them. Reassurance can be key in helping move the situation along so you can get back to enjoying your time together. Find out how your partner likes to be reassured: verbally, through touch, or in another way; and use these tactics so your partner knows that you love them.

4. Don’t be a repeat offender. This is especially important if you were the party at fault. But even if not, there are ways you can avoid situations where this is likely to occur. “For instance,” says Darryl, “we no longer visit bars after certain hours of the night where we know the crowd is going to be younger than us and more than likely ‘single-ready-to-mingle’”. Discuss boundaries with your partner, whether that is limiting time at certain places, limiting the types of crowds you’re around, or even limiting contact with certain individuals.

Want more of this conversation? Tune in to the episode of the podcast below to hear Darryl & April’s conversation on “She Touched Me...But It Wasn't My Fault"

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