Sex and relationship advice from Robin Smyth

Ever notice how some folks change up or even suspend relationship rules when travelling? Regardless of the purpose of the trip, be it business or, ah, ehem… pleasure, the area code rule bug has been known to bite even the primmest of prudes.

For those readers grasping for the meaning of the area code rule, it goes a little something like this: as soon as one exits the area code where one’s significant other resides, one can then consider oneself ipso facto, to be a single person.

Rather similar in effect to the “stays in Vegas” idiom and, wickedly expressed in song by the one and only Ludacris, the area code rule is, of course, total and complete crap. When a person invokes the area code rule as reason to stray outside a relationship without prior consent from their partner, they are crossing more than just border lines.

Obviously, no one wants to be cheated on and the last thing expected from a partner returning home from travel is to be greeted with lies or worse, an STD, along with the obligatory souvenir. Or, conversely, imagine travelling back home with the extra baggage of having had a wildly inappropriate sexual escapade with the gloriously attractive hotel bartender or other glamorous stranger or strangers, depending on how stuck in the tequila you got.

And then what? Do you confess and run the very real risk of (deservedly) losing your partner or optionally, embarking on an Oscar worthy, never ending performance of lies and cover ups?

Not to mention the added pressure of knowing your travel companions are all aware of your little secret and you just know that everyone has to pass a secret on to at least one other person or their head will explode. So, there’s that to worry about on top of the being a lying cheat.

So, no matter how much you care about your partner and doing the right thing by being honest, you take to burying the truth (don’t you?) at an extreme personal cost. And proceed to do little and big things to make up for cheating, all the while being blisteringly aware that your secret is most assuredly not safe in the hands of your friends.

And, after factoring in that given one or more alcoholic beverage your friends will be primed and prone to blurting to anyone within earshot all about your big, fat, drunken holiday cheat-fest, you’re reducing to a sweaty hot mess from all the stress of remembering all the lies you have told to cover up the original lie and not in the bow chica wa wow sense of the word. Exhausting.

Eventually, lies catch up with a person and the truth, whether it’s pretty or not, will make itself known. The area code rule was clearly written by and for inhabitants of our fair cities who wanted to write themselves a pass while visiting other fair cities. It’s an altogether egregiously slender line of defense when the cheater has, indeed, been found out. Imagine hearing this as a “reason” for cheating. “But babe, area codes!”

For those shallow enough to rely on the dubious footing of the area code bylaw, perhaps remaining single is the way to go, am I right? Or maybe it’s time to sit down with your partner and discuss polyamorous relationship arrangements.

At least until the impulse to pounce on random strangers in strange cities has subsided and you are able to spare some poor innocently unsuspecting soul of your proclivity to stray. And for those of you who trip and fall legs wide open into the area code clause, try skipping the exotic shooters and mega sized umbrella drinks on your next holiday mebbe? Sayin’.

Robin Smyth has contributed to newsletters, business publications, inter-company webpages and blog sites. She has reported on multiple genres engaging a variety of styles and is known for her one draft, no edits style of writing. Follow her on Twitter @RobinDS3.