“They wear a perfume that promises sex, when all they really want is someone to snuggle on the couch with in baggy pajamas. We’ll all choose a good story over truth any day.” Erica Bauermeister “The Scent Keeper”

I read “The Scent Keeper” the other day and this quote resonated with me. I thought about how we sort of have split personalities when it comes to relationships: when we want to meet someone, or are interested in someone, we are our best selves. When we begin to date we are really on our A game. Then, once we get married or cohabitate, we start to shift again…and perhaps drop down to our B or even C game…

Why is that?

Why do we court someone as one person, then live our lives as another?

How many times have we heard, or said “My partner wasn’t like this before we got married. They changed….”

I know I had a little bait and switch with my ex husband: When we were dating he was all about flowers and dinners and taking me to the ballet. After we were married, it was all about TV and weekends watching sporting events. To be fair- I missed a lot of the signs that he was just not the right person for me (or anyone to be fair)- but I was young and naïve and had a lot of issues. But he did represent differently from who he actually was…

So, I have to wonder, is the goal to just get a partner, or is the goal to have a successful and fulfilling lifetime relationship?

If we really want to be the kind of person who wants to snuggle up in sweats every night, why do we act like hanging out at clubs every night is the best life ever?

Admittedly, there are things that we do in our youth that we no longer enjoy as we get older. Everyone changes- we evolve as humans. But have you ever done something you really didn’t like just to have someone like you?

I’ve seen it happen: Men who will take their girlfriends dancing, women who will spend a Sunday in a sports bar, people who sit on the sidelines while their not yet significant others participate in something that is dear to them…and then the ring is on the finger, the I Do’s are exchanged, the last moving box has entered the new apartment- and all that…


And I have to ask: Is the bait and switch worth it?

Shouldn’t we be looking for a partner that we get along with as our authentic selves?

Why do we often hide who we really are from a potential mate?

Are we dissatisfied with ourselves? Do we wish to be someone different? If that’s the case, I suggest working on yourself first, before you look for a mate. Knowing yourself, owning who you are is the best way to attract someone that you can have a lifelong relationship with.

Do you just “love” a specific person? Do you want to be with that one particular person so badly that you fit yourself into a mold? How do you think that’s going to work out in the long run? Trying to live an inauthentic life is going to take a toll on you eventually.

Why do you want to be with someone who doesn’t love the factory model version of you?

Why would you want to be someone who only loves you with the upgrades? With specific features?

What do you think is wrong with you that you need to be someone else in order to have a partner?

Relationships are hard enough as it is- don’t add layers of angst to the equation. I’m not suggesting that you wear baggy pajamas on your first date, but be you. Be authentic. Let the other person know who they are getting, the authentic version, and they should be damn lucky to have you just as you are, because your authentic self is pretty special. If they don’t see how special you are “as is” then they are not “the one”.

If you bait…don’t switch…


66 thoughts on “Bait and Switch

  1. We all change and evolve, but you are right people don’t always represent themselves truthfully at first. Think you are a homebody, like cooking, gardening and old movies? These type of pastimes don’t really have meeting places for like minded souls, so you need to be honest with those you meet. The meeting process is the hard part these days. My other problem is if one person is so much stronger(personality) that the other gets sucked into their life and their own as well as their friends disappear.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Two excellent points here. My (now ex) would say, “You’ve changed.” And yes, I was 15 when we met, 18 when we began dating, and at that point I was in my 30s with 3 children, so let’s hope I had changed. How do you differentiate between changing, evolving, growing up and bait and switch? And TBH, I would still have gladly snuck out to drink cocktails in his friend’s hot tub. Come to think of it, I’m still down for that, albeit not with him. 🤷🏼‍♀️

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Very true, I have always been surprised (and a little dismayed) at the number of people who leave one relationship to pick up another like right away. I think it’s better to figure out what went wrong in the first before jumping head first into another. But that’s just my opinion.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Are you writing my life story??!! 🙂
    These are the questions I asked myself for years and years leading up to and even through my divorce. Self- reflection is amazing, and I’ve been able to answer a lot of the things you ask as they applied to me.
    Perhaps you can title this series Deb’s Life… 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A few observations. We need more men commenting, plus women talk honestly about this stuff much more than men ever do. My wife and I have evolved over 40 years, and I think she was honest about herself except then she was on time for our dates! But to be honest, her dad warned me. ha ha
    Neither of us were clubbers, and our dates were skating, or playing tennis. We talked a lot, I listened a lot and I had a sense of how kind she is, and that never changed.
    This post and the title are discussion provoking definitely, I predict lots more comments.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. My husband would probably tell you in the 20 years we’ve been married he’s been with 10 different women – all me! I believe we evolve as we go and do not intentionally bait and switch. As a parent I think it’s more like mate and switch! Priorities change but at the same time I worked very hard to communicate with my husband and present my best self. I no longer do it for him but I do it for me. Great post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I actually had something mentioned along these lines in my dating profile back when I met Hubby. After years of dealing with the dating face vs. the real face, I got sick and tired of liking the person I just met only to realize that wasn’t the real person. Yes, people will still change over time, but that is rarely at the core of who they are and is usually the kind of change a relationship can weather. Finding out the person you are with isn’t the person they presented when you were dating isn’t as easily weathered.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I used to wonder in the 80s why girls/women wore so much make-up when planning to meet or be courted by someone. I used to think, if he doesn’t recognize her when they wake up in the morning and she has no make-up on… Lol

    Of course this is during the excessive 80s. Same with the hairstyles.

    But it raises that question about authenticity again. Who exactly are you trying to be when you hope for the attention of someone new?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh LA! I love this post! Bait and switch….indeed that happens quite a lot I’m sure. And I think it’s a strange phenomenon that occurs both with men and with women in a relationship. Part can be trying to compromise, going to sports bar because you know he enjoys that or taking dance lessons because she wants to, but part can be that bait and switch because you’d like to really be the way you’re pretending or because you think that this is what your potential partner is looking for or whatever the reason is….
    I love when you bring us all in with these types of posts because it makes us think and thinking brings answers!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I guess it’s in human nature to bait and switch – no need to be taught. I know one girl whose husband did the opposite. He was a mediocre boyfriend but the girl married him anyway. He changed when he married her – he became very loving, considerate, did his part in household chores, affectionate, generous and gives her a kiss any time they part ways, even in public. They are Zambian and kissing is something that never happens in public except with children. The girl complained to her colleagues that her husband was embarrassing and had told him to stop kissing her in public. Her colleagues promptly offered to marry him as their significant others did not kiss them in public and let them do all the housework. She didn’t complain ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting. I think courtship and mating is a stage, and we are somewhat like animals in that we want to spruce ourselves up and be our best selves to attract mates. I. don’t think it’s bait and switch. I just think it’s impossible and unrealistic to keep up that stage forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well said. I think you asked and answered your own questions In a stream of consciousness sort of way. The bottom line is honesty, both with yourself and partner. Unfortunately, being genuine is a rare commodity these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I know many people hide things from the one they are going to marry and, then, once married, that part of them slips out for the spouse to see. I think we’re taught to do this as we grow up. “Put your best foot forward” type thing. Then, once married, we relax. Even though my husband and I have been married for 29 years, there are still things about myself he doesn’t know. They’re small and probably insignificant to him but I don’t want him knowing because they are the things I don’t like about myself. I continue to put my best foot forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A healthy relationship evolves. It’s not instantaneous. With in this “heathy evolving relationship “ new this are discovered that may be stunning. Just like bait and switch-this isn’t part of the original package. But all of this should be a two way street. It happens to him in regard to you also. Life is complicated on a normal day. These are the true test of bait and switch.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. While I’m still thrilled by the ideas of passion and love, I’m afraid I’m not seeing it a lot lately. People are partnering up as a matter of convenience, of increasing their material wealth and financial stability. I really hope someday I’ll get a glimpse of true love again.

    Liked by 1 person

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