“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…