Last week I wrote about bait and switch, about how we sometimes don’t present ourselves accurately when we meet someone new or are in the beginnings of a relationship. G Sandwich remarked:
Don’t we all spruce ourselves up when we meet someone new?
That’s a fair question: I know I’ve agonized what to wear on a first date, or what to wear to a party when I knew the aim was to meet a guy. I’ve dressed more sexy, highlighted my assets, worn make up…done what I could to look my best… I mean, it’s sort of like the peacock fanning his feathers, we often do certain things so that we can be noticed by someone who we find attractive.
But how different is your “normal” look from the one you portray when you go out?
There’s a scene in the first episode of “Mrs. Maisel” where the title character gets up an hour before her husband, does her hair and her makeup and all, and gets back into bed so that he never sees her not looking her best. Of course- that was supposed to be the fifties, and I don’t advocate that behavior ( the lack of sleep would get to you after awhile), but I want you to think about this:
If you spend a lot of time and effort to look a certain way when you meet someone, to lure them in, why don’t you spend an equal amount of time once they are hooked?
In a relationship, how quickly do you go from full makeup and nice clothing to ponytail, lip balm and sweats?
I wear make up every day. I wear perfume every day. I do my hair (well- I’m not great with hair but I do what can be interpreted as working on it every day). I’m always clean. I do grooming every day. Every day.
I don’t do this so that my husband will find me attractive. I don’t do this so others will find me attractive.
I do this because it is who I am. I like make up and products and all these things. It is part of what makes me me…
If I am spending the day writing, I admit I am in sweats and a t shirt because that’s my comfy outfit for sitting in a chair for hours.
If I am going out, even just running errands, I am dressed. I get dressed in an outfit with jewelry and accessories no matter what I am doing. I do this because I like all these things and it makes me feel good about myself. I dress for me…
Yesterday I posted a picture of a dress. I wear this dress multiple times a week. I might wear it with a short tweed jacket for going out to a nice dinner. I might wear it with a moto jacket if I’m doing something trendy, or a cardigan for book club, or a long flannel dress for a museum outing. I switch up the shoes or the accessories, but I look a certain way whether I’m out with my husband, my friends, or just by myself. (full disclosure: I have stopped wearing heels- it’s change/evolution/growth/whatever, but I try to wear “nice” flats or low heels)
What are you saying to someone if you really go all out to look good in the beginning of a relationship, but then stop once the relationship is going on?
Are you saying that someone is only worth the effort if you are trying to lure them in?
Why would you represent yourself differently?
I get that love is supposed to be about the inner qualities- appearances shouldn’t matter…
Aren’t you sending a mixed message?
I must be attractive to get you to pay attention to me…
But then I can stop being attractive because now you are only supposed to love what’s inside?
Fall in love with the outer…
but then only love my inner…
If there are vast differences in how you present yourself to others when you meet them, there are eventually going to be issues. A woman might wonder why her spouse no longer shaves or gets regular haircuts. A man might wonder why his spouse no longer dresses sexy. They might love the inside, but the outer you was what was attractive in the first place…do they have a right to feel duped because you just don’t make an effort any more?
What’s the difference between sprucing up, and wearing a mask to hide who you really are?