Lack of effort extends more to just physical attributes. Sometimes one will pretend to like an activity just because the potential mate enjoys it- men will say that they love going dancing, or a woman will say that she wants nothing more than to spend Sunday afternoons on the couch cheering on the local football team…and as soon as the courtship ends and the vows are taken…the dancing shoes and the team logo painted faces are gone…the courtship is really over.
Why do we do certain things when we are courting, and then stop once we’ve landed the prize?
I know courtship is an old fashioned word. And I know it’s not politically correct to say that some one might have landed a mate…but semantics aside, isn’t that what we do? Don’t we sometimes act one way before marriage, and a different way after?
I really don’t like skiing. Before I was married I would accompany my not yet husband on ski weekends, but I think it was pretty evident by my cursing and huffing that I didn’t really like skiing. And after we had our daughter, I stopped skiing. Entirely.
Was that bait and switch? Did my husband think he was marrying a skier?
I think deep down he knew that with a lack of time and disposable income my skiing career would come to a close. But deep down I think he was annoyed that I didn’t want to ski anymore…
Did he have a right to be annoyed?
Or did I have the right to say- OK- too expensive, too time consuming for something I get little pleasure out of?
Let’s flip the coin: I love culture- my husband likes it, but doesn’t have the same passion for it that I do. Before we were married, he went to everything with me. Now, I pick and choose what I ask him to do. Main stream movies a yes, exhibits curated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a go, as is classical music. Anything cutting edge, avant garde or experimental is a no. A big fat no- because he just doesn’t enjoy these things quite as much as I do.
Was this bait and switch?
No. Just because we are a couple doesn’t mean that we have to like the exact same things. This is why we have friends. We have friends who share our interests and we spend time with them doing the things our partner may not like as much as we do.
So why do people present themselves as one thing before marriage and then stop entirely after?
Now my ex husband is a prime example of bait and switch. Before we were married he did everything with me. After we were married he stopped doing just about anything with me. it was a chore to get him to go to dinner or a movie or actually move out of his office. He was perfectly content doing 100% his own thing and not spend time with me at all…on anything. He presented as someone who did things, when in reality he was a hermit… On our honeymoon he wanted to sit in the hotel room and watch TV…that’s how quick the switch happened….He was ten years older than me and wanted to have kids, and on paper I was a good candidate to bear them… he had an agenda…
The problem with courtship is that we are living in an alternate universe- we have stars in our eyes and we might not see what is actually in front of us. Deep down we probably know that something is ‘off’ but we refuse to acknowledge what it is, because at some point we have our eye on the ‘prize’. Societal expectations are that we be paired up- many people still look at singles and say- ‘wow- what is wrong with them that they can’t find a partner?’ That’s when we let our better judgement slide away, because we so want to be part of a couple…we will do anything to let the world know that we are not weird, that we are worthy of love, because look…here’s my partner… I need this person in my life because I want to accomplish something that I can’t do by myself…
We often exchange our authentic self for a chance at the gold ring…
But then, once the deal is sealed, the papers are signed- we revert back to who we are because it is too hard to keep up the charade…
And does it matter if we change after the ceremony?
Didn’t we get what we ‘want’?
Expectations. In the end, it all comes down to what we truly want. Do we want to be in a relationship, or do we want a true partner? Do we want a biological parent for our offspring? Do we just want to be married?
Your end goal helps determine your actions beforehand- you may not think you’re planning…but you really are. If your goal is to be married- what lengths are you going to in order to get there? Are you willing to pretend to be someone else? Are you doing exactly what your potential partner wants just to snare them?
Maybe we don’t use the words courtship and trap anymore…but are we still performing the actions?