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?


57 thoughts on “Nope- Not Doing It

  1. Intention is at the heart of the matter. If you try to enjoy something your partner likes and end up not liking it is okay, maybe even find a new thing that you like, but doing it to make them think you are someone else is just false. I love sports but never really did the team thing, so being there to cheer my husband on in his pursuits was fun. When he said we should try tennis together it failed miserably and we both knew it, it was a trial. I believe as a couple it is very important to have your own hobbies and activities that are yours alone so as not to lose yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I thought carefully about this before answering. I’m pretty sure my husband knew exactly what he was getting with me. I never feigned liking a sport—I was actually a bigger football fan than he was. I dove head first into motorcycling, and while I admit it’s something I likely never would’ve done if he weren’t into it, I loved it just the same. I do think he thought I’d magically morph into a more docile housewife type, though—someone like his mom. It took us many years to come to terms on that.
    He did do things during courtship that he dropped almost immediately upon saying “I do”, namely dancing and going to events with live music. But I knew he hated dancing, so that wasn’t a surprise.

    Now, my former daughter-in-law became a whole different person after she and my son married. I mean, night and day. It was weird. I still love her, and she’s a really good mom, but she was an almost psychotic wife.


      1. I’ve been thinking about your statement about maybe assuming you would be like his mother…I think that happens a lot…that’s an interesting topic

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh geez, just had the chance to read comments. I actually said to the ex more than once something along the lines of “I’m sorry you didn’t marry your mother…”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. great post……..I think we tend to be very unrealistic about our ideas of marriage and everyone wants to present themselves in the best light…………then we get marriage and have to figure out how to live with each other and not quite the person we thought s/he was.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m thinking back to my younger days in the 80’s and all those books about how to get a guy as you know the older you got the more likely you’d end up being shot by a terrorist than get married. Whole books devoted on how to be someone you’re not….now I think we were so stupid and brainwashed to read and believe all that stuff! But I suppose the truth is people got married younger then, before their true selves evolved, so if you waited there was less to chose from, until you were older and all the divorces started!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Most lawyers will tell you that marriage is a contract. In the contract there are more than one party and each party is exchanging something for something they want. Especially in marriage the warning for consumers about buyer beware is completely apropos

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I do think some people switch when they feel they’ve won the prize. My (late) second husband took me to the theatre often before we married. Afterwards it was extremely rare. I went to a few sporting events with him before we married and only joined him afterwards if the seating was absolutely prime.
    The difference was I never pretended to like football. He pretended to like theatre. I watched or went to our hometown team games because it was a social event and my son worked for the team after college, so he was able to get us press box seats. Now that I enjoyed! But the difference was I never said I particularly liked the game. I knew the local players and cared about them. But football as a game? No thanks. I can take it or leave it if my hometown team isn’t playing. However, getting free food in an air conditioned luxury box? Chatting with local sports reporters and their spouses etc. was a lot of fun. I never enjoyed sitting in the hot Miami sun in the stands with screaming fans who painted their faces.

    I went to the ballet with my sister, not my husband. He never pretended to enjoy that. But, I didn’t mind an afternoon at a sports bar where he watched the game and had chicken wings and I had a salad and chatted with another couple. So, We compromised about sports. I think that’s the deal in a partnership. Sometimes you suck it up, other times it’s not worth it.

    I know now my late husband pretended to like the arts when he dated me. I was very clear about my love of theater, art, literature, poetry etc. He pretended to enjoy all that too. Until he confessed years later that he really didn’t care for it very much. He was a history professor and unless there was a historical element to what we were seeing he wasn’t very interested. Luckily we both enjoyed antiquing. But, we figured it out.

    In any event, what I realize is that I’ve always been honest about MY likes and dislikes. I just understand now that some men aren’t as up front as I am. I’m sure plenty of women feign liking things to snag a husband. I just never did.
    I think as we mature and relationships settle in, people get more comfortable and honest with themselves and about what they like or dislike. If it happens right away then that’s Not a good sign. But over time it’s pretty natural in a relationship for individuals to develop a more evolved sense of self.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I cannot speak to this topic having not experienced it. We were who we were before we got married, have evolved into who we are now. The truth is a good thing. Makes life much easier in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow – interesting post! Honestly I don’t think I did the bait and switch because I can’t not be me. It doesn’t work because I’ve got no game. So my ex knew who he was getting. And I did try the skiing thing and hated it so I would be the snow bunny in the lodge, perfectly content to wait for him to return from skiing. And because he liked to go alone or meet up with friends, that worked for us. And I don’t think he really did the bait and switch per se either, but there was a mask there, underlying half truths that in my rose-colored glasses, I ignored. But I do know of others who faked being ok with sports but didn’t really like them at all and now have to live with a sports fanatic! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is interesting that we only see what is presented on social media. For example: someone writes a blog with a dog for the picture but then mentions they enjoy wearing make up and getting all dressed up to go out, if only to the supermarket. We don’t see the husband. We only see what the blogger presents. Husband and wife may have a deal worked out: maybe she gets a hefty allowance or he is cross between Matthew McConaugh and Sean Penn. I don’t know…do you know what I mean?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You pose some very interesting observations. I believe “bait and switch” has more to do with what the ulterior motives are than simply trying to genuinely like what your proposed mate likes. Entrepreneur loves golf. I tried to like it. I did agree to go and learn the game so we’d have something to do together. But, soon it was evident I have no interest or aptitude for the sport. I love the arts, museums and theatre. He has appeased me by going to some things, but I know he doesn’t enjoy it so I don’t ask him to go anymore. Yes, that is why we have friends! It’s sad when someone purposely presents themselves as something they are not simply to “win the prize.” A strong marriage is finding enough things to do together to strengthen the relationships, but realizing it will be necessary for each to nurture their separate interests without feeling guilty. I believe the secret to success lies in having the same core values and beliefs and not placing more importance on liking the exact same extra-curricular activities. But, you do raise good points about being upfront and honest in the beginning so the other person knows exactly what to expect after the ring is on the finger! You always pose such insightful and intriguing questions. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Yes. Yes. And Yes. To answer your question, I fell into this because I didn’t have a clear sense of identity (something I’ll blog about soon); however, I don’t see it as a bait and switch, per se. It’s just that as I began to learn what I actually liked, then I let some things go that I’d established doing with my husband. Likewise, we were both raised in the Midwest. When we moved to Florida, I found that I really liked the beach, but he didn’t, so I think in this case, he didn’t really know that he’d dislike something I enjoyed so much.

    But, I do think people are still intentionally baiting and switching because they’re still trying to “find a wife/husband.” And as long as we’re still trying to FIND someone, like a pot of gold, then I think we’re gonna keep baiting and switching as a plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. One of my biggest issues with all of this is the lack of honest and open communication. Why in the world aren’t people just sitting down and discussing things they like and don’t like and putting metaphorical asterisks on those things that are deal breakers? Seriously?! The alternative is to end up with a partner you are unhappy with because they aren’t the person you want them to be or who you thought they were.

    Yes, sometimes something changes where you no longer enjoy something you used to or that you simply cannot do any more for a number of reasons (change in health being one), but to allow another person to believe one thing when it is the opposite is so wrong and creates so many problems for everyone involved in the long run.

    And no, it really isn’t as simple as I made it sound. It took me years and one failed marriage to finally figure it out for myself, but it is something that I emphasize repeatedly with my kids when discussing relationships so hopefully they have a good handle on a better way of doing things when it is their turn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Chiming in here–we did talk, long talks about what I believed were likes, dislikes, the future, etc. Honestly nothing was so horrid that there were no deal breakers on my side, which I realized turned out to be completely naive on my part as things I thought I could cope with or “change” in him became unbearable. I rushed into something way to fast and it took me a long time to realize it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That whole concept of “they will change” is another one of those fun lessons. Unfortunately, I expected my ex to change by growing up and actually act like an adult. Silly me.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s an interesting question. I think me and my ex remained consistent throughout. The reasons for our separation and subsequent divorce didn’t have to do with our interests changing after marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. No bait and switch here! But you do raise a good point, for I think it does happen a lot!
    When we were dating I told him to not expect a Rachel Ray in the kitchen or Martha Stewart as far as decorating and cleaning goes and he said that he wasn’t Bob Viola, Mr. Fix it Man. And its still that way, but just to be clear, he does get good meals and our house is clean, just not magazine perfect. LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. My first husband change over night and not in a good way, however my second husband new me very well, we grew up together. I do think that we all put on a show of some sort when we meet new people, even the people who say they don’t. That show may be likable or unlikable. Very few people turn out to be the person you met at first

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I think the problem is that most of us get married when we’re still fairly young, and at that age, we still have a tendency to try to present ourselves as the person we think others want us to be. So sometimes that happens with a potential spouse, too. As we age, we become more comfortable just being ourselves and dealing with whatever that happens to get us. Maybe we should all wait until we’re over fifty to get married!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s