“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
A wise friend once told me, that for the first year of every relationship you are not dating the person, you are dating their representative! Pretty funny, right? I believe this is fundamentally true. I think in love relationships as in life we all wear masks. Not to say that this is a bad thing. I mean we, most of us, would act differently around out mothers than we would around our closest friends and even our bosses and co-workers. This is how we navigate in society and while our primary M.O. is usually constant we are adaptable and able to change when circumstances require it. So it goes without saying that when we are dating we do what we can to make the best impression on a potential partner. Some people are better at this than others and it may take a lot longer to get to know those people than it does to get know people who are not so good at it.
I was told over and over again by my X and by my daughter in particular that I should try to be more like the former. I am too right out there with what I am thinking. I have often been told that I am TOO honest, if that’s even possible, and that I need to learn when to keep my mouth shut. In essence in “love” relationships, especially in the beginning less is more. But what the fuck is up with that? I am not good at coy disguises and I believe that being up front with someone is the most important quality a person can have, but you know, when you hear it from more than one person you start to question yourself and your primary beliefs and worse yet you start to question the true motivation of others. Am I dating him or his representative? Is it real or is it Memorex? Since I am up front and out there with everything almost right from the beginning, I unconsciously believe that everyone else is too! That for the most part people are as honest with me as I am with them and that simply is not true. Alternatively people who are secret keepers and who are less honest also believe that everyone else is like them and that must truly suck! In some ways dating is like a really long job interview and I was never too good at those either, telling more than was necessary of the truth and failing miserably as well. I think that is why I work for myself. I can’t stand bullshit artists and I simply don’t bullshit well, unless I have too, then I am a fabulous liar, but never in my personal life and I hate the idea that I have to alter my personality to be coy and mysterious when I’m not and eventually I will be found out, I mean eventually when you live with someone everything comes out doesn’t it? And wouldn’t you like to know everything sooner rather than later? I certainly would! Probably not on the first date or even the second or third, but definitely before I crawl into bed with you.
I was talking to another close friend about a surgery I am scheduled to have and before I chose a surgeon I interviewed 5 doctors and still I was afraid I had chosen the wrong one. I said, “What if my bad choice in men bleeds over into the way I choose surgeons?” Being the highly intelligent creature she is, (My friends are so smart), she said, “But you’ve done your homework, you’ve done the research, it’s sad, but true, that most people never do any research about their love interests or the people they date, they simply jump headlong into the relationship without finding out who they are with or what their track record is!” I found that answer to be a little bit of genius and I promised myself I would never get into another relationship with someone without doing my homework! It makes too much sense not to!
How do you know if you are dating him or his representative?
Well, pay attention. I’ll say it again pay attention. Peek behind the mask. Watch how he acts around friends, his mother, his children and if he isn’t willing to let you into that world where you can observe him, don’t let him into your pants! That is the mistake I have always made in the past, only to find out later that he treated his mother like shit and his home looked like an atom bomb went off inside spewing debris everywhere or I’ve seen the alternative where his home was so meticulous that he alphabetized his canned goods, it should have been a warning to me, but that warning came too late because I had already gotten too intimate too soon. For me and probably for most women, (not all), having sex equates to feeling really connected to someone and then the blinders go up because we want more and then it’s too late to nip it in the bud. So find out if you are dating him or his representative before you let the relationship get physical. It’s only good common sense, unless you just want to get laid and then it doesn’t really matter does it?