feed Subscribe to feed

So I read that most women go into relationships virtually with blinders on.

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Friday, November 22, 2002 at 12:36 am by flerly.

Sure, the first few months of any relationship are supposed to be the “shiny, new, getting to know you” days, but for most people you probably can’t keep your hands off each other long enough to really learn anything about that person.

Apparently some pychiatrist-type-person-turned-author decided that although many women think they are getting to know their man, they really already have developed a pre-conceived background for their fellow, which causes them to either neglect to ask or notice certain things that may take away from that fantasy. Now, we’re not talking “He’s got a super-hero secret identity, is an undercover spy, or even he volunteers at the free-clinic in his spare time he’s such a saint”, but more realistic, simple fantasies, probably based off the initial impression he made on them.

Now anybody who has ever played a White Wolf RPG knows the concept of Natures and Demeanors (and I’m sure they got it from someplace, but, alas, WW is my reference on this) and should know that most people you encounter only ever get to see your Demeanor… the self-image you project … “in public” if you will. It usually takes some serious effort to hit upon a person’s true nature.

Thus I think was the point of this article. Most women never really dig beneath the demeanor. They don’t try to find out the true nature of their man, and this is what really got me, but psychiatrist-type-person-turned-author actually claimed that there was evidence that most women actually IGNORE clues to the true nature of their man. They don’t WANT to know the real him. They WANT him to be the “him” they imagine he is… the “him” they fell in love with, you might say.

Apparently this whole study was centered around an examination of long term relationships, and how problems seem to “come out of nowhere” for women. In essence, one day these girls wake up and see their man for what he really is (and I don’t mean to imply BAD, just different.. the REAL inner self), and frequently they are horrified! They insist “he’s changed!” — when really, he is exactly the man they fell in love with. He just finally let his guard down… or perhaps she finally started paying attention.

I was perusing this particular book the other day after a lengthy relationship-type-conversation with my dearest niece. The parallels in our relationships right now are amazing. Very short courtships, living together and moved up to that serious-level with almost no prelude. Been together about the same time, and even their day to day grind/issues/stuff is pretty similar…

So after reading this, I shared it with her, along with the psychiatrist-type-person-turned-author’s proposed advice for women in relationships… and I felt like sharing it with you, too. Personally, I think most of this advice applies to men, too… please correct me if you disagree.

Anyway, the psychiatrist-type-person-turned-author simply said… make the effort to get to know each other. Realize it takes a lot of time for people to reach a comfort level, even with someone they profess to love, where they actually feel free to be themselves. Sure, there may come a day when you find out something you never expected, but don’t always think “he’s changed! I don’t know who he is anymore!” … instead realize that no matter how well you think you know a person, there is always more to them. People are complex creatures, and the learning about each other is all part of the shared-relationship experience. Just when you think things are going stale… maybe you’ll realize there are whole new levels to your partner which you can explore.

Problem, of course, is when the something new is something really unexpected, maybe something you judge as “bad”. This just makes me think of the lame poptart/toaster-strudel commercial I’ve been seeing lately, so i’ll use it for an example…. if you love each other, if you’re happy and in love and have no doubts about each other, then one day you find out that the pop-tart you have lovingly been slipping into his morning briefcase as a snack for the ride to work he has been secretly trading with his carpool buddy for a toaster strudel which he prefers, but he just never had the heart to tell you…. does it mean all your love is a lie?

Fuck no. He is still the same man. You are still the same woman. You were just both overcome with such a desire to please each other that the situation arose because he couldn’t bear to hurt your feelings. Instead of “oh my god he’s changed”, this is clearly reaching a whole new relationship level.

Sure the poptart analogy makes light of what could actually be a really bad revelation (like movie bad–he’s a serial killer who fell in love with you and is reformed), but still the principle is the same…. finding these things out means the relationship is at a new level. Good or bad, how you decide to deal with the knowledge will depend, but always remember that only by going into relationships without blinders can these things be revealed.

That way, you don’t wake up one day, three years down the road, saying to yourself… “Who is this man I live with?”, because you’ll already know. Let go of the fantasy.. the ideal.. and discover the real, complex, living-breathing human being that you propose to share your life with for who they are. Start today.


No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Search this blog