Monday, January 14, 2013

The Change Up

While driving home from church this past Sunday, my husband and I were discussing his hair length (riveting conversation, I know).

"Please grow it long," I say. "You look so good with it long."

"No, because then I have to grow it super long and I don't like the in between phases," he protests.

"What the hell, it's like you pulled the rug out from under me when we got married," I say sarcastically.

"Well, if I pulled the rug out from under you, you imploded the ground I was standing on when we got married," my husband says with a chuckle.

Argument won. He had me stumped for a witty comeback. I had no choice but to laugh whole heartily for so long that my cheeks began to hurt.

What we are both referring to in our conversation, is what I believe to be a common theme in many relationships. Some of the things we loved so much in the other when we first met, the things that probably hooked us when we first met, are the same things that are no longer true about the other person (superficial things of course.)

For me, it was my husband's long hair. After his butt and striking jaw line, it was the next thing I noticed that really sealed the deal for me. Underneath his backwards hat, those wings just had me hooked. That along with his incessant texting and calling have since faded away, and I am left with a man with short hair who barely ever knows where his phone is. I guess I'll still keep him around.

For him, it was a few more things. My love of whiskey, hockey, football and lack of television watching. My tolerance for alcohol has since plummeted (what can I say, I have been pregnant 12 out of the 21 months we have been together) and I have resorted to only drinking beer. Though, I'd argue that I have always been a horrible drunk and just continued to drink whiskey. Anyways, my love of sports has faded away since I can no longer drink while watching sports and that sort of takes all the fun out of it and since becoming a pregnant housewife, unfortunately the only daytime television available is bad reality shows.  So he's left with a sober pregnant housewife of Pittsburgh, hopefully he still keeps me around.

But it got me thinking, this is so true of so many past relationships I have been in, as well as relationships I have seen my male and female friends in. The person they thought they were dating, turns out not to be that person at all. Sometimes, it is because of the best version of ourselves that we put forth when we are first getting to know someone we really like and sometimes, its just because we change over the course of that time of getting to know someone. Whether it be that we change for the person we are dating, which can be positive or negative or because we change because it is just a part of growing up.

I have a male friend who met his ex-girlfriend in a strip club. No she was not working there, just hanging out there. They got to know one another and he thought she was a great, nice girl. Whether she was changing for him or pretending to be someone else, it remains unclear. But they continued to date for a short time and she ended up being somewhat of a floozy and he thought she was cheating on her. When my friend came to me in distress about how heartbroken he was over this loss, I wanted to slap him in the face. You met her in a strip club and you are at a loss as to why she turned out to be a slut!? Pull yourself together my friend and take your foggy goggles off, she was pretending to be a nice girl t win the nice guy. Is this only clear to me?

In another situation, that I think it is safe enough to generalize, many men on many nights will meet a girl out at the bar. She'll be nice, coy, share the same interests and there will be a connection of sorts. You may go on to date these women and things will be going swimmingly until you have your first fight. At this point in time, she flips the switch and loses her mind. She suddenly is not acting like that intelligent, rational woman you met at Mario's, but like a crazed lunatic with crazy eyes to boot. She calls incessantly until you answer your phone, she calls your friends, shows up at the bar you are at after unreturned messages and screams at you in public. All the while, you are wondering and stumped as to what happened to that nice girl you met that only allowed you to hold her hand. Dude, that was not the real her. The only thing that happened to that girl, is that the guise came off and her true self appeared. So often, I receive complaints from men about women turning crazy. This is where they are wrong. They were always crazy, you just missed the subtle hints and clues that proved it.

The point is to tread lightly. If you are a person truly interested in finding a mate, whether is be for the short or long term, keep your eyes open. Do not hire a private investigator, but have some common sense. If a man says that he's a non-smoker but change smokes only when he drinks, I'm pretty sure that make him a smoker if he drinks 4 out of 7 days a week. If a woman tells you she really wants to be in a committed relationship, ask her why her previous ones didn't work out (i.e. did she cheat?) You'll be doing yourself a favor, as well as others when you spot the change up and go for the one not misleading you.