But so many of us will.
We are a generation in love with getting what we want, when we want it. The idea of dating for years is fast becoming a myth of yesteryear. We have fallen in love with the idea of falling in love.
The entire process is broken and it starts with dating, the big con. If we are honest we know that all of us, and I include myself in this, lie like a used car salesman to our prospective partner. We pretend we have our act together, that our problems are minor; that we are sophisticated. What guy hasn’t pee’d on the rim of his girlfriend’s toilet so she won’t hear him splash. What girl hasn’t pretended she has it all together to keep the man of their dreams from knowing how crazy she really is?
Dating is all a big lie. If it isn’t a lie it surely is a misrepresentation of what we are in for if we buy the entire package. Almost without exception each of us is tempted to skew the truth, to reinvent ourselves as to be more palatable. It’s very important to understand that this person you are interested in isn’t really this person you are interested in. That man you are so intrigued with because he is such a good listener may not, in point of fact, be sensitive at all.
Every guy knows women fall for that sensitivity crap. You aren’t as mysterious as you think you are. I see you at a crowded bar and know that I want to impress you (why are you looking for a guy at a bar anyway?). Most guys will come on too strong but I’m the guy who loves to listen. I won’t even hit on you, you’ll know I’m different. You are looking for someone who is emotionally available so I ask you about yourself, your life, your dreams; because with me it’s all about you.
Yuck. But women in their thirties and forties eat that crap up. We know you’ve been burned. We know you are looking for a guy who is emotionally in tune, who is strong like a man but sensitive like the stereotypical gay man.
It’s all a game, but a game that can break your heart and steal your soul. It is incredibly important that single people realize that decisions made after a few weeks or months are extremely risky and the likelihood of finding your love of a lifetime in a few short weeks is next to impossible.
I will repeat this again so that there is no confusion. If you get into a serious relationship with someone after only a few dates or weeks you are almost guaranteed to have your heart broken because you really have no idea what you are getting involved with and the likelihood that this person is right for you is infinitesimally small.
It is no sin to want to impress the opposite sex but it may be one to make a lifelong commitment to someone you barely know and haven’t known through at least four seasons (a little nod to Dr. Laura Schlesinger there). I have an entire course on learning to speak so the other partner can hear. It takes a commitment to live sacrificially with another person, gay or straight, that is incredibly difficult and painful, no matter who you marry or shack up with.
Oh, and one other thing. Several times a month I am informed by someone who wants this oh so badly that there are exceptions to the rule. Yes there are, and chances are you aren’t one of them. I only say this from counseling thousands, actual thousands of people in relationships, so what do I know?
The stark reality is that you are signing up to live with someone for fifty years based on a few months of information. Any guy can pretend to be sensitive for a month or two. Any woman can pretend that she wants everything he wants, for a while. Living together in a lifelong commitment has very little in common with today’s dating rituals. Marriage/ living together takes place in what we call the real world – the world of diapers, arguments, problems and financial commitments, with two species who don’t have a clue what the other is thinking trying to make a life together.
Making it in this world is hard. Making it with another person is challenging and you deserve a chance at success and happiness, so don’t settle for Mr. Right Now instead of Mr. Right. You are incredibly special and need to be as picky as you can before you give away your heart and your future to someone who may trample your soul.
Take the time to find out about that other person. Don’t trust your heart – use your head. You’ll be glad you did.
And don’t get me started on cyber-dating!