Reality Check: For Real?

There’s a thought-provoking TV commercial where a beautiful young woman expresses, “I believe the earth is our future; our children’s future.” The love-struck young fella across the table agrees, “We are so the same! For real!”

What a coincidence! What a delight! Two like-minded people finding each other, presumably to go on living happily ever after with their shared belief systems, shared values, and shared lives.

The ominous fly in the ointment, though, is when buddy sneaks a look out the window at his honkin’ big gas-guzzler man-truck.  Guess he won’t be driving her home in that! By next date, he’ll be driving a hybrid, possibly sporting a “Save the Whales” bumper sticker for good measure.

Let’s skip ahead a few years. What are the prospects of an on-going satisfying relationship?

By then, even though the young man may still be enthralled with his beautiful mate, he may be slightly less enthralled about a life filled with the same activities that he pretended to enjoy when he was attempting to win her heart.

Weekends spent with his eco-minded partner volunteering for roadside trash pickup might look a lot less attractive than his now-banished dream of zooming through the woods in a 4-wheeler. Hmmm. But his partner would never suspect that he has such thwarted wishes. Why would she? He never expressed them.

Will they be able to maintain a satisfying relationship?  It’s possible that they may continue for years; he having made the internal calculation that to keep her, he will never reveal his “real” self, his real wishes, and real values.

However, do you think she will start to figure out that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t exactly as he has presented himself to be?

Perhaps he’ll wait until marriage (gotcha!), or after a baby or two, and then slowly slide into the person he really is. “She says she loves me; she should accept me for who I am.” Let’s forget that I’m someone quite different than I pretended to be.

It’s also possible that she recognizes their incompatibility of values, but chooses to turn a blind eye. She can see through him; his pretense is to try to please her. Great! “That just shows how much he loves me. After we get married, I’ll turn him into the man I want him to be.”

Does it bode well if a relationship is based on, “I love you; I just don’t like this and this and this about you. Please change”? Consider how you’d feel if you knew that your mate wanted to turn you into someone that you’re not? Not great, eh?

Some choices have consequences that are not pretty. One is winning someone over by pretending to be someone that you’re not. Another is trying to externally control your mate so they’ll “turn” into the one you want.

Is it better to be honest from the start, even if that means that you lose any chance with the beauty? Might that leave open the possibility of meeting a gal who actually likes to go 4-wheeling?  Would that be a more promising relationship? What do you think?

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