Happy Saturday morning, you guys. Weekend post comin’ atcha FACE. High kick, woot!
But first, a light warning…
This post centers around an adult-only topic, so I need you to pull out your Serious Helmet and slide it onto your Noodle whoa whoa whoa WHOA. …Did that just sound like I was talking about penises, or did that just sound like I was talking about penises. Wait a second, is it ‘penises?’ Seems weird but I’m coming off of 5 hours sleep— penes, maybe? Peonies. Okay……. you know what, I’m sorry. I’m sorry.
IN OTHER NEWS, I was talking about your noggin toboggan, the place that stores your brain. And what I was going to say was that you should secure it to your head with haste, and then put any nearby in-motion children into some sort of nailed-down hopper apparatus to keep them motionless and somewhat occupied, maybe grab a cup of tea or an Expresso Explosion from Starbucks depending on where you’re at with your caffeine dependency — and buckle up. Because it’s a bumpy road when you tell the world something you’ve been hesitant to share about your past with pretty much anyone for the majority of your adult life.
Some of you know I wasn’t sure Friday afternoon about publishing this article, as it’s highly personal. You know how I get a little gunshy when it gets into that area. But that was before TomKat was getting divorced. While the majority of us know little more than what we’ve read and seen in the tabloids, it’s hard to deny that there was something that felt off and uncomfortable about their relationship. At least to me. And when Katie met Tom, she just seemed to wilt from a full bloom to a wallflower, overnight. Like she lost her openness, and playfulness. …. her voice. Pretty much the essence of herself; the Katie Holmes that made her so likable back during her days as Joey on my beloved Dawson’s Creek. (If you’re too young to know what Dawson’s Creek is… I pity you.)
Anyway, after hearing the news of their decision to divorce, and thinking about Katie’s evolution as woman, and knowing that I, too, have been in a place in my life where I didn’t feel like I could speak up and that my truth was not worth hearing… and then listening to everyone on Twitter who encouraged me to publish this post, well, I felt like I should probably do it. But then, when I reminded myself how every time I choose to share a sort of secretive, really personal story on the blog I immediately don’t regret it as soon as I see other people sharing their own stories and perspectives, and even support in some cases; well…… I decided the f**k with it. Let’s do this. (*bites nails back and forth like they’re a harmonica*)
- I should begin this by promising you that I’m a very honest person most of the time; like a solid 94%. (I can’t help that I’m not gonna like a haircut every once in a while.) So this aspect of my personality we’re about to discuss is only a sliver of the whole enchilada; it does not rule me, nor have I ever allowed it to, if it tried.
Ok. I have something to admit: Back about a century ago when I was still flitting around the footloose and fancy free world of dating in New York City (and the great state of North Cackalacky during my college days), I was what many might categorize as ‘your typical female.’ Which essentially translates to: feeling emotionally incapable of rejecting a man, I falsely conveyed interest where there wasn’t any or enough, proceeded to go on a handful more dates in an effort to avoid having to face the task of saying I wasn’t into him, and then finally falling off the face of the earth without any explanation once I couldn’t take it anymore.
In an ideal world, we’d go on a date, and if there wasn’t any chemistry, we’d have an effective, painless way of communicating that to the other person without it being too difficult for either person involved. Funny thing though; if you haven’t been outside lately, the world’s nothing like that. Worse, some of the people in it can a real bunch of derriere-holes, excuse my French.
So, instead, a lot of us hesitate to be honest with one another. Let’s talk about women, in particular. Now, not to generalize or anything… but generally, we ladies are seen as a bit of a dishonest bunch when it comes to guys. Whether it’s about telling the man we love what we want emotionally, or if it’s just keeping it real on a third date, a lot of us are not all that great (for whatever reason) at telling the men in our lives what’s really on our mind.
Chances are, half the things that men have heard throughout their lives from the various women with whom they’ve come in contact are indeed, stretches of the truth. Also, “half” is a conservative estimate. And interestingly, this proclivity so many of us have for lying seems to run the gamut of things you might imagine a lady would consider lying about. For example, I’m betting a huge load [SHUT UP] of guys out there are currently walking around unaware of the fact that maybe they actually don’t have the biggest one their girlfriend’s ever seen, or that her Magic Number (of sexual partners) isn’t actually two, but in fact twoooowenty. And the list goes on.
But. It can’t be that we leave the birth canal feeling some natural compulsion to hold back the truth when it comes to being honest with a man. Right? So what is it? What happens to so many women, that embeds in us this compulsion to be dishonest, and/or to hide our deepest needs and feelings?
My most ruthless moment of exemplifying this kind of behavior was in college, approximately *cough-cough* years ago; the day my then boyfriend told me he loved me on the steps of my dorm. It was a huge emotional step for him; he’d never said it to anyone before. And he wasn’t the most confident person in the world, and I’d always worried for him and probably dated him for as long as I did because I think I sort of wanted to fix/help him. So yeah, guess how I reacted when he said the love thing? I froze, looked at him for one second straight in the face, SCCRRREEEAAAAMMED, and then ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction. I ended up running all the way from north campus to south campus just to avoid dealing with him. Explaining the fact that I didn’t feel the same way (and that I didn’t yet know it for sure until just now) was a worse option than having exercise-induced asthma and running two miles nonstop without my emergency spray.
Sometimes I think about how my sudden abandonment might have affected him in his future relationships. Because I imagine it must have had the kind of effect that unrequited love has on pretty much all of us, especially so early on in our emotional development. Let’s just say it wasn’t one of my proudest moments, and I still feel terrible about it. But… I wasn’t always this way.
Now; you’re probably thinking that was the most callous thing I could have possibly done to him. How could I do that? You’re right; it was, and how could I? And who really knows the collection of reasons any person does anything. But… I do have some ideas.
I think that when it comes to dating and relationships, a lot of people see women as generally dishonest by nature, and that when we’re dishonest, we do it for some kind of self-serving – or worse, malicious – reason. And while there are always exceptions to the rule, I see a need to set the record straight here, on behalf of all of my sisters from other misters, all over the world. And I’m going to do it by sharing a pretty painful story from my past. I actually hate talking about it, cuz it makes me feel uncomfortable, even this many years later… in fact I’ve never shared with anyone other than my Mom and Honey.
The story I’m about to share in large part shaped the way I behaved around most boys/men when I was much younger, and still very much in the dating pool. And, while it’s my own, personal story, I’m convinced that the basic gist of the experience is something I have in common with countless other women, all over the world.
One night – a long, long time ago around the age I first started going out to clubs/bars… I was approached by a guy while talking with my friends. He seemed nice enough from where he was standing. Had a nice smile. But I wasn’t interested. I knew I wasn’t. But, being a human being well-versed in socially appropriate behavior like most of us, I smiled back because that’s what you do when someone smiles at you. I’m human, after all. Naturally, he saw it as a green light to move in. Next thing I know he’s approaching me, and he wants to strike up a conversation; talk to me away from my friends. He offers to buy me a drink. Knowing exactly where this was heading, I thought it would be kind and appropriate not to lead him on. I thought, that’s how you do this. This guy would appreciate a woman not wasting his time.
It kicked in naturally as the plan for all future interactions with potential suitors; honesty, sooner than later. It definitely *seemed* the best approach. After all, my Dad raised me to be honest, and always to be kind in that honesty.
Well, it wasn’t the best approach with this guy. No sireebob. Because the moment I rejected him in the nicest and least-attention-drawing way possible, he turned into The Devil Incarnate, hellbent on letting me know what a shitty unattractive piece of human waste I was, not worthy of any man’s affection, and that I’d probably die alone.
Take it all in. That’s what he said.
And so, I learned that day that if I wanted to avoid being assaulted verbally, or worse, physically… I’d better lie to every guy I ever meet for the rest of my life.
Sooner or later, I eased back into being more honest with the boys/men I dated. It helped tremendously that I had a few good men in my life (my Dad and brothers) who showed me by example that he’s not all that’s out there. But that one guy that one night, to this day he still impacts the way I interact with men. I can’t seem to kick that memory. Basically, he taught me that there are men out there who are pretty f**king insane, and that rejecting them is the turnkey to that facet of their personality.
Whew. Finally off my chest. You know, I almost feel lighter for sharing it, though it seems a little silly given that it happened a lifetime ago.
Anyway. All of that now brings me to the question I want to ask you today:
Have you ever had any bad dating experiences? Is there anything that happened in your past that you feel greatly impacted the way you interact with men in general? Another question: whether it’s someone you’re dating, or it’s your partner in life– do you ever find it hard to tell a guy the honest truth?
And lastly, generally speaking do you think one of the sexes is particularly *better* at handling honest criticism? I will accept both honest, and sarcastic, versions of an answer to this.
Oh and one more: tell me if you just want me to keep it up with the sprinklings of personal posts, or cool it. Not looking for accolades, just your honest feelings. ’Cause we’re girlfriends, all of us, right? We just haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet.
Hmmm. I’m starting to think I should probably look into organizing one of those Meet Up thingamahoobits. :)
xoxo - Alison
Image: taken by me with Instagram