I think this has been a long time coming. I always wanted to write about this subject. It is a rather enormous subject that couldn’t be fully discussed in a small text, but I will try my best to talk about part of it. I am surprised I never wrote about it. I couldn’t say why. Was it out of fear? Was it how it might be interpreted? Well, whatever the reasons were, it doesn’t matter. I am going to take a crack at it. Yet, me, the single guy, talking about relationships might sound hypocritical or not. I probably won’t be taken seriously, or I could always be ridiculed. As if it matters…

The basis of every text I have ever written is that I don’t have all the answers, nor am I perfect. If you read them, you will realize that I ask more questions than I give answers. When it comes to relationships, I have some answers and some insights, as I am old enough to have been in a few of them. Now, I must admit that I have encountered a problem in all my previous relationships, a problem I have been trying to shake off for years. Perhaps I found the answer to the problem. The hardest thing is admitting one’s own shortcomings, but time and perspective are great teachers and they humble you. The problem I am talking about will be in a form of a question.

Question: why do people pretend to be someone they are not in the beginning of any relationship? Perhaps it is better to say that most people go out of their way to please their prospective partner. We have all done it I believe. You can see guys and girls trying to appear a certain way, to talk, walk and be different than they usually are. They pretend to be someone they are not. Why? What is the thought process behind those actions? Are people afraid that if they don’t pretend they won’t be liked? Are they scared of showing their true selves? What are they afraid of? I am asking because I don’t know. I am one of those people who went out of their way to please a girl. I have. Nothing to be ashamed of I suppose, not because I did it, but because it is a weird behaviour that isn’t inherently bad, but rather peculiar. By the way, pleasing someone isn’t an issue. It is the keeping up with that pleasing that is nearly impossible, especially if you faked it or went over your way to do it.

An action that isn’t natural will not last. Yet, we do it and then we are surprised if the partner gets mad because we stopped doing that thing he/she loves. How can they not get mad? If you offered flowers, then keep offering flowers. If you texted him every morning, then keep texting. It is a sad reality that things change, because people change, and relationships change as well.

Let’s get personal: I don’t open the car door for women. I do not. If we are going towards the car and I am about to drive but we go from the side where we reach her door first, I would open the door, or not. If this doesn’t make me a gentleman, well, there isn’t anything I can do about it. Maybe that is why I am single! Goddamn it!! They say opening the door is sign of gallantry. But I never grew up seeing my dad doing that for my mother, who still is one of the most independent women I have ever seen. She opens her own door. I saw that in the movies, never in real life. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect you or anything like that. I don’t do it because, as stupid as it sounds, I don’t think it is my job to open the door for you. Women don’t need me to open their door for them and I have never met a woman that mentions that as a basic condition to be with her. My job is to love you, care about you, respect you, take care of you if need be, but opening the car door, nope. Weirdly enough, I do open any other door, but not the car door. I cannot explain it.

My point is, I will tell you from the start. Please do not expect me to open the car door and only the car door for you. But, I have done other things that I wasn’t totally ok with to please a girl I was seeing or dating. Why though? Perhaps, being young and not entirely knowing who you are can push you to make certain choices. But, getting older and becoming wiser, allow you to be more comfortable with yourself and you suddenly find yourself being blunter, telling it like it is, and you tolerate less and less things that annoy you. Some would say you become less open to compromise as well. Perhaps there is some truth to that…

What I am just saying that we, and I mean all of us, should keep the same energy. Whatever you do at the beginning in the relationship, make sure you do during the relationship. If you text her/him, keep texting her/him. If you offer flowers, keep offering flowers. Don’t wait for valentine’s day. Don’t wait for a birthday to offer her/him a gift. Remember how you paid attention to her/him when you were dating? Remember the honeymoon phase? Try to keep it alive. Try. Consistency is key remember? Loving someone is like exercise; if you stop, that muscle will atrophy, and you will lose certain reflexes. I am just saying…I don’t have all the answers, but I know that pretending will never get me or anyone else far. That I know for a fact.

A relationship will last if you are real. That goes for any relationship by the way. If you are fake or if you pretend, your act has an expiration date, just like most things in life. Your true self will come out eventually and then your partner might find themselves being surprised. I guess the idea is to be real from the beginning. I know it is hard, believe me! But no one can tell you that you weren’t real! Plus, if you are real from the beginning, you will be liked for you, not someone you pretend to be. I believe you are enough as you are. If you are real, the right people will like you anyway.

Just one single man’s opinion!

Now smile and go on with your day.

Freeman. B

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