Monday, July 15, 2013

Hiding behind the truth?

I find it very interesting when I run into women who make excuses for the guys they are seeing. I’ve heard things like, “He’s just scared”, “He was hurt before and isn’t ready to get involved”, “He’s has really changed!”…uh oh ladies! Has he really changed or has the way you look at his actions changed? Don’t you think it’s interesting that we can always see a train wreck coming when we’re standing on the outside…but if we’re standing on the tracks, we keep expecting the train to get out of our way and are surprised when it runs us over? It’s nobody’s fault really. It’s human nature to want to trust and believe in the people around us. The trouble with that is that so often, the people around us are telling us exactly what their intentions are, but we choose to interpret what we want their words to mean. I had a guy in my life once that I had clearly told that I didn’t want to date him. One day, his mother showed up and asked me what was going on between us? I replied, “Nothing. I’ve told him we aren’t dating.”…She seemed surprised and asked, “Then why the prolonged game?”…huh?…I was actually very upset by this. I mean…we were hanging out in the evenings and having dinner with his family but I thought that the underlying relationship issue had been dealt with by having the conversation about how we weren’t dating….right?…wrong!…My actions were apparently negating my words. I decided that we were spending time together as friends and that it was apparently all right with him. Judging from his mother’s words, he saw things (or at least she did) differently. So what could I have done differently? I suppose I could’ve told him to go home due to the fact that we weren’t “seeing each other.”…BUT- it’s the old, “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?” adage…only more like, “why send the guy home if he wants to have dinner with you and you’ll only sit here alone if he does … it’s his choice…he knows where I stand… I’m proud of myself for being so honest… I’m glad we’re not dating anymore… if you can watch a movie with the cow for free while free to roam the pasture for a cow you’d rather watch a movie with” adage… I call it the common acronym “WSTGHIHWTHDWYAYOSHAIHC”…It’s likely that the acronym isn’t catching on though (too many ‘W’s). It’s better known as self-preserving behavior that rationalizes away the affects it is having on the other person who cares too much about you to make their own judgment call about what it is!

We have all done it at one time or another I guess. I have a friend who has been with a girl since she was 21 years old and now, 8 years later, he is still adamant about telling her in no uncertain terms that he will never marry her. I hope, for her sake, that “he’s changing” because in another 5 years or so, she might find herself on a lecturing circuit selling my books to 30somethings who have wasted their time with people who hid behind the truth throughout most of their adult lives and have waken up and asked, “What now?”

We can try to make a difference in this area by really being honest with ourselves about the reasons we spend time with certain people. If it’s a fear of being alone, it’s not really a good enough reason to waste the time of another person. The trouble is that explaining that to someone who is begging to stand in front of the train is often a fruitless effort! It’s not easy to protect someone else if they won’t at least try to protect themselves a little. We should just remember that someone might end up standing in front of you one day blaming you for stealing her life. Is it really worth it to be able to tell her, “but I told you so.”…