Masks That We Wear

Who loves dating? Who hates it? I remember one of my former friends saying to her husband as we walked by a North Beach bar in San Francisco, "God, I'm so glad I have you."

I smile as I think about that moment. Not because I hate dating, nor do I love it. I embrace it as I would a dentist appointment. I's gots ta gets my teef cleaned. Or suffer some severe bad breath and painful cavities.

Now, I smiled because she's a bitch and she causes all the conflict in her relationship. She had asked me before she committed to her wedding vows if I could teach her husband how to be more outspoken. I laughed and said no. Because her husband was naturally effeminate, and as a result not loud. I guess I'm loud.

Dating various women for about a year, I've thought about why one out of two marriages fail. And it has a lot to do with the images in our heads. Just like my friend, the bitch, she had an image in her mind as to what her husband should act like. And believe me. She had a massive list of improvements for her husband and how their marriage should look like. It all came down to what other people perceived of them. He needed a college degree. He should have a good, proper job. They should have a house, not a condo. They should have children because the societal norm is to have children. They needed a minivan because that was how you cart around your children. Sedans just ain't cuttin' it no more. They should do family things.

Lawd help mah soul.

Within my circle of friends, one of the women had complained about my humor and subject of conversation. Apparently, when I was talking to a friend of mine, we had made some lewd jokes. That's how guys talk to each other. Women, too, when men aren't around, right? She complained to one of the guys, and he came up to us and asked if we could be more considerate.

Here's tha thang: the conversation was between me and another guy (grammar!). If she overheard us, that ain't my problem. I can't control what she listens to. And if she took offense, then that is 100% her issue because I can't control her delicate sensitivity. Then she put her foot down and said she would never hang out with the group if I was there. In my mind, I as like:

So how does this relate to the divorce rate in the good old You Ess of Hay? I wanted to use 'aye' but that sounds like 'eye'.

Our friend said that if this girl tells people that we're rude or lewd or crude or nude or that we like food, then our chances with some of those women will die. Die. End! Forever go away! Like never come back!

Oh. Mah. Gawd!

For me, if a girl can't keep up with me—humor, spontaneity, physically, honest conversation—or at least makes an attempt at some level, then she and I should not be in a relationship. Can that change in the future? Depends if she can keep up with me in the future. On the flip side, there are women that I can't keep up with, and we should not be together. This isn't a black and white rule that I live by. But it's a good guideline.

Why is it a good guideline?

Yeah, I would so love to see more of your family photos

Yeah, I would so love to see more of your family photos

Let's think about a first date. The guy picks up the girl, opens doors, pulls out chairs, suggests things on the menu, has vanilla conversation, avoiding sensitive subjects like politics and religion, and pays for dinner. What a guy. Aw.

The girl smiles, laughs at every joke, orders a salad and a light entree, holds her farts, excuses herself to fart, sits with good posture, and has vanilla conversation, avoiding sensitive questions like what's your FICO score, how steady is your job, do you have STDs, do you live with your mother? So nice.

The date ends and both have had a pleasant evening and decide a second outing should be on tap. Yay...

I'm itchy

I'm itchy

One month in...

"I love you."

"I love you more."

"You hang up."

"No, you hang up."

Three months later...

He loves sports and spends his Sundays with his buddies yelling at the boob tube. She'd rather have him spend time with her.

She loves shopping, but he never goes with her.

Both see these things as speed bumps and continue on.

A year later...

They're living together. He doesn't make the bed, clean the sink after every use, leaves his clothes all over the floor, and he doesn't like talking about anything of depth.

She has more and more girls' nights out, seems anal about cleanliness and prettiness, and gets pissed off that he won't go to church with her on Sundays.

But they've invested so much in their relationship that they get married.

Five years later...

"I hate you!"

"I hate you more!"

"Hang up!"

"No, you hang up!"

Why is one arm longer than the other?

Why is one arm longer than the other?

Had they been more real with each other, they may have avoided a long relationship that ended in divorce. If church is important to the girl, then she better freakin' tell the dude. If sports and spending time with his best buds is important, he better not hide that shit.

So back to me, if a woman hates my humor, then we ain't meant to be. I don't believe in the church, so a religious girl ain't for me unless she's cool with letting me have my own beliefs. This shit needs to be out in the open. But on first dates and in social gatherings, we're so concerned with how people will see us if we're real, drying up our dating pool, that we wear masks and settle on the next best thing, which isn't best at all. Not even good.

However, if you are in a relationship that you want to save, and there's issues between the two of you, then one simple way of solving those issues is look at the images of what you think your relationship should look like and throw them out.

Like my bitch friend, she had a mountain of ideas of what her man should be, what her marriage should be, what her life should be, and she hated it all. I know she hated it all because all she did was complain, yell, and get really pissed off, like if she was on a continuous period.

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Once you get rid of these societal norm images and allow your relationship to blossom on its own, then you can decide if your partner's quirks are something that you can live with. If you can't, then you've got to make a decision.

So where does this leave me? I'm still single. Not that that's a bad thing. It's good in a way because I can continue to explore other women and watch myself play the game, but I can't help but feel alone. So many people either want a relationship or enter one expecting it or the other person to make them happy. From that standpoint, I am alone. Because as I explain that happiness cannot come from another person, it can only come from within, I receive discerning looks as if to say, of course happiness comes when we connect with another person. If it doesn't, then why do humans want to connect? Simply put, it is our nature, just as it is the nature of water droplets to merge when they touch.