We all send some form of our representative out when we first start dating. My sister-friend says there is a 90-day rule. She believes, and I agree, that it takes 90 days to begin to discover the real person you’re dealing with. Some withholding is understood – you don’t want to unload all of your baggage on a potential suitor all at once – but telling little white lies you can’t sustain always leads to trouble.
One of my sister-friends is wonderful at many things, except cooking. She’s been seeing a guy who she is completely enamored by and hopes the relationship will progress. The problem is, the guy repeatedly stresses that his ideal woman can cook. After a month of dating, he suggested that they stay in and he get the opportunity to finally taste some of this good cookin’ she’d been bragging (lying!) about. Naturally, my sister-friend panicked and then, hired a chef to come in and cook the dinner.
Fast forward three months into the relationship and several gourmet level meals (“prepared” by my sister-friend) later and her jig was u. One Saturday morning, her boyfriend had spent the night at her house – a first! – and he expected breakfast. When I say my sister-friend can’t cook, I mean boiling water is a challenge for her.
Well, she decided that she would tell him that day instead of continuing to lie. Fortunately for her, her boyfriend had suspected that she couldn’t cook the entire time. He actually was a good sport about it, and because it wasn’t a huge lie, was able to get passed it.
My other sister-friend was not so lucky. As long as I have known her, she has hated kids. She met a guy who she fell in love with who wanted a huge family because he came from a big family. While they were dating, she never mentioned to him her extreme distaste for having children. In her mind, she loved him so much she thought she could get over it. But it turns out, she couldn’t.
As they began to talk about marriage, she finally opened up about her feelings for kids. It didn’t go well at all. Her boyfriend, which was soon to be her fiancée felt betrayed and that it was a deal breaker for him. It was such a fundamental thing for him that he didn’t feel as if he could get passed it, and he didn’t. They broke up.
I can’t help but think about how many relationships are built on the impression made by a person’s representative and not the real them. It might be the reason why we have such low success rates in marriage. I believe that if more of us revealed our true selves we’d all be better off. So, ladies, when dating, be very, very careful of the little lies you tell.
Wishing you love and ceaseless joy! Follow @NathanHWilliams on Twitter.
Nathan’s book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World is available now.