The Early Days
The beginning of a relationship bliss, and why it doesn't last.1
Especially here in Gotham, dating is a wicked game of lipsticked martini glasses and secret credit card tests. (Some of you know what I mean.) It’s who-likes-who-more to the tenth degree and the moment you find someone with whom you share even remotely equal affinity, your eyes are blinded by stardust. These are the early days, and the blinding stardust tends to allow us to overlook some things. For instance, this weekend was the first time I took notice to a life-size clown doll sitting in my boyfriend’s foyer. “What is that?” I asked, horrified. He smiled and explained it is a clown that used to laugh, but the noise machine has since broken. Um, scary. Apparently, one of his roommates brought it home some drunk Sunday afternoon, and somehow this perceptive Virgo failed to notice.
Now, normally I don’t date people with stuffed animals or action figures, bobble head doll collections or giant posters bearing any sort of comic book character. Those are dealbreakers, but apparently I’m so tired of sifting through the men in this city (and there are some weird ones) that my unconscious can completely block out a life-size clown. Whatever, I get that it was likely funny the day the clown arrived, but this clown has seen better days and needs to get kicked to curb. Or maybe they can sell it on Craigslist.
Then Saturday night, same said boyfriend’s friend was crying and whining that her boyfriend never says anything sweet. She proceeded to explain that all men lose their ability to be sweet, looked me in the eye and candidly said, “You are lucky it is the beginning and everything is happy. Just wait one year from now.” Yikes? Well, I knew better than to point out that her boyfriend may be having trouble thinking of something sweet when she is constantly complaining. And sure the early days don’t last, but relationship bliss doesn’t have to die out completely. My stepdad still dotes on my mother, two of my friends have sweet, loving husbands and great marriages, and even my own former relationship was sweet for a solid three of the four years. Men – and women – can stay sweet. I think that one of the main problems is that we overlook so many small things in the beginning, and then once we are head-over-heels and already in love we feel more comfortable pointing them out and complaining ad naseum.
But the key to making the early days last is acceptance. This doesn’t mean you have to accept things that really offend you or drive you to the brink of insanity, but men and women alike need to take a good look at things they can accept and live with, preferably prior to getting into a serious relationship. To write this article required some self analysis into things I can and can’t accept. Sure walking to my boyfriend’s bathroom makes me feel like I’m in a Stephen King novel, but honestly it is kind of funny and he is really funny. I cannot accept men who lack humor, so is that really a strike? Probably not.
Acceptance means that there are times when you must surrender your judgment. For me, the less I am irritable and judgmental, there is more opportunity to really get to know someone. When I can let go of some of my strict list of “no no’s,” I have more fun with the guy I’m with and we develop a stronger friendship. And hell, isn’t that really what it’s all about anyway?
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