Recently, I read a blog about a person's "representative" -- that side of ourselves we show in the early days of dating. It started me thinking about those relationship bombs we drop later on in a relationship. Things it's not necessary to say on the first date...but things that really do need to come out at some point.
Then there are things you never, ever tell anyone. Little secrets you keep tucked away inside. You fear they'll no longer love you if you reveal these things so you never do. But the secrets drive a wedge between you.
Say, for example, you were molested as a child. That's DEFINITELY not something you let someone know on a first date. But do you ever reveal it? Is it need-to-know information? Probably because, like it or not, it has an impact on who you are today and why you behave the way you do.
Then there's the STD question. I had a guy once complain to me about a woman telling him, in the middle of dinner on the FIRST date, that she has herpes. His complaint? It ruined his appetite. Of course, he never went out with her again but I had to ask him, "Wouldn't you rather her tell you up-front than six or seven dates in, when you were really starting to like her?" In fact, maybe they should just insert that into people's online dating profiles. STDs? "Will tell you later."
Sometimes we drag too much out onto the table on the first date. "Do you want kids?" "Why are you divorced?" "Have you ever been arrested?" None of those conversations feel comfortable in the first hour of meeting but if you don't discuss it then, when DO you discuss it?
I once knew a man, very religious, who met a very religious woman. They fell in love. She was a virgin and she ASSUMED he was. After all, in her little world that was what good Christian boys did -- wait for marriage. He didn't realize for a while she was assuming that about him and once he did, he didn't have the heart to correct her. So it went on... And on... And on... Next thing I knew, they were engaged. He still hadn't told her.
By that time, I reasoned, it was just "too late." If he told her then it could completely destroy his relationship because the problem was, he'd been hiding it all along.
Which was the same as lying.
And if he'd lie about that, what else would he lie about?
Could she ever trust him?
(Yes, women DO think that way!)
My point is, most of us hold a little of ourselves back in the beginning. We show our best face, hoping the person won't see through to the messes we are inside. But then, the day comes when we have to reveal the monster that lurks within.
The problem is, at that point the person has just one question: "Why didn't you tell me this before?"
Before WHAT? You were still getting to know each other. You didn't feel comfortable revealing your deepest, darkest secrets to them until you realized you were in love. You now trust him/her enough to show this side of yourself but she's feeling... Deceived. Especially if your secret is one that would make most women run. Like your addiction to midget porn. Or your penchant for wearing her underwear after she leaves for work.
Once she loves you, she'll have a harder time walking away because of it, even if it's something she has major issues with. If you'll agree to counseling, there might be hope, but otherwise... Well...
She may just leave you anyway.
At what point in a new relationship should major things be brought out into the open? Think of it from the perspective of the person receiving the bombs and the person dropping them. Six weeks? Six months? A year?
And then wait for the explosion.