The Bait and Switch: Is It A Real Thing?

Photo credit: Pascal (pasukaru76 on Flickr) We've all heard about it and some of us may believe we have even experienced it. You meet a guy or gal and they are perfectly perfect. Everything is running smooth until you take things to the next level. You get engaged. You move in together. And suddenly there are all these things you never really noticed about them. They actually seem like a totally different person to you.

It's become known as the bait and switch. But, honestly, I'm not really buying it and I think people use the phrase a little too liberally.

Now, I'm not saying the bait and switch never happens. I'd actually be crazy to say that. I'm sure there are people out there who intentionally misrepresent themselves to snag a guy or gal. But it's equally crazy to assume you have nothing new to learn about a person.

Here's a list of a few things that Mr. T and I didn't know about each other when we moved in together:

  1. I'm pretty anal. I can look at our coffee table and notice if one little thing is off.
  2. I organize everything. I even fold my towels a certain way (and maybe group them according to colors).
  3. I freak out about things. Stupid little things. I once freaked out about a hot dog. I can't even remember why.
  4. I plan everything. I even make plans for plans.
  5. He plays games on his phone. A lot. Like when there's a couple minutes until the next TV show starts. Or if he has two seconds to kill before we head out the door. And sometimes he oblivious to the world around him while playing said games.
  6. He hates to plan and procrastinates everything. Sometimes he even procrastinates playing his phone games.
  7. He forgets everything (except the important stuff like birthdays and anniversaries, thank goodness).

None of these things were necessarily shockers, but they were things we didn’t notice while we were dating. And it truly didn't have anything to do with any baiting and switching. Neither either of us did it to intentionally be someone we aren't or to convince the other person to like us. But we only saw each other a few times a week. It was easy to push all of that aside. I freaked out about things before I saw him. I scrambled to clean and get things done before he came over. And he played video games when I wasn't around.

When you move in together there is nowhere to hide. Reality sets in. You see everything about each other. Even things that you didn't know existed. This isn't a bad thing. It's actually pretty wonderful. But it can lead to a few new things creeping out.

I kind of think the whole bait and switch thing is something we created. Maybe it's an excuse or comes from fear that we didn't get to know the person as well as we should have. Or that things won't actually work out. So maybe it's easier to call bait and switch. I don’t know.

But what I do know is that it's a problem because it can cause you to ruin something that's perfectly fine because you somehow convince yourself you've been misled or betrayed. And obviously that’s no good.

So instead of freaking out and jumping to conclusions, remind yourself that as your relationship progresses, you're going to also experience changes. But changes (and learning new things about each other) doesn't mean there's something wrong. It just means you have to compromise and adjust a little. Work together. That's part of what love and relationships are about.

I'm letting the coffee table be a little messy and not planning up every second of our lives. He's playing games less and is trying to write things down so he'll remember.