relationships

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.

I Compare My Relationship to Others (And It's Bad)

relationship I have a confession to make. I compare my relationship to other relationships. I don't really mean to do it. Actually, to be technical, sometimes I don't even realize that I'm doing it. And it's not out of envy or anything like that. It's more that this is uncharted territory for me. I've never been engaged or lived with a significant other before. I don’t know how things are supposed to go here. Also, let's face it. When you've had your own share of failed relationships and seen how others have failed, it makes you aware of relationship epic failure (or failureness if that's a word. I'm sure it’s not). So it just seems logical to start comparing your relationship to others. Others you've had. Others other people currently have or have had. Whatever.

I guess I always thought it was coming from a good place. You know, to make my relationship stronger. To make sure it was good. The best it can be. To make sure it didn't travel down the horrible, awful path of misery and hate.

But what I've realized is that couldn't be farther from the truth. Honestly, no good comes from comparing your relationship to others. No good at all. And it doesn't matter one bit where it's coming from.

What actually results is that you create a whole lot of chaos. You see problems that aren't there. You stress out over things that don't matter. You get way too wrapped up in all the should have, could have, and would haves.

And that's exactly what I've been doing.

Instead of focusing on my relationship and what it is, I'm worrying about whatever it "should" be. How it "should" go. What things are "supposed" to be like as an almost married couple. I', too caught up in making things all pretty, perfect, and shiny that I'm not taking my relationship for what it is -- something wonderful.

Which means I'm totally missing out (and I'm also an idiot). Because, honestly, my relationship is great. It's by no means perfect. It's hard sometimes and there are struggles. But it's pretty awesome and, at the end of the day, there is no one else that I would want to annoy the crap out of me other than Mr. T.

There are no shoulds in a relationship. Mr. T and I make the rules. We decide how things go in our relationship. And maybe things won't look like any other relationship I know or be perfect by anyone else's standards, but that doesn’t matter. As long as we're happy. As long as it's something we both want. That's what matters. That's how a relationship should go.

 

S#@t My Fiance Says: I'm Worried He Can't Read

A while back, Mr. T went to get some lunch for us from Subway. This would be the day after we fought about what to have for lunch (yeah, apparently what's what we do now). I wrote exactly what I wanted on a piece of paper.

Love Takes Belief And Trust

Photo Credit: katieblench (Flickr) The other day Mr. T and I had a fight. It was a stupid fight. I felt overwhelmed and like he didn’t help me enough. He said he would try to do better and I asked him how I knew he would. He said there wasn't any proof, but that I would just have to trust/believe him. He obviously can't prove it until it happens.

Damn him for being so honest. He often says things like that and it's one of the things I adore about him, but sometimes I hate it too. Because in that moment I just want something other than belief. Wait and see. Believe. Trust. Blah Blah. Sometimes I wish he would just lie to me and give me some pretty little answer with sugar and frosting on top. (Not really)

But then I realized how right he is. Relationships, love, all of it takes belief and trust. Because honestly there are no guarantees. There is no proof. It's all belief and trust. And that's not the cynical gal in me talking, that's just the honest truth about life and love.

How do I know that he really loves me? How do I know that he wants to marry me? How do I know that he won't decide it's too hard to put up with my crap and leave me in five years or ten years or sooner? How do I know he won't cheat on me? How do I know that we'll always try to have each other's (and our relationship's) best interest at heart?

The list of questions is a mile long, but the answer is very short. I believe these things to be true. I trust these things to be true. So they are true. There really isn't any proof. It's all belief and trust.

And I can just as easily turn all of those questions on myself. How do I know?

It’s trust. It's faith. It's belief. It's love. And you have to have that in the other person (and in yourself) for it to work.

Settling vs. Compromising

When referring to settling, people often use examples like a receding hairline or leaving dirty socks on the floor or some equally trivial thing. There's even a commercial for a certain cable company where a woman looks at the hot guy across the street as her balding chubby husband comes up behind her. Are these things actually settling?

Articles About Not Settling Make Me Cringe

I get tired of people talking about settling. I'll go into that in greater detail, but seriously, it's old. The cold hard truth is life (and love) is not a rom com. It's real. You're going to hate stuff about your partner.

6 Things I Learned From My Toxic Relationship with My Father

A toxic relationship is a toxic relationship. It doesn't matter who it's with -- your mom, your dad, your brother, a cousin, an ex, or a friend. They’re all exactly the same and should be treated exactly the same. You have to remove it from your life. Because if you don't it will interfere with everything single thing that's good in your life.

Friendships Are Kind of Like Romantic Relationships

I recognize so much with romantic relationships, but none of them happen when I’m making friends. I’ll be friends with a gal for a few weeks and suddenly we’re calling each other besties. And, I think every friendship will last until the end of days. Then when we don’t, I feel like I’ve somehow failed or something. If these were romantic relationships, I’d be telling myself to relax and get a grip. 

The Importance of Being Helpful and Appreciative

Yesterday was one of those crazy days. I was trying to get everything done and be everywhere so basically I was running around like a crazy lady.

For some reason I thought it was a great day to make homemade salsa. It's not that hard or time consuming and I had been putting it off for so long. But, it left me with barely any time to make lunch or clean up the kitchen.

Snooping Is A No-no

I was about to start this post with something about how I’ve never snooped. I was all up on my high horse and giving myself a pat on the back, but then I realized I’ve done it. I went through my boyfriend’s phone. Once. In my early twenties when I was in college.

The Impatient, Controlling Perfectionist

I'm an impatient, controlling perfectionist. I’ve found it’s a strength because it makes me good at things. It helps assure that I get shit done when it needs to be done. It keeps me on track, helps me plan, and stay organized. But, it’s also a huge weakness because it makes me stress and feel like I'm in a constant frenzy. I end up spending far too much time worrying about things I shouldn't. And more than anything, it has no place in my relationships with Mr. T.

On Friendships

At first it was really hard for me. I felt like somehow I was betraying my friends or that I was being a bad friend. My friendships are genuinely important to me and I don’t ever want my friends to feel like they don’t matter or like Mr. T matters more. I’ve been the friend on the other side of things. I know how it feels to be tossed aside the second that a guy comes along.

On Living Together: Mr. T Moves In

At the end of the week I had reached that point where I was tired of looking at piles of things to put away and so over not being able to find anything that I lost it and flipped out over a hot dog. Don't flip out over a hot dog.

Why Can’t I Just Ask for Help?

This might sound totally crazy, but one of the things I am really struggling with when it comes to this relationship stuff is asking Mr. T for help. It has nothing to do with him at all. It’s just my own personal thing that I can’t seem to shake. And it’s ridiculous.

We Are Not an Old Married Couple

Now it’s different. We go out to eat and/or have a few drinks and we come home two hours later. We could stay out much, much later but honestly there are times when getting some ice cream and watching a TV show on the couch or in bed just sounds better. (I know that’s totally corny and I’m sorry) And sometimes staying at home with some vodka (some movie about a huge gator with Tiffany and Debbie Gibson) is the most epic night ever.

Happy Anniversary Mr. T

Disclaimer: This post will probably be a tad corny. attachment-5239b92fe4b0337eb8c1f3df

Exactly one year ago today I met Mr. T. I had no idea that a little over a month later we’d decide to only date each other. I didn’t know I’d be meeting his family (and he’d be meeting mine) that Christmas. And I definitely had no idea that we’d be engaged and start planning our wedding eight months later.

I still remember his first message to me – he asked about my favorite beer (both the one that I tell people about and my guilty pleasure). We exchanged a few messages about football, England, and AC Slater and then he asked me out for a drink.

A few days later we met at a divey bar in the East Village. I had planned to have the usual few drinks and then head home. Mr. T had the same plan and actually was afraid I was a bit ditzy at first. Though in his defense, I giggle when I’m nervous and I’d be lying if I said he was the first person to tell me that. We ended up polishing off a few beers and some scotch (well technically I couldn’t finish my scotch since I was drinking on an empty stomach) and then we went out for pizza.

A couple of days later we had our second date and our third date would follow about a week later. Obviously more dates followed where he wooed me with magic and karaoke. Then we celebrated my birthday and we made things exclusive.

The past year has been pretty awesome. We’ve made trips to Atlantic City and went to London. We went to Chicago for his birthday and saw the Reds play the Cubs. We’ve watched countless football games, stuffed ourselves full of food from Queens Comfort, drank at many other divey bars, and even sang a few karaoke songs.

And, of course, I’ve learned a lot too. Here are a few things that I think are most important:

I want to be a bride and even though fighting is really scary, it’s normal and OK. The importance of truly letting someone know me and letting them into my life. And that it’s OK to depend on someone else a little (though I’m still working out). Relationships are hard and take a lot of adjustments (I’ll talk more about this later). Be as open minded as you possibly can; compromise is your best friend. If you don’t have a sports team, you have to automatically adopt your fiancé’s teams – I am now a Bengals fan and a Reds fan. I can honestly say that I am the happiest I have been in my life and I feel genuinely lucky to have met him. I’m super excited for what’s to come in our relationship. I look forward to planning our wedding, marrying him, and starting our lives together.

Tonight we will celebrate by having dinner and then we'll have dinner and exchange presents this weekend. We've kind of started this thing were we celebrate everything for at least a week.

 

Fighting In a Relationship Is Totally Normal

I should be famous for talking about how fighting in a relationship is totally normal. Seriously. I’ve always said it is and I’m a firm believer that it truly is. But as much as I know all of that, it’s still hard for me whenever Mr. T and I fight. I always have this feeling like it’s wrong or we shouldn’t be doing it or maybe this is going to somehow impact our relationship in a negative way.