Opinions. Everybody Has 'Em.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Now, Be Honest...Or More likely, Not.

Maybe it's just me but I think a little more honesty in our personal relationships mightn't be such a bad thing. Yahoo ( which, admittedly, I would never consider a guru of anything ) once cobbled together some Dating Don't's with the assistance of so-called 'dating experts'. I rarely trust anyone who claims to be an 'expert' in anything any more than I consider Yahoo a guru, but hey, if it sells… Anyway, Yahoo and its experts listed 5 things which you should never talk about on a first date. Bearing in mind that these articles were written with heterosexual women in mind, nonetheless many of the points raised would apply across the gender/sexuality spectrum. The 5 Don’t Talk About subjects, in no particular order of importance, were: your ex, having children, money, politics, and religion.

Excuse me all over the place, but isn’t honesty about at least some of these five things fundamental to the success of intimate relationships???

Okay, spending the whole first date ( or any date thereafter ) yammering away about your ex, either how wonderful or how awful they were, clearly says “ Not ready for a relationship!” to most people. But at the least it can be helpful in letting someone know that you may not be fully committed to a new relationship. Of course, it screams "Obsessive maniac!" to some of us, but we won’t go there.
Of the other 4 conversational no-no's, two consistently appear in the top reasons for break-ups…money and the issue of having children. Lets face it, life is not a romantic novel/movie and love does not often conquer all of your financial debts. The desire to have children should be an integral part of your makeup as an individual, it should not be a decision taken lightly or for the appeasement of another person. Children aren’t something you "get used to” like a stain on the bathroom wall. As for politics and religion, whilst these may seem at first glance to be of less importance to relationships, in fact they do play a major part in our lives. Our political and religious views color many of our opinions and values. There is no use in trying to say that class barriers do not exist, they most certainly do, and those are interwoven with political, religious, and financial issues. A wealthy person may sigh that money doesn’t bring happiness, but seriously, have you ever heard a poor person say “ No, no thank you, please don’t give me any money, it wouldn’t make in the least bit happier to be able to pay my mortgage/feed my kids for another month and know I have some breathing space”? I'm not saying we should compare wage slips on the first date, or spend it discussing our shared uterus ambitions, but maybe a little less blatant ignoring of these issues would be in order.

I’ve always been as upfront as necessary about these issues with any women I’ve become involved with, and yes it has cost me potential relationships. Mostly the marriage/partnership and having children issue, but that’s okay, because these things are important and sometimes there really is no satisfactory compromise. I'd prefer to know that sooner rather later and spare everyone involved deep disappointment and maybe a bit of unnecessary heartache. But it does make me wonder whether the lack of longevity in relationships is a symptom of a preference for trusting everything to “ Oh, we can work that out later!” and a lack of willingness to discuss these big-ticket issues at the outset?

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