Sex and the campus

We all know that people act strangely in certain situations, but why is it that an almost impossibly dramatic change occurs when we go on a date? It seems that someone who is incredibly kind and wonderful to their friends becomes an entirely awful and mean person when on a date. While these people are ordinarily kind, some sort of shell or act is put up to prevent any person from further getting to know them. It’s as if they are testing the people with whom they are on a date — if you can survive this then you are worthy of the next date, but surviving this is what makes a person not want to have what great things could come after.

Maybe it’s a lack of a litmus test for compatibility that causes people to think they need to be someone else — if only we could touch a tiny piece of paper and know if we were compatible with one another if it turned a certain colour. If only such a test existed.

The most successful relationships seem to be those in which people have decided that they were just going to be themselves and see how it turned out. No pretenses, no acting, just plain old them. When things turned out the way they wanted them to, there was no change in behaviour six months down the road. They didn’t just one day wake up and say “I think I’ll be myself with them now.”

Do people think that acting like a mean person is the only way they can appear attractive to others? If you have been set up with someone because your friends believe you to be this kind, wonderful and attractive person worthy of another of their friends, then why change who and what you are for the date? In changing who you are for these few hours, or minutes, if you played your hand entirely wrong, it not only makes you seem like a strange person who has their friends fooled, but has also damaged their friends’ credibility as a matchmaker.

It can be compared to cheating — changing your entire personality around someone for the first date, a week or even months, only to impress them or test them is to tell a lie. It is amazing that this is not looked upon with more disdain by the dating community, as any other form of lying is. “How are these people getting away with it?” one might ask. The answer is simple: we are so disturbed by the fact that they can turn around so suddenly that all we can be is surprised, not angry.

The motives driving many people to be someone else when dating is beyond those of us who think we understand dating and relationships, even baffling the greatest minds in relationship commentary and advice. Why do they do it? We may not have the answer, but we can put a stop to it by not doing it ourselves anymore.