As we grow up, we all learn to develop filters and tone down parts of or character which may not go down too well in mainstream society. Sometimes it’s sad that in order to be a functioning adult we need to lose much of that refreshing honesty we had as kids. Telling your rather large neighbour that she resembles a whale or revealing to the family that you eavesdropped on your mum gossiping on the phone about how that uncle from down the road is a dirty perve might be rather amusing coming from a 6 year old but making similar comments as an adult isn’t likely to win you any friends. While I understand the need for these filters in today’s post I’m going to question whether in a relationship it is possible for a person to hide the less socially acceptable aspects of their character or if eventually their true colours will always shine through.
There are a couple of things that got me thinking about this issue. A few weeks ago #zlotybaby and I went to see My Fair Lady at the Artscape. I’m sure I don’t need to regurgitate the story here as most people have probably either studied the play at school or seen the movie with Audrey Hepburn. But basically it tells the story of how Professor Higgins is able to convince a bunch of aristocrats that Eliza Doolittle, a lowly Cockney flower girl, is actually royalty by giving her elocution lessons and teaching her how to behave like a lady instead of a peasant. Sure, she pulls the façade off pretty well and he wins his bet but by concealing her true identity Eliza realises she is living a lie and nobody can do that forever, right?
Although romance actually features very minimally in Eliza’s story I think it has some real relevance when it comes to modern day dating and subsequent relationships. But before we talk about that let me tell you about the real life experience that provided additional inspiration for this post. Out on my tinder adventures recently, I encountered a ‘gentleman’ who SEEMED somewhat decent. Despite some glaring red flags, such as living with mummy in his 40s and having the type of ‘friendships’ where you leave one another waiting for 3 hours , I felt compelled to give him a fair chance. Beggars can’t be choosers after all, and I’m fully aware about my ever ticking biological clock. Things started off fairly well although there wasn’t anything magical about or interaction I told myself that life isn’t always a fairytale and maybe this could be one of these slow burn things.
As time went on (bear in mind this whole episode lasted a little over a month) certain more serious concerns started to surface which made him increasingly unattractive. For instance, he started to speak badly of his ex who left him for a woman (horrible horrible lesbians!). Then there was a meeting with the No.1 woman in his life – Mummy Dearest where in a short space of time she imparted some wonderful pearls of wisdom on this ethnic savage about why intercultural relationships are doomed to fail and how certain people in this country are lazy and expect everything handed to them. Blah, blah. I felt sorry for the old lady, after all she is nothing more than a product of the Apartheid era and I didn’t think it fair to tarnish her son with the same brush so I allowed the façade to carry on.
Anyway, let me cut to chase, it wasn’t long after this meeting when this bloke’s TRUE COLOURS were revealed. I won’t bore you with details of the conversation but let’s just say it ended with him saying people in SA need to ‘get over’ Apartheid and the Jews need to get over the Holocaust too. Enough said, the very next day, the poor dude was put out of his misery via WhatsApp (Yes, I know its not the most decent way to end something but in this case it was more than this ineloquent, racist homophobe deserved!).
So, what have my recent experiences taught me? Well, there really is a fine line about what one should and shouldn’t reveal when it comes to dating. As a girl from the East End of London (just like Eliza) I don’t think anyone needs to be ashamed things that they have no control over such as their background – after all if a guy is the real deal he’ll love you no matter what(even if do you talk like a guttersnipe). And while I am in totally in favour of people keeping their narrow-minded, racist, homophobic backwater opinions to themselves, the truth is, given time and with you pushing the right buttons, a person’s true colours will always be revealed. Thankfully, in my case, it was a matter of weeks rather than years. My advice in such situations is always trust your gut over everything else (I’m pretty sure it is right 99% of the time) and NEVER ignore red flags or make up lame excuses to prolong something you know has a expiry date!
That’s enough of me thinking out loud. Rinsers it’s your turn. Do you think a person can successfully hide their true colours and have a healthy relationship? Does the truth always surface eventually? Have you got any similar stories about people downplaying their real identity in order to worm their way into another’s heart? Or have you ever concealed parts of your character or kept your opinions yourself simply to impress someone? Answers below.