Thursday, October 9, 2008

Truth or Aware

I was talking with a friend the other day and he was telling me about his male friend who is hopelessly in love with a girl he broke up with because he suddenly became terrified of the idea of forever. So instead of telling her he was scared, he just left. That’s what so many men do. And we generally have to suffer in the wake of those consequences.

Of course the guy realized his folly and decided he wanted the girl back. But she found herself another guy (good for her). So he is stuck dating a bunch of girls he doesn’t like, making them think they might actually have a shot with him.

“What should he do?” my friend asked.

“It’s simple,” I said. “Tell the truth.”

I told him – nay, I begged him – to encourage his friend to be truthful with all the girls he meets, lest he create a trail of broken hearts across the country.

“I wish a man would just be unafraid to be honest. Whatever it is,” I said. “When you meet a girl, why can’t you just say, ‘hi, I just want to sleep with you and never call you again,’ or ‘I am needy and passionate and I want something that lasts forever,’ or ‘I just want to casually date you because I’m afraid of my own shadow, let alone yours.’ Seriously. Why not give it a try? It could save us years of therapy and feelings of inadequacy.”

Even if the truth hurts, lies hurt too. And disappearing in a plume of smoke hurts even worse.

A week into my new life out West, I met a guy I thought seemed super cool. We talked on the phone for hours, hung out for hours. It seemed like it might go somewhere. So when he offered to help me move, I was stoked. Until he didn’t show up. Or call. Or text. Nothing. Made a promise, then bailed. That was his way of saying bye-bye. Funny, because he was all gung ho on communicating, being honest and me saying what I thought rather than holding it all in. I assumed he would have been the same. If you don’t want to take someone to Ikea, don’t promise to take them to Ikea. If you don’t want to help them move (or ever see them again), don’t say you’ll get your truck and be there on Sunday.

This whole truth thing is really about being aware. Being aware of your intentions and how you plan to carry them out. Being truthful to others is all about being truthful to yourself. I believe men can do this. I've seen it happen. Just not in a long time, unfortunately.

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