As the pre-coital couple entered the magic forest, the female tripped over a root. “Ups-a-daisy, careful sweetie” trilled her upcoming lover. Twenty (maybe twenty five, it was the first time) minutes later the same root exacted the response, “pick your feet up clumsy.”
Let’s face it: one of the best parts about being in a relationship is having someone to blame for stuff. Isn’t that what we always do? When we’re having a bad day, or we’re in a bad mood, or something just went tits up, we love to blame the person closest to us both physically and emotionally: our partner. A good partner realizes this and accepts it gracefully, knowing that the time will soon come when they can blame us for something we had no part in. Who is actually to blame is always less important than who places the blame first. So, ladies and gents, here’s a good one: who do we blame when our relationship’s precious “honeymoon period” comes to a crashing halt, and our knight-in-shining-armor looks more like a broken-down court jester? Is it our fault for being so love-blind from the start, or is it his fault for false advertising during the ol’ “courtship” period?
We all know that men, like peacocks and lions and all those other silly animals, put on a good show when they’re looking to get laid. A man will talk about his job, his money, his car, his biceps (“I can do, like, 50 pushups, no big deal”), and whatever else he can embellish to trick us into thinking he are God’s gift to any woman lucky enough to land him. But we believe it. So who’s the real chump in this exchange? If a guy is smooth enough, convincing enough, or just hot enough, we’re already running an internal dialogue about what they will be like to live with, whether they would be good fathers, how they will get along with our parents… for the first few months, we are the Juliet to his proverbial Romeo, and we love every second of it.
And can we really blame the guy for putting on a show for us? The fact that they feel compelled to do so shows their interest in us, and don’t we do the same thing? We have the make up, the new heels, the push-up bra we reserve especially for those nights out on town. We pull out our most charming banter and eyelash batting for them; it’s only natural that men do the same.
Although no one is ever faultless in a relationship (which is why more of us are staying single, perhaps?) I have to say, in this case, the blame may be put more on the shoulders of women. We know what men are up to when we first meet. We know from experience that the honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever, and instead of preparing for the eventuality that the hunk we went to bed with last night is the same as the lunk we wake up to the next morning, we get pissed off. It’s not really fair to judge a man harshly for being who he is, even if he did gloss over his rough parts from the beginning. We women have this “grass is greener” mentality about relationships: when we’re in the exciting (and sometimes nerve-wracking) dating phase, all we want is a good guy to settle down with. Once we have it, we long for the steamy and unpredictable early stages. We need to do a better job at injecting a healthy dose of reality into our relationships from the start by being up front with ourselves and our partners, and by recognizing the great and not-so-great qualities of our partners early on – so we can decide if the total package is worth it.
Sadly, it’s inevitable that relationships lose some of that sizzle, that electric sexual spark that propels them through the first few months. It’s natural to feel a sense of loss when you transition from dinners out and sexy lingerie to Lethal Weapon marathons and sweatpants. Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt, boredome, a greater disregard for personal hygiene – you name it. But familiarity also breeds comfort, respect, and true love, so maybe we should stop complaining already about the lack of excitement and instead be happy with the presence of a valued partner in our lives.
And if you really need more thrills in your life, you’ve still got that trusty push-up bra in the back of your drawer. The cycle continues…