Relationships Happen: The complicated truth about dating

Eileen Mansoorian

During my pre-puberty days my mother used to tell me that I would grow up and meet a wonderful man, fall madly in love and live happily ever after. She would point out the prince charmings in the Disney films and assure me that I would find my own fairy tale ending, minus the poison apple or possessed octopus.

What my mother failed to mention was that the process leading up to the happy ending was as complicated, or even more than, that scene in “The Little Mermaid” where Ariel had to give up her voice to have a shot with Prince Eric.

I’m not asking for love to be this simple process like first grade mathematics.

But I am asking for it all to be a tad bit easier. From my own experience, it seems the whole dating process has evolved from how it used to be during my mother’s time.

There’s no such thing as straight-up honesty anymore. It’s all about a convoluted game that leaves one or both parties barely breathing and with only some of their dignity intact.

Somewhere along the line the rules and regulations of informal and formal dating collided and no one has been able to sort through them since. The result? A huge mess people find themselves in on their quest for the one.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re reading this and probably calling me a cynic, a woman who’s never been in love, a bitter, cold-hearted…But the truth is I’ve been in love, I’ve been hurt and unfortunately had the experience of hurting someone else.

I don’t want you to think I’m talking out of my you-know-what because some guy stood me up on a Friday night. On the contrary, I’ve had very pleasant experiences in dating, but it’s the not-so amazing ones that have sparked this article.

Getting back to my declaration of the lack of honesty in dating, I would like to ask you the reader: Where did it go? Why is it that when we get our feelings involved we lose our ability to be one million percent honest? “Because we’re scared of getting hurt!” you exclaim. Well no kidding we’re scared.

But if we’re not honest from the beginning, and if we don’t put ALL our cards on the poker table from the beginning, aren’t we doomed to get hurt anyways?

Exactly. That’s what I thought.

Deep down you know I’m right. If I’m the one that’s shattering your false reality, I make no apologies.

Someone had to do it, and I’m glad it happened today rather than a year and a half from now when you’re head over heels for the person you’re “dating” and they’re not willing to make a larger commitment.

I say this bluntly because it happened to me. For the past year and a half I was living in my own fictitious world where I was madly in love with this guy who never made our “relationship” official.

Before I continue the story, in respect to his privacy since he is a CSUN student, for the sake of this article I will be referring to him by the name Brandon, after my favorite “Beverly Hills, 90210” heartthrob.

To make a 560-day long story short and sweet, this was our relationship in 35 words or less: We met, connected instantly, couldn’t get enough of each other, were only honest about certain things, I fell hard for him and it all blew up in our faces.

In my heart’s defense there was never any real, honest explanation of what we were or what we were actually doing.

But in his defense, I was never completely honest about my feelings from the beginning. But in my defense, he was always vague about certain aspects of his life and would lie and not admit his true feelings at times.

But in his defense,… Enough is enough. Do you see where this is going? It was both of our faults. Neither of us were 100 percent honest with the other and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I should have said during a conversation we had a month into our chaotic song and dance that I had feelings for him and I was looking to date in the hopes of entering a relationship.

And he should have told me he had no intentions of getting into a relationship with me because of his sordid past and true character.

We should have done a lot of things. I could write a book about all the things we should have done instead of the ridiculous behavior that ensued in its place, but what good is that going to do? It’s not going to change the past.

What I can do is make a promise to myself that from this point on, if I am ever in a precarious situation with another man where potential romantic feelings are in question, I will admit it right off the bat.

I personally don’t care if it scares them off. I’d rather be upfront and honest from the beginning then endure another dramatic situation that feels straight out of a daytime soap opera.