It is a good thing that I am rooted in a marriage at this stage in my life, 'cause I'm not sure I'd be able to pull off a relationship from scratch at this point.
Too many contraditions about how men and women deal with one another, contradictions that I used to be blissfully ignorant to have surfaced in recent years. And I'm just enough of a curmudgeon that if I had to start over now, there'd be no serious dating with an eye toward settling down for a long time, if ever again.
Anyway, I'm rambling on 'cause the 2008 Harlequin Romance Report just came out. And the report says that while trust and honesty are considered must-have traits in a significant other by 41% of men and 51% of women, the same group surveyed admitted that they'd snooped in their significant other's stuff - like read his emails, read her text messages, and sifted through old letters they'd saved from past relationships.
So you must have honesty, but you don't mind digging through your man or woman's crap to look for dirt? Hmmm.
There's more. Sixty-three percent of men and women said that lying sometimes is OK, depending on circumstances. I'm less cynical about that revelation though, 'cause you just have to be an idiot if your fat wife asks you if she's fat and you say yes. For the record, Mrs. B is just as slim and fit now as she was when we met. So no, she's never asked me that question. She has asked me about meals, outfits, and hairdos before...and I've told the truth every time. Hee hee hee! But seriously, no woman can tell me with a straight face that when your shy, clumsy boyfriend reluctantly joins you on the dance floor and then asks if he's doing OK you tell him no. You tell him he's more footloose than Kevin Bacon and more twinkel-toed than John Travolta, and you tell that lie with a smile.
Anyway, the report also said that most adults - 73% of women and 72% of men - believe that confession is romantic.
That one shocks me. Yeah, yeah, my grandmother used to say that confession was good for the soul. I get the spiritual and philosophical logic behind that phrase. But when you throw romance in the mix, people, at least guys, tend not to think with their, um, minds. And speaking for guys...other guys, not me, some folks will lie until their pants are literally on fire in order to preserve a sexual liaison. Why ruin potential boom-chicka-wah-wah with a confession of past bad behavior? According to the report, most people who said confession was a romantic thing to do, said it simply made them feel better about themselves. I'm impressed. Conscience is more powerful than desire.
Anyway, for the few folks who regretted confessing, their reasons were that their confessions (to having more past sexual partners than previously admitted, to being attracted to another person, to revealing way too much detail about a past relationship, and to confessing under the influence of booze) hurt their partners' feelings.
This is all too much work. Glad I'm married.