Let’s face it: we’re hypocrites. We’re not necessarily evil, but we have a remarkable capacity to compartmentalize our thinking. It’s what allows some of us, as liberals, to look for extra tax deductions when we know the government needs more money. It’s what allows us to post scathing commentary about strangers online without considering what it would feel like to be the recipient of such commentary. Basically, hypocrisy is what allows us to get out of bed every day – as it’s easier to focus on others’ flaws than it is to focus on our own.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the dating arena.
I meet single people every day who talk about their refusal to settle – without realizing that someone, in some capacity, has to settle on them.
For years, I coasted on the fact that I was kind, intelligent, funny and ambitious. Focusing solely on my good traits – and sweeping my bad traits under the rug – allowed me to dissect each and every woman who crossed my path. I could pass her up because she’s a workaholic, because she’s a few years older, because she’s got a few extra pounds, because she’s sarcastic. Yet I rarely put any time into thinking how she put up with a guy who is moody, neurotic, high-maintenance, and somewhat negative.
This realization – this tearing down of ego – was the big step that opened me up to my relationship with my wife. I started to appreciate the idea that, despite my good qualities, there was a whole lot of forgiving one had to do to be my partner.
And I would intimate that if you consider what someone else is sacrificing to be with you – whether you’re asking them to concede on height, weight, age, income, health, temperament, personality, etc – you will be a lot more forgiving of others in the future.