Can We Handle The Truth?

Whoever wrote the phrase, “The truth shall set you free,” forgot to add: and probably hurt someone’s feelings in the process. 

{“I want the truth!” “You can’t handle the truth!”}

Over the past few days, since posting the conclusion to my 30 dates in 30 nights challenge, I have received an overwhelming amount of positive responses, from both women and men. It turns out other people have thought about doing similar challenges, and are now inspired to move forward. One of my college friends sent me a message: “I did a 7 dates in 7 day challenge, so I commend you on doing 30!” he wrote. The truth is this, I didn’t think so many people would read about my dates, or even care. I figured it was good practice to write diligently and hone my dating skills. I’m a freelance writer, as well as a marketing and media pro, so I understand the value of feedback, which is why I blog.

Of course along with the good comments, I’ve also had some bad. You need only scroll to the bottom of my summary post, to see what I mean. Although the feedback was in some ways erroneous and biased, I don’t consider it entirely negative. I consider it a semi-normal reaction that some people, perhaps myself, would’ve had to finding out you went out with someone on one or two dates, and they posted about you on their blog.

This feedback has brought up some interesting questions, like: Can we handle the truth?

I pose this question specifically to the men who might be upset about my experience. What is your true quarrel with my 30-day challenge? Is it that you assume I slept with the 24 guys I went out with? Or is it that you assumed you were the only one I was dating? I know, I know, it must be because I publicly stated that I didn’t think we had any chemistry, and in an effort to save you time, I decided not to go out with you again. “It seems to me that you are dealing with a lot of bruised egos here,” texted my friend, “The Doctor”, who despite my brutal honesty, has decided to remain friends with me.  

Now I get that you think I should have been upfront about my challenge. And maybe when I told you that I was on tinder to try and meet “a lot of new people”, you didn’t understand. Maybe when I told you that I was going out on several dates, so I could see what’s out there, you thought I meant, only with you. Perhaps I should have been more clear. But the truth is, you’re probably upset because your ego is bruised. And I get that! I really do, because I’ve been in your shoes.  

Now, let’s talk about the part that upsets me. One of the toughest critics, who happens to be a woman, and friends with one of the 24 guys I met last month, had the audacity to insult my mom. When I first read her comment, the only part that actually bothered me was this: “I can’t believe your mother would think anything about this was a good idea — especially a trip to NYC — wow. That speaks volumes as to what values you were brought up to deem as important.” My first thought was: “Oh no this bitch didn’t!” My second: “What’s her problem with NYC?”. I wanted to reach through my screen and pull her hair out. But that would’ve gone against EVERYTHING my mother’s taught me. Listen, talk about me if you want, because I’ve put myself out here on the internet, and maybe you think that gives you a right to misjudge me, but don’t talk about my mom!

It saddens me that as a woman, this critic has made the same sexist assumption that other guys have made. Especially, without having bothered to read my entire experience, let alone the about me page. “What kind of woman goes out with 24 guys in one month?!” GASP! The horror! Had I been born a man, I would be applauded for my valor and tenacity, and GQ would be ringing my phone right now asking for an exclusive interview. “How did you do it? And, how can others do it?, would be the main two questions. I’m sure many of us women would have something negative to say if a man went out on 30 dates in 30 nights and blogged about it. “How dare he?!” “What a scum bag!”, we might say. But I doubt anyone would say: “What kind of values did his mother raise him with?” He would have been labeled a player, a heartbreaker, a scoundrel possibly… but never a slut, or an “attention seeker”. 

You want some more truth? 

It is possible to go out with several people, without crossing the boundaries of friendship. And if you cross them, it is possible to still date, while being respectful to everyone involved, although it gets tricky. (Don’t worry, we’ll explore this topic further another time.) So why I think some of my critics missed the point, is because they still think there’s something wrong with dating more than one person at a time. Also, because they think that there was “more going on” behind the scenes. Frankly, that’s their problem for assuming incorrectly, and I’m not going to waste my time, or anyone else’s defending my vagina’s honor.

Am I still insecure about dating? Absolutely! Do I wish that none of the men I’ve ever dated would hate me? Sure! Have I learned that we all judge and make assumptions too soon sometimes? Yes! So my dear readers, here’s your moment of truth… Do you think it’s fair to keep dating someone, if after one or two dates you don’t feel attracted to them? Would you prefer if the other person strung you along for weeks and kept you as a place holder? Or would you rather hear the truth?

Some last thoughts…

I received a text from one of my critics, who I’m sure is still reading this blog, where he wrote: “Isn’t it sad, that someone else will most likely repeat this challenge because of you?” Hmmm… I think it’s liberating, and encouraging to know that my insignificant “experiment” inspired other women and perhaps men to start dating again, freely and without guilt. Getting to know MANY people, before they decide who they want to settle down with, while being honest and not stringing anyone along. Maybe then, our divorce rates would go down, people would be happier, and we would all learn not be afraid of the truth. So to answer your question, Mr. “Oneofthethirty”, I don’t think it’s sad, I think it’s fantastic!

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