A super-shiny, stock photo veneer makes me think twice about you.
When we go on a first date, we’re always on our best behavior... or so we’d hope. We want the person in front of us to like us, and we often will put on an amazing face for it to happen. At times, we might even lie about who we really are or what we want to do with our lives. Most commonly, we might have a sunny disposition and lie about everything being positive in our lives.
The fact is that, though I do like this side of people, I can’t really fall for someone until I see the side of them that isn’t so sunny. It’s way too easy to like someone when all you ever see of them is their happy-go-lucky side.
But, the thing is, I’ve learned people who are just a bit too happy or just a bit too perfect tend to be really messed up on the inside. So, you know what? I’m going to be real with the world.
I’m not a super-happy person. I have a past riddled with misfortune, abuse, and hurt. I have issues trusting people because of what’s happened to me before and I've felt like I'm completely done with love. I have a ratchet streak in me and have scars to prove I’ve lived through serious sh*t.
I'm not perfect, nor am I sheltered, nor am I basic. If you’re looking for the shiny, happy, perfectly polished rich girl who leads a charmed life in Lululemon pants while holding a Starbucks coffee cup, keep walking.
I also have no interest in looking at someone who’s too polished and too peppy. I don’t want someone who has a fake smile plastered to their face. I don’t want to play guessing games on whether or not he’s pissed at me, whether he resents me, or whether he’s really as nice as he seems. I don’t want someone who acts like nothing is ever wrong, even when something clearly is.
The truth is that real life is not always happy unless you’re permanently fried out on an entire factory’s worth of drugs. Bad things happen. People do f*cked up things, upset others, and get hurt. That’s part of life — it’s not always a large part of life, but it’s still there regardless. That’s the ugly, hard truth that people so often don’t want to face.
And you know what else? Everyone has experienced that side of life, even if they don’t ever want to admit it. Refusing to talk about things that happen that were bad, and just smiling through tears, telling people you’re fine when you’re fuming at them is not healthy. Nor, in fact, is that kind of behavior honest. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s pretentious in a mildly sociopathic way.
It’s easy to love someone who acts happy all the time because the person who you’re liking is most likely a lie. Yes, that happy, perfect person is a beautiful lie, but they’re still a lie.
A real person will have real struggles they work to overcome. And they will be able to be upfront, (somewhat) calm, and (reasonably) collected when they do it. Moreover, people who are worth dating won't smear you to keep themselves looking pristine. Sadly, that's a very rare trait to find, indeed.
Rarer still is finding the kind of integrity that comes with true grit — the kind of grit that comes when you deal with hard sh*t. Real people who are happy with their lives and worth dating will tell you when they want something to change. They’ll tell you if they dislike something. They won’t just sit there and smile, and tell you how everything is alright.
Though they may get selfish at times, they also will be able to put themselves in your shoes and see things from your perspective. They're willing to compromise but will tell you when you cross a line. In other words, they’ll be an honest-to-god mix of happiness and other emotions.
Sadly, I've seen too many people paint that "Shiny, Happy People" mural and pretend to live in that unnaturally happy world. They will see themselves as the perfectly good, perfectly kind hero to their story, even as they do horrible things to people. And I've watched them march on, seemingly oblivious to the damage they've wreaked on others in the wake of their leaving. Believe me when I say it's scary how delusional people can get.
What I’ve noticed is that people who act that way are lying to themselves — and to other people. If their happy sham reality breaks, they will end up screwing over people just to keep things happy for them.
I ought to know because I've seen people do smear campaigns on others to keep things “happy” for them, and because I’ve seen people switch personalities like most people change shirts. Simply put, a super-shiny veneer makes me think twice about people.
So, no, I don’t particularly care to see the perfectly manicured exterior of a first date. I know that’s normally a front. Rather, if you want to impress me, show me the fact that you can face problems head on without being a pretentious, fake f*ck about it. That way, we can both be dark together.