False advertising and the post-honeymoon truth, Part I

“Seems like everybody has a price. I wonder how they sleep at night when the sale comes first and the truth comes second.” ~Jessie J. & B.O.B.

I’m a music junkie, not just because a great tune can take me out of a bad mood even before the first verse is over, but also because music is one of the best critical thinking and self-awareness tools we have. Just the other day I was listening to the song “Price Tag” and had barely begun moving when I was struck by the song’s first line, “when the sale comes first and the truth comes second.” My first thought was how most of us falsely advertise ourselves in the pursuit of relationships, but feel confused when eventually the truth surfaces, yet fails to inspire and/or sustain those relationships. We all engage in occasional, if not frequent, false advertising in the interest of securing and maintaining connection with our objects of affection, especially in the beginning stages of relationship.

But what if there is a method behind the madness of love’s deception? Rather than feeling duped by our partners once the proverbial honeymoon is over or shamefully deceitful towards our partners when our own true colors reveal their shady hues, we might consider that the fraud perpetrated by both parties and our unhappiness with the “truth” are actually motivators. Mother Nature’s incentive behind the blissful state of falling in love could be to compel us to look at and change things about ourselves that we otherwise wouldn’t look at or change. So when we suddenly see the humanness of our partners and conversely start being seen by them, a nostalgic spin on the fault in question might be just what’s needed to remind us what and why we loved or “didn’t mind” that particular quirk in our object of affection in the first place.

For those whose “honeymoon recall” requires a stroll down memory lane, it may just be worth the trip to dig up those qualities, and most importantly those “quirks,” you found so endearing when your relationship was still on the cusp of “changing your life.” This exercise won’t require much effort for those of you who are currently falling in love or still in love, because you and your loved one will still have the glow cast from the hormonal halos you “reign” upon each other daily. Whichever category you’re in, please read carefully and heed the following advice: start making a note of every quirk and quality your partner has that you find/found irresistible, endearing, and charming and the reasons you did. For you longtime lovers, refer back if you can to cards, love letters, any mementos that hint at what you first fell in love with and what made your partner so lovable back then.

  • Ada Rios-Rivera, PhD
  • Social Psychologist, Life Coach, and writer with a career background in Individual, Relationship, Family Counseling, Conflict/Diversity and Organizational Consulting. Ada writes for "Psychology Tomorrow," an alternative online, sister magazine to "Psychology Today" and is currently working on a book that explores her life in foster care and journey of discovery through story and poetry.

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