Is it just me, or don’t most people prefer to get to know someone over time? I mean, if you meet someone for the first time and you’re starting a relationship (dating or otherwise), isn’t part of the fun discovering new things about him or her as time passes?
Let’s try a scenario… Say I’m goin’ on a date with this girl… I’ll call her Bizzarabeth (Beth for short).
Okay, so Beth and I head out on our date… when I first met her at a mutual friend’s birthday party, everyone was calling her Beth so I call her Beth. On our way to dinner we make idle chatter and she mentions that her actual given name is Bizzarabeth. After successfully masking my initial shock with a throat-clearing cough, I tell her my name is Myxllence Doviticus. She does a double-take to see if I’m joking and then laughs in disbelief. I tell her I was kidding, but now the ice is broken and we’ve both loosened up. Now see, THAT kind of info is cool…no problem… no real big horror stories or traumatic life experiences.
Now let’s try another scenario…
I go to pick up Bizzarabeth from her house. I ring the doorbell and she invites me in while she gets her coat. Several people are sitting around watching TV in the den so she escorts me into the room to introduce me to everyone.
“Everyone, this is Myxl Dove” she smiles and begins to point as we move around the room.
“Myxl… that’s my father on the couch with the amputated leg… he’s a war veteran. My mom is the one sitting next to him nursing the oxygen tank.” Then she whispers, “She’s got emphysema cause she smokes so much!” I arch a brow and remain silent.
“That’s my brother. Ugh! …the 16 year old jail bird!” she says with disgust. “He’s a part-time crack dealer too.” She looks at me with earnest eyes, “If you get a chance maybe you can talk some sense into him?” She smiles and continues to lead me around the room. I force a smile, but my mind is sufficiently blown at this point.
“Over there is my baby sister.” She points at what appears to be a 4 year-old zombie in a playpen near the kitchen. “She’s blind in one eye cause my mom drank heavily during the pregnancy. Oh! That reminds me! How long will we be out?? I’m wondering if we can stop by the pharmacy to pick up my dad’s Viagra prescription before it closes?”
At this point I would most likely provide any outlandish excuse to get out of there as soon as possible. It’s not so much that her family has issues, most families do. The concern is that you don’t drop all this heavy info on someone you’ve just met. I’d rather find out about your dysfunctional family after I’ve built a strong foundation of friendship and/or love for you. You should never be anxious when cultivating a relationship… allow it to grow in it’s own time. Some people you automatically feel like you’ve known forever… some people you feel as if you’ll never know…