By Kenneth Stepp
Being real, genuine, be yourself. What do these things have in common? They are relatively new things. Before I married my wife, these things were never even a thought. Now, they have become a grand game of sorts. How can I impress someone who would not be impressed with the real me? Has it become a game? To what end?
I hear stories and they are heartbreaking. Stories of deceit, outright fakes, some married, some even giving false names and information about themselves. Others who are just looking to be taken care of or wanting something from someone. Honesty and transparency have been shelved for things far less nobel.
I have online personas, some would say too many, mine are mostly for research. Every now and then I do meet someone very special digitally though. This is a major source of my stories. I interview people about being single. It’s a fascinating thing to study really. People open up to me, I’m glad they do, and they are safe with me, I’d never use their names when writing.
I find so many who base their decisions on how they feel at that moment. I’ve known people who met someone who wowed them on the first date and moved them into their homes. I’ve known some who bought expensive items for their new potential someone because they “needed” it. All I can do is sit and watch as the opposing trains run headlong for one another. It’s never pretty.
I talk about love, or what I think love is, often. I believe that real love, or unconditional love, is all consuming. Priorities change when real love happens. If I love you, my happiness is based on how happy you are. Love prefers the object of it’s affection over its own self. If you’ve never loved unconditionally, this will sound silly to you.
An example I can cite is when I was married, I always wanted to visit San Francisco. My wife and I talked about it often. I was so busy running our businesses, time was flying by. I asked her to invite a friend and go. It was an amazing trip and she had a blast. I was just as happy as I would have been had I gone myself. Her happiness made me happy.
I’m getting ready to say something creepy about myself. I collect people. I do. When I meet an amazing person, I want them to stay in my life forever. If they have integrity, if they are honest, loyal, and transparent, I never want to lose them. I want them in my orbit forever. Those are “real people”. They are getting harder to find as the years click by.
Being single these days has different dynamics than when I dated my wife. There are far more do’s and don’ts than back then. And the red flags, they are everywhere and plentiful. I guess what I’m saying is that being real is important and rare. Just being kind or neighborly seems odd to people today. I had someone from a support group message me and asked if there may be someone in the group that might help her pick up a mattress. I have a truck and work from home, I’ll do it. That actually was a big deal to her. Why?
I guess I’ll bottom line this article with this. If you want to go from one stranger to another, never having a relationship with substance, never having anyone know you well enough to actually care, keep being fake, keep saying what you think they want to hear, and have all the lonely nights that that brings. But if you’re searching for your forever love, show them you, be a wonderful you. The person you are meant to be with will love you for who you are, not who you pretend to be.