A common complaint from internet dating is that their date didn’t look like their photo. Sure, to some degree people are running around posting their hottest photos taken at their best angles, but I think what happens more often is that people look different when they are in motion than when they are still. Ever hit “pause” on the VCR and catch a usually stunning actor in the most hideous of poses?* Well, you can take a mere regular Joe and catch them looking like ten million bucks. Neither is entirely accurate, though neither is entirely inaccurate, either.
People also note that their date “was different in person.” Of course they were. That motion, those movements, the voice – they are all part of a complete package. The key to being attracted to the person in front of you is really to accept the whole enchilada for what it is. Preconceived notions don’t tend to fly well because you’ve already built up a fantasy person that can’t be actualized. No one is as they seem. Even after three months. Even after six months. Actually, I’d be curious to know if anyone who has been together for ten years felt like they really knew their partner, or if they were still surprised by them on a regular basis.
Someone smart once told me that people are like puzzles, and after your initial attraction to them, you’ll spend the rest of your life rearranging the pieces and making sense of the whole picture. Basically, people are like unsolvable puzzles. As you move them, they move themselves in evolution. Gets sticky, yeah?
I guess I wouldn’t want this any other way. I want to be able to change, and I want other people to be allowed the same courtesy. But how does that fit into commitment, monogamy, and long term relationships?
*I once paused Sarah Michelle Geller in the most unflattering moment of her life during an episode of Buffy. The moment involved her standing in the library with Giles – in motion, nothing was weird. But catch anyone at just the wrong moment and…yipes.