Relationship Fatalities and Human Flaws

August 11, 2009

It seems to me, that no matter what people say, they really truly don’t want to know the real you.

Everyone has a public self. The self that they put on complete with big smile and hearty handshake (and makeup for women, and some men!) This public self is confident, cool, friendly, professional. This is the self we present to acquaintances, new people that we meet, some relatives.

Then there is what I like to call the real self. This real self is human. It has flaws in character. It is the person that we are when we wake up. It is the person that we are inside. This real self stays put away until we are comfortable enough with other people to bring it out. This real self does indeed have all of our flaws… in my case, some insecurity, some communication issues. (yes, I just shared it with the world!) But this real self may also contain what is the very best part of ourselves… again in my case, creativity, energy, passion, infinite capacity to love.

My public self seems to be attractive enough. I have lots of acquaintances, I’m successful in my career in education, my friend circle is very large. I get asked out on dates, accept them, go on second dates.  But I am discovering more and more that my real self is not so accepted – especially in reference to forging relationships with the opposite sex.

I have developed some very close friendships over the past few years. I am very fortunate to be accepted for who I really am. For this I will always be grateful. (I love you all!!!) And I can promise my friends (and loving family) that you will not regret loving me back. My friends, both women and men, accept me even with all my flaws. The see past that to the person that I am, they accept my flaws as things that I am working on to improve. In fact, they help me, support me in my efforts to strengthen my character.

Lately, however, I have noticed what seems to be a trend for me. My public self seems to be attractive to men who are potentially future relationship material. We begin to get to know one-another. I know that outwardly I appear to be a strong, confident woman. And I am, for the most part. But truly, don’t we all have our moments? So when the moment comes, and I open myself up (chosing to do so after the man has, because God knows I don’t want to scare anyone away) and bam! There it is… the real me complete with flaws is no longer acceptable.

I’m not quite sure how to handle this. I don’t think that I should forever have to hide the real me… especially since there are so many things I think are good about the real me. On the other hand, I also don’t think it’s appropriate to indicate to someone when meeting them for the first time that in addition to holding a master’s degree, raising a child on my own, starting an art career, and learning to salsa dance, that I have my moments of insecurity and could he deal with that?

I want to build strong friendships. I want a relationship, yes, eventually I do (though I certainly don’t want to rush this.) But I am also me. Perhaps having both a relationship and being myself is no longer an option.



  1. Excellent blog, Torie! Great comment as well, Don. One should *not* have to choose between their real self and a relationship. Anyone who really loves us must love us ‘warts and all’. Those warts go into making us what we are, as much as how we deal with those imperfections.

  2. Hi Victoria,
    I am a friend of John Weatherly on FB; you, John, Jt and I had a brief exchange… Anyway, I looked at your public profile then followed the link to here, nice place you have here ;). I have enjoyed your art, photos and random thoughts, and sometimes not so random writings. After reading what you have written about our public face and the real person in “Relationships Fatalities and Human Flaws” I felt compelled to share my thoughts humble as they may be. You ask the question, “…don’t we all have our moments?” Sure we do, and anyone who is real and has the capacity to look at themselves honestly knows we all have “flaws”. But, it seems to me many people like to live their life in a delusion; creating a self image that they want to portray and convince themselves, this is who I am and deny the inner flaws. So, we meet and greet everyone putting their best self forward and all is well and good; until someone has the courage to be a little real, let some imperfection show through; and now they must choose… do they recoil from the relationship or acknowledge, you are not perfect and neither am I.
    I have been surprised how some people cannot, or will not cross that barrier; it is not so much about accepting another imperfection it is about exposing their own imperfections and risking rejection. It sounds as if you have the courage to take that risk… were you rejected for your imperfections or because they could not confront their own? Then again maybe all they were seeking is a superficial relationship.
    I am sure not one to give advice, but I hope you are wrong when you pose the thought “Perhaps having both a relationship and being myself is no longer an option.” How sad that would be… don’t you think?

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