The chart below is explains why we have a hard time being ourselves—because we aren’t supposed to!
It is called The Law of Diminishing Deal Breakers.
The law states that the correlation between the relationship strength and the severity of the deal breaker is a Gompertz function (“S-curve” (thanks Google)) where the further you progress in the relationship, the greater the concern must be in order to become a legitimate “deal breaker”.
“Relationship strength” is defined by the time invested multiplied by the emotional connection. It isn’t just about connection or time, but both!
Anything that falls into the “Drop Zone” is out like a fat kid in dodge ball.
Everything in the “Go Zone” is on like Donkey Kong.
The severity of the deal breaker is a subjective parameter by the evaluating party.
Let’s understand this from the perspective of being observed.
STAGE 1: Feeling it Out
On a first date I don’t mention the fact that I have leopard sheets, hot tamale PJ’s, bear claw slippers and a little mermaid pillow case…that’s a little too much into the “Seriously?!” boundary.
So keep it normal at the start—even (especially) if you aren’t.
Now this does not mean to lie. If you don’t like parties, you don’t have to say, ‘I hate parties and everyone that goes to them because they are stupid!’ You can say, ‘I would rather do something else next time if that is okay.’
Stage 2: Feeling Good
It is at this stage that you can begin to explore a little bit of letting them get to know your quirks. Your weird ‘alone in the car’ habits may be a little too soon here, but start to test the waters with the number of shoes you have, your disdain for open cupboards and your fetish with pulling out nose hairs.
Stage 3: Feeling Sure
This can be called in the bag—brown paper bag, that is. Regardless of how strong your relationship is, everyone has a limit of what they are willing to handle. Remember that last time you got paper bags with three jugs of milk in it? Yup. Hard pass. Things like killing people, SUPER [censored] internet habits or sneezing into you hand instead of your elbow would fall into this category.
Moral of the story:
As my mother always tells me, “Zack, don’t not be you…just…be—less of you.”
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