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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

"Bait and Switch" Relationships
(Why They Never Work)

Just once, I’d like to have a relationship that exceeds my expectations. Just once.

Though most have been rewarding, they usually languish in the land of "well-he’s-cute-and-there’s-more-good-than-bad" land. The reason?

When dating, I find that a lot of guys do the old "bait and switch" routine to close the deal. And usually I end up with buyer's remorse; like the smooth talker that almost had me convinced that he was the best thing since Breyer’s ice cream! Initially, he appeared to be attentive, charismatic, and full of promising potential. With two small problems: he forgot to tell me he had major anger issues and couldn't hold down a job.

Or, the hot Lieutenant Firefighter with whom there was an unfortunate "false alarm!" Despite his gorgeous packaging, he lacked substance. To add insult to injury, he had some crazy "policy" about sex and entitlement that wasn't revealed early in the game, which caused him to strike out fast!
All that glitters is definitely not gold!

Don't get me wrong. I believe that it's important to have a little mystery in a relationship, and that it's vital to "put one's best foot forward" in the beginning. In fact, it's necessary to ensure endurance. But, there's a big difference between putting your best foot forward, pretending, and withholding pertinent information!

For example, I never let a guy come near my family until he’s head over heels with me! I have nothing to hide. It's just a strategy thing. One of my ways of putting my best foot forward. For the record, they are beautiful and extremely bright folks, but a bit eccentric. And way too "no-holds-barred" to expose to men I’m trying to impress!

I also reserve the right to keep from him my Barry Manilow collection, my bank account balance, and the contents of my “junk” drawer. Some things are just sacred.

But I never pretend to me somebody I'm not, or put on airs. It’s unnecessary and exhausting. And you shouldn't either!

Deception destroys trust. Not to mention, it prevents the other person from having a fair basis by which to judge the relationship. Much like a couple Dr. Phil was counseling on his show the other day. These newlywed guests were experiencing problems because the husband had female friends that the wife objected to and felt threatened by. A fact that she secretly hid from him when they were dating, because she didn't want to lose him. Now that she’s decided to confess and come clean, needless to say, there's trouble in paradise. Big mistake!

Take heed. In love and life, do the right thing! Be your best you, and have people to accept you on your own terms. That way, everybody can spend less time "window-shopping" and more time enjoying their merchandise!

Author’s note:
"Bait and Switch" is a tactic used by some businesses to lure customers in by advertising inexpensive goods, or certain products that are unavailable, and thereby substituted for more expensive items.

Speaking of shopping...

Here are 10 ways to show chivalry on a shoe-string budget (in honor of Valentine's Day)!

Contrary to popular opinion, diamonds are not "a girl's best friend". "Gems" from a love interest, in the form of thoughtful gestures and sweet tokens of affection can be equally endearing. Not that diamonds are a shabby deal either!

But, a guy need not break the bank in order to give a woman things of value or touch her heart. All that’s required is a little creativity, passion, and an adventurous spirit. Here's how:

1) Have a romantic song dedicated to your girl over the radio airwaves; the one you first danced to, or one that conveys things you feel but can't say.

2) Give her a foot massage after a long day’s work. Take the chores off her hand.

3) Send roses just because.

4) Keep your word.

5) Show fidelity.

6) Flirt with her out in public.

7) Call when you say you will.

8) Prepare a cozy dinner for two.

9) Go shopping with her.

10) Be nice to the people who are special in her life.



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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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