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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Take It or Leave It

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Take it or Leave it

I started writing this week’s column and was pretty well into it, when all of a sudden, I deleted the whole thing.

It was about a situation with a guy I had been out with a few times.  Then we went out, and “the change” occurred.  I don’t know how, but his insights and thought process just became totally different.  Basically, in the column I was writing, I went into more detail, and then I realized it wasn’t fair.  It wasn’t fair to him and it wasn’t fair to anyone out there really, including myself.  After all, who doesn’t have their own individual thought process?  And why wouldn’t it be likely that it doesn’t come out right away?  Just because it caught me off-guard doesn’t mean it’s some big terrible thing.  Of course, it was kind of comical afterwards, but I’ll try and add a couple jokes here and there for you.


At the time it seemed like a big deal because I thought I “knew” this person.  Which begs the question, how much do we ever really know the people we are dating?  Look at all the people who are married for years and then discover some big secret or get divorced and say, “I thought I knew him!”  Okay, I’m being extreme.  Let’s step back many dates from that point.

You’ve gone out quite a few times, you know his interests, his dislikes, his personality, and, hey, you might even finish his sentences.  You think you “know” him.  Then, you’re sitting across the table from him in a coffee shop when he says:

“So, I think I finally saw one last night.”

“Saw what?” you ask.

“An alien,” he tells you.

You choke on your coffee. He doesn’t notice.

“I was sleeping and saw a shadow outside my curtain.  There’s that sliver of window that isn’t covered, and I peeked over there to see a giant green head,” he says, beaming at you.  “Amazing, isn’t it?”

Amazing, indeed.  You tell him it probably was just a shadow of something else, or he was having a dream, or that maybe someone was trying to break in, but he doesn’t listen.  After that, he goes on and on about alien encounters and how he’s been studying them since the third grade and performing rituals to get them to visit him.  Now that they have, he might have to go “up” with them.  He asks if you’ll go if that is the case.

What do you tell him?

Don’t ask me, but if this has ever happened to you, please let me know.

The point is, everyone has his or her little “thing” that might surprise you.  Whether it’s that she has a huge stuffed animal collection she’s not willing to let go off, or that he writes his favorite baseball player every week, or that you both have different theories on life that might clash.  It’s called different personalities and opinions and yes, they are bound to come out at one point and I say, the sooner the better—no matter how strange they may seem.

The fact is, that when they do come out, it’s because the person is more comfortable with you, and that is a good thing.  Even if what they are telling you might throw you off a bit.  They wouldn’t be telling you if they were truly afraid of your reaction.  So even if you are afraid, be comforted in the fact that they trust you and have found that there is some sort of foundation in your relationship.  Whatever he is telling you is probably not something he tells everyone, so the best thing to do is to listen, take it in, try and process it, and then decide where to go from there.  Do you really want to sit back and let it slide?  If it’s something you’re not comfortable with, then ask him about it.  And if it’s something intriguing, do the same.  There’s nothing wrong with prompting discussion, and as you find out more about him, you might also find out more about yourself.

Getting to know someone better can bring about a lot of changes, both good and bad.  But the main point of this is actually “getting to know” someone, and that means the actual person.  Sharing your ideas, no matter how crazy they seem, can open you up to the real person inside and can help you open up too.  Everyone has something—whether they are hiding it or not.  It’s when they choose to let it out that we should listen, and if we really care, accept it.

And for the record, yes, I do still have my old New Kids on the Block tapes, and I am very psyched for the reunion tour!  Take it or leave it!


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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