I don’t know how many variations of this post’s titles I have heard, but I will list a couple of them below:
Believe half of what you see and none of what of what you hear
Put a D*ck in your ear and F*ck what you heard
I’m sure you get it.
If I don’t say anything else about what that saying means, I will say that it holds true in so many arenas of our lives, none more so than our relationships.
When I say relationships, I don’t just mean romantic. In my mind all relationships, romantic and otherwise, come to a point where each person in the relationship has to show and prove. Most often, that comes during difficult times. In platonic relationships, that time can come during a disagreement on when one person in the relationship feels that his or her world is falling apart. Maybe a family member died, maybe a relationship ends, or maybe he or she finds him or herself in a hell of a financial situation. A friendship might be reconsidered if the person doesn’t make every effort to show his or her support, whether it be in offering time or financial and emotional support. By the same token, a relationship might be called into question if one party feels that he or she is being taken for granted. Maybe he or she made an effort, but for whatever reason that effort wasn’t good enough. Maybe the friend wasn’t standing at the gravesite, or didn’t have ENOUGH money to spare, or didn’t say the “right” things. The specifics depend on the relationship and the people in them, but the end result can always be the of a relationship. That outcome of the situation has nothing to do with the type of relationship between the two people involved and everything to do with the type of relationship each person understands them to have.
Let me clarify. I certainly would expect a different showing from a friend (and I don’t use the term lightly) that I have known from high school that I talk to ALL the time as compared to a friend with whom I am still defining the nature of our friendship. In that case of a death of a family member -let’s say a parent or a sibling- I would probably expect my high school friend to make all reasonable efforts to be there at the funeral with me, while this “new” friend could probably get away with just sending a card. I might expect a friend with the history to have a better idea of how to console me, while my “new” friend might get a pass. My understanding depth of our relationship would certainly have an impact on what I would expect.
On the flip side of the coin, that friend’s understanding would certainly influence how he or she responded to me in my hour of need. Maybe he or she thinks we have drifted apart, and they aren’t so sure how to respond to me. Maybe my “new” friend is more in tune to what I’d need in that moment, as compared to the friend who might have known exactly what to say to the high school me. Likely, how they would respond to be would be influenced by his or her interactions with me, and depending on how close either friend lives to me, they might be day-to-day or once in while.
In terms of romantic relationships, the same thing holds true. A partner can promise you the world, but that don’t mean a DAY-UM thing if the actions don’t line up with those words. Still, perceptions about the relationship play their part as well. If a man tells you he can’t see anyone but you, but then you see him making eyes at some girl at the club…that doesn’t go together. If a woman tells you she can’t see herself spending her life with anyone but you but you (somehow) come across some risqué photos or romantic texts/emails she’s been sending to a string of other dudes…she might be lying.
That’s not to say this adage can’t be the cause of misunderstandings, but more than less likely, what you see is what you get.