Read the "Book"!
I had a thought the other day: Dating/being in a relationship is like reading a book. Think about it for a second... You see a book on the stand, the cover and/or title grab(s) your attention, so you pick it up and read the synopsis on the back to get a little preview. If it's bound in nylon, then you can't skim through it. So, if you're curious enough, you buy it. After the Foreword and/or Preface, you start at Chapter 1. Most people don't read the Foreword or Preface. They skip those even though they do hold valuable information. Then at Chapter 1, you start reading, sometimes a lil skeptical about what the author has to say. You determine if you like their writing style, the layout of the text, and if you're really finicky, you even pay attention to the font!
Isn't all of this similar to dating/starting a relationship with someone? You see them across the room,your eyes connect, you walk over, have a chat, get the number(which I will liken to "buying the book"), and then you proceed to get to know the person just a little bit by asking general questions (i.e. reading the Foreword or Preface). If you're liking what you're "reading", then you proceed to Chapter 1 (perhaps a date, hangout, etc.)
When reading a book, depending on how long it is, after about the first two or three chapters (2-3 months in terms of getting to know a person), you know enough about the story, gist, writing style, font style, etc. to know whether or not you'd like to keep reading, right? No one forces you, it's a choice, if the book is not interesting enough, you put it down sometimes thinking "what a waste of money", "what a waste of time", etc. But I don't think any relationship is a waste of time, if you know when to walk away and actually do it. Like someone said, something to the effective of "No relationship is a waste. If they aren't what you want at least they showed you what you don't want". Sometimes though it's hard to walk away(put the book down) because we think it'll get better. So we say to ourselves to give the author the benefit of doubt, right? We say his/her writing can't be that bad. Perhaps, we're not in the mood to read right now that's why it seems bad, etc.,etc. So we put it down to revist it later on but deep down we know we should really let it go cos the book isn't working for us now and never will!
From another angle, if the book is working for you and you're thoroughly enjoying it, chances are the story will take unexpected (pleasant and unpleasant) turns sometimes. You'll tell yourself how you can't believe the author took that turn or said this or that. It turns out to be an adventure, an exciting ride, a treasure hunt, exploration and so are relationships. Once the author has earned our trust, we must continue to trust the author to deliver a great story no matter the twists and turns,right? And so it should be in relationships. Do you agree?
Now, the inspiration for my thought came from wondering if we can really judge a book by it's cover. To an extent, perhaps we can. If the author/publisher didn't invest a lot in the appearance (cover, design, etc.) of the book, perhaps the book isn't worth reading. While this is sometimes true, some publishers are just not very savvy when it comes to design so maybe they didn't get the design right (or at least to suit your taste) but that doesn't mean the book isn't juicy! For all you know it might turn out to be one of your favorites and a very good read.
So, essentially, my point is perhaps we shouldn't be too hard on people if their cover, Foreword, and Preface aren't super intriguing or attractive cos for all we know they just might be a really exciting and thrilling read if we're just patient enough to not judge them by their "cover" but by their substance (by reading the "book"), which is really what matters ultimately.
Picture courtesy of cartoontrac-changes.blogspot.com