The Ol’ Switcharoo


Is it possible to pull the ol’ switcharoo in dating without hurting feelings? What’s the ol’ switcharoo you ask? I’ll try my best to make it simple. In dating, specifically, the ol’ switcharoo is a person who wants to switch their mate, for their mates friend or family member. For example, in the syndicated sitcom ‘Seinfeld,’ main character Jerry Seinfeld finds himself attracted to his girlfriends roommate. Jerry is attracted to the roommate’s vibrant and fun personality, which is a stark contrast from his girlfriends personality. Jerry and his friend George plot various ways to make ‘the switch,’ which ultimately their plan backfires. Another example of the switcharoo is the recent coverage of country-pop singer Shania Twain and her bitter divorce from her husband of fourteen years, Robert John “Mutt” Lange. The divorce was the result of an intimate relationship between Lange and Twain’s best friend. Basically Lange pulled the ol’ switcharoo. Of course there are huge differences between the switch on Seinfeld and that of Shania Twain (besides one being fictional and the other being real), but in either situation it is a risk. Should the ol’ switcharoo be attempted when it comes to matters of the heart? I say absolutely NOT; this is a definite dating don’t!

Attempting the switch opens up a can worms that will only create a mess. Most importantly, there is a moral issue. I understand you can’t help who you are attracted to or who you fall in love with, but you can’t argue it’s the most positive act. Of course the moral issue is bigger in a ten-year relationship, for example, rather than a two month relationship. Either way, however, the switch  is bound to hurt someones feelings and you don’t know how the parties are going to react. Here lies the risk I mentioned before. Let’s say you’re in relationship for six months, and you find yourself interested in your mate’s friend. Now before you make a move, I would hope that you have enough common sense to assess their friendship. Ask yourself if your partner’s friend would even consider dating you under the circumstances. Then ask yourself if you can live with the act of hurting your partner. Be completely honest with yourself. Your partner will be hurt. He/she will be hurt by you, and if the friend accepts your advances, your mate will be hurt by his/her friend. It’s a double whammy and a no-win situation. Of course that all depends on how much you care about your mate’s feelings. I used to think that the switch was a gender issue. I thought pulling the switcharoo on a man was easier because men aren’t as emotional as women. Now I’m not so sure. I think they are about the same. A person who doesn’t have feelings for their partner, might not mind their friend dating him/her. That may be the only exception, but then again a person’s ego may not allow it.

Unfortunately you are stuck with the hand you played, or you may have to fold and move on. However, you can’t switch the cards and start over. There isn’t a way to make a switch without appearing deceitful and dishonest. Furthermore, there isn’t a way to make a switch and be sure that it will be successful. A person may value their friendship more than a relationship, which in that case you lose. Think about it, how would you react. Imagine your man/woman deciding to end your relationship to date your friend. Don’t lie to yourself and say you wouldn’t care, especially if you have feelings for your partner. I sort of think that even if you didn’t have feelings, your ego would definitely interfere. You would be upset that he/she doesn’t want you, and instead wants your friend. That’s when the comparison begins. You wonder what your friend has to offer, why is your partner so attracted to him/her, and you may even start to point out the negatives in your friend. Again it creates a mess! Hearts will be broken, feelings will be hurt, and friendships may be lost. It’s not worth the risk when you don’t know what you’re getting. You may make the switch, and the best friend is not what you imagined. You can’t always get what you want, and what you thought you wanted, may not be what you need. Simplicity is everything, and the switcharoo is just too complicated.

You can read about Shania Twain’s story in People.com. It is the ultimate story about the ol’ switcharoo! Also, check out the Video Pick of the Week in the sidebar. I thought it was so appropriate for this post.

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