When we go on dates with someone we’re interested in, we hope to like them and as self-centered egotistic beings, we want them to like who we are too. We want to be liked and needed, but when it comes to dating, are we misrepresenting our true selves to simply be likable?
First dates are very awkward, especially if both people don’t know much about each other. Even when both people know each other previously either as friends or simply acquaintances, dating someone is very different from being friends with someone.
Many people refrain from showing their true colors on the first couple of dates in fear of rejection, but by hiding who we really are, we’re doing more of a dis-service to ourselves than we would if we would simply be ourselves.
It’s important to understand that when dealing with rejection being your true self is a lot more difficult to do than if you put on an act, because then any criticism you receive it is not a direct attack on who you are as a person.
Although it is scary to be yourself on the first couple of dates, if the relationship does blossom, your true colors are bound to come out eventually.
What does it mean to be yourself? Often times in life, especially in dating we put on an act. On the first few dates over the first few months, we tend to be more polite, we pretend we’re more interested in topics that the other person is interested in even if we’re not. We take part in activities that we wouldn’t necessarily enjoy, rather than being honest and finding activities that both people enjoy. Being yourself is not holding back from who you are with your friends. People like double dating for this reason, because it allows both parties to see how their dates are around friends, as it is often very different from who they are one-on-one.
Do you say what you’re looking for? Communicating what you are looking for on a first, second or third date is difficult to do because often times we don’t know what we’re really looking for. In fact, we go on dates because we don’t know what we want, and dating gives us the opportunity to experience all different types of people and relationships. However, if you’re adamant about getting into a serious relationship, don’t begin one with someone who isn’t sure, unless you’re totally willing to take the risk of getting hurt. These feelings and opinions can change as both people get to know one another, but that takes a lot of honesty and a little luck.
True Story (names were changed): Alex was dating Erica for a couple of weeks and they really got along well. They had many friends and interests in common and when they went on their first date, Erica was very honest with Alex and told him that she was looking for something serious and is not looking for a casual hook up.
Alex was crazy about Erica, he thought she was smart, funny and really liked being in her company, but Alex knew deep down that he wasn’t really looking for something serious. However, Alex wasn’t ready to give up his chance with Erica, so he told her that he’s open to anything.
About 3 months down the line, Erica was ready to take their relationship to the next level and when her actions and feelings weren’t being reciprocated she confronted Alex. He told her that although he really likes her, he really did not know what he wanted and after spending so much time together he is not ready to take it to a more serious level.
Erica was fuming, not only was she angry, she was very sad because she felt as though she wasted her time and emotions on a relationship that was going nowhere to begin with. Alex was upset too, and he didn’t expect to be. But Alex felt that not only was he dishonest with Erica and himself, he also messed up an opportunity that could have blossomed into something great at a different time.
Ending things earlier is easier. Break ups are difficult no matter how you do them. However, if you end things at the beginning, between 1-5 dates, the “break up” will be easier because you’re less emotionally invested. This is even more likely if you don’t sleep with the person either, as being sexually involved typically involves emotions. Waiting to break up when you know you don’t want to keep seeing the other person only hurts both people in the end.
Pretending to be someone else, to simply be desired, liked and wanted by the other person usually leads to damaging to your own ego and hurting everyones feelings.
Someone recently said,
“everyone makes it seem like being single is such a bad thing!”
The reality is that being single when you’re confident in who you are inside and out is a lot more enjoyable than it is if you’re insecure. Dating as an insecure individual is traumatic, un-enjoyable, and often comes with a lot of dissatisfaction both within oneself and others.
Insecurity is one of the main reasons that people
settle for less than they deserve and desire.
Instead of focusing on being a good date, focus on learning to be yourself, but also to love being yourself. You’d be surprised how much more successful your dating life will be if you can become comfortable being you from the beginning.