There are countless people dating today. Many of them are looking to find their “soul mate” and are doing everything in their power to look good, act “right”, present themselves in the best light possible and to win over the heart of another. In an effort to win someone’s heart, they dress nicer than usual, answer questions the way they believe the other person would want them to answer and they act on their best behavior. They figure that when they “win” over the other person, then they can let their guard down and be themselves.
I cannot begin to tell you how off this thinking is. Trying to look, talk and act like someone you’re not, is deceptive at best and a recipe for disaster at worst. The purpose of dating is to meet someone who you like to spend your time with, feel comfortable hanging out with and who you can be yourself with. Why work like a dog to become someone else so a stranger can like…a stranger? You’re not representing you when you talk different, dress different and act different than you do in your day-to-day life. You’re representing some illusion of a person you think this other person would like. Why have that person fall in love with a stranger instead of you?
This approach to dating is reinforced by countless dating sites and is BAD advice. Advice telling men and women to be anyone but who they are is rampant in our society today. There’s a push to be better, brighter, smarter than the rest of the world. Constantly striving to be perfect, physically, mentally, financially etc., is an impossible feat that sets all of us up for burn out, depression and a nagging sense of being inadequate. Our world’s idea of the “perfect date” is warped. The perfect date for me will be starkly different than the perfect date for you. The male athlete is likely looking for someone different than the softeware engineer. Some people are looking for someone quirky and funny, others are looking for someone physically active and insightful, while still others are looking for someone quiet, introspective and deep.
There is no “perfect date”. There are many different people who are just right for some people and totally not a fit for others. The more people try to become that person that our world seems to think is “the right person”, the more they and our world will lose out. If you want to strive to better yourself–great; however do that so you feel better about you, not so others will like you more. Do whatever internal and external work you need to do in order to feel comfortable in your own skin. When you’re willing, able and comfortable with simply being yourself, on a date and in the world, you are then officially ready to find your realistic, imperfect soul mate.
Dare to be genuinely you…it’s your best chance at happiness.
Challenge: Notice all the ways you act, dress and talk different when on a date and begin to dare to be more genuinely you. Don’t focus on whether they like you or not; focus on how you feel being yourself and trust that being you is a perfect fit for someone else who dares to be genuine as well.