I’ve been reading some hilarious blogs recently. Ever since I started writing more myself, I’ve started reading people’s internet work more often… sometimes for inspiration, sometimes out of curiosity, and mostly for shits and giggles during my lunch breaks. I really like the blogger Jessie Rosen, who writes for her own website called 20-nothings.com. She’s incredibly talented, and she’s the type of writer that just gets it. In fact, she just gets a whole lot more than I do. I’m always laughing and learning when I read her work, and that’s why I keep going back. She’s witty, honest, and smart as a whip. The more I read her blog, the more I’m (not-so-) secretly hoping she’ll rub off on me. Is it working?
The post I particularly chuckled at was this one: The Strong (And Highly Recommended Case) For Acting Like You Don’t Want A Boyfriend. I clicked on it because it caught my eye. I clicked on it because I, myself, am in a position where I don’t really want a boyfriend. Or a commitment. Or too much emotional baggage. I’m happy I clicked on it, though, because it explored some incredibly fruitful advice that I think every. single. person. should think about when entering the dating scene, or a new relationship. This is what I’ll think back to when I decide to give dating the old college try once again.
Beginning with date number one: Stop pretending like you’re the person you’re fairly sure your date wants you to be. Chances are that you don’t really know said person, and you’re purely guessing after doing some fairly thorough Facebook stalking. So you put on your favorite flattering outfit (ok, understandable), but worst of all, you put on a personality that strokes their ego. NO. STOP. You are not that person, and you wouldn’t want them to be anybody except themselves. Who wants to find out 5 dates in that they’ve been dating somebody entirely different than who they previously thought? Nobody. Nobody wants to be blind sighted, and nobody wants to waste their time. Time is, after all, our most valuable asset. So before that first date, or that second or third or fourth, look yourself in the mirror and become centered into your own personality. You owe your date nothing but authenticity. And if you two don’t jive well, then don’t you want to find that out at the beginning? Don’t you want to realize that before those (sometimes nonsensical) feelings get involved and demand to be felt?
I’m not saying not to put your best foot forward. I mean, I think it’s obvious that you don’t want to arrive with a bunch of baggage when you’re getting to know someone. But you’re a person! A human fully capable of experiencing experiences and feeling feelings. And those experiences and feelings have shaped you into you. So embrace that you. Express that you. Especially when looking for a partner.
As I write this out, I keep asking myself… Well, why is this such a big problem in the first place? It’s seems strange and counterproductive to pretend to be someone other than yourself at any point, but especially when testing the relationship waters with another individual. But I think I just answered the question that I asked: because of the ego. It’s always all about the ego, and we are all prone to protecting said ego. Nobody wants to get rejected, so subconsciously, we all try to fit the mold that we think the other person desires. But chances are, your date doesn’t entirely know what they want. And loving a real person is so much different than deciding in your head the type of person you want to love. Often times, the best relationships show us the things we didn’t even know we were looking for.
So stop worrying about rejection. It’s going to happen. And it’s going to sting. But I don’t know about you…. I sure as hell would rather nurse that bee sting back to health rather than fix a broken heart that’s realized the person you’ve spent all your time with doesn’t actually love the real you. Trust me.. I’ve been there. And that wounds lasts a whole lot longer.
Dating doesn’t have to be a pretender’s game. It shouldn’t be. Dating can real and authentic and serendipitous. When it is all those things (and much, much more), it’s a lot more likely to lead to the relationship you never realized you needed. The one that sweeps you off your feet, but also keeps you grounded. The one that loves you unconditionally, but also leaves room for you to love yourself. The one that makes you feel more alive, more you, more human. Those relationships exist, and I think Jessie was right: they happen when you stop looking for them, and instead start looking for yourself (*hint *hint… start your search right underneath your own skin).