Not being authentic is a big problem in dating if you’re attempting to be someone you’re not when looking for the love of your life. Many women are taught in childhood to be pleasers and to cater to their man’s wishes, and often that means we act as the person we think our man would want to be with instead of who we really are when in the courting process of a relationship.
Unfortunately, this undermines everything you say you’re looking for, because most people have on their list of qualities that they want someone who’s honest; fun to be with, comfortable in their own skin, etc. Yet if you’re not being true to yourself and are pretending to be something else, how can you line up with someone who’s being true to themselves? It just doesn’t add up.
If you’re pretending to be what you think he wants, you’re going to attract someone who’s pretending or who isn’t representing themselves honestly. This could manifest itself in several ways. The men you’re meeting could be:
• Married or currently in another relationship
• Hiding something
• Accustomed to lying
• Players, who date multiple women at once, yet try to make you think you’re the only one.
• Living with parents (but says parents are living in his house)
• Been in jail
• Have undisclosed children
Those are the big whammies that most women say they would never tolerate; however, often times when you date men who aren’t being authentic the issues are much subtler.
• They have a drinking problem they won’t admit to or profess they can quit anytime.
• They practice physical or emotional abuse in insidious ways such that you get beaten down over time and don’t always realize it.
• They expect sex when they want it, and aren’t considerate of your feelings or desires.
• They ask for things they aren’t willing to give such as consideration, respect, or shared responsibility for household tasks.
• They stand you up or expect you to always accommodate their schedule.
• They’re insecure and let you walk all over them.
• And I’m sure you can think of many more.
So how do you get out of this cycle if you’ve just realized that you haven’t been true to yourself when dating?
1. Recognize what you’re doing, when you’re doing it. Do you agree to meet at a place that you don’t like? Do you adjust your schedule even if it’s not convenient for you? Do you say yes to meeting someone you already know you should say no to, just to not hurt someone’s feelings? Awareness is the key to making any sort of lasting change. Once you recognize what your patterns are you’re ready to move onto the next step, which is to…
2. Interrupt your pattern. After you recognize your pattern and interrupt it you are on your way to solidifying your change. How do you interrupt your pattern you ask? When you’re aware, you can use a physical reminder such as a rubber band on your wrist and snap it to help remind you that acting that way is not for your highest good. You can silently say “Cancel” to yourself to anchor that behavior as undesirable for you. You can remind yourself that every action on your part is a choice you make and you’re choosing to make different choices now. Most of this work is mental, yet these changes are very powerful for helping you become the best version of yourself and the most authentic you can be.
3. Choose a different action. Once you’ve interrupted your pattern you can choose a different way to respond or a different action to take. If a meeting place doesn’t appeal to you, suggest one or two that do. Offer up a choice of two times that fit your schedule. Let someone down gently if you know for sure they aren’t a match by saying something like, “Thank you for the invitation, but I can tell just from our conversations that we are probably not a match. I wish you luck in your search.” This way you don’t waste anyone’s time, you are still acting respectfully and you remain true to yourself.
This new way of behaving will take a little practice to get used to, but I promise that you will love the results and it will overlap into other areas of your life beyond intimate relationships. You will start having better boundaries in your friendships and with family members. You will voice your opinions and realize that your wishes and desires are important, you are valuable, and you can have what you ask for. When you fully actualize and present your authentic self to the world you will not want to have it any other way! So get busy practicing on your dates, family and friends and see if you don’t immediately start attracting higher quality men into your life who also value themselves and YOU highly!
This article was originally published at Manifest Your Man . Reprinted with permission from the author.