There's a reason why they call it the “dating game.”
When you're single and out meeting people or on a date with someone you don't know all that well, games get played. The other person shows you what he or she thinks you want to see. You do the same thing. You both omit certain facts about yourselves and you might even exaggerate or flat out lie about other aspects of who you are and what you do.
It can be confusing if you spend more and more time together and you both start to learn things about one another that were previously hidden or changed.
the previous marriage
the kids (being a single parent)
the past infidelity
the nail chewing
the binge eating
the financial debt
While it's not necessary-- and not advisable-- to introduce yourself to someone and then follow that up with a laundry list of all of your bad habits and troubles (past and present), it's important for you to be the REAL you.
Here's the problem with pretending you're something that you're not...
If all goes well and you and this other person you're attracted to go on more dates and a relationship develops, you're going to be in big trouble! At some point, the truth about who you are, what you do and what your past was will come out.
This might not happen right away, but it will inevitably happen.
It requires a huge amount of energy to pretend or force yourself to be one way when you're actually not that. This will take a toll too. You will be unable to genuinely be with the other person. You will never be happy because it's not you who's in this budding relationship... it's a facade.
You might find out that the other person doesn't actually like the facade all that much and it becomes apparent that he or she would be more attracted to who you really are.
It's understandable that you might feel compelled to hide or change who you are. It can be tough to get noticed and by the kind of people you want to get noticed by.
You might be under the impression that you would not be able to attract your perfect partner if you let particular things about you be known or to show. It makes sense that you'd want to put forth a certain impression.
Unfortunately, many people believe that they have to pretend about themselves because who they REALLY are is unappealing, unattractive and a turn off. This is where low self esteem and insecurity come in and form roadblocks to love.
Catch yourself when you pretend or hide.
As with anything, being aware of what you do is essential. Pay attention to how you act and what you say and do when you're on a date or meeting new people.
When you are tempted to hold back or lie, how does it feel in your body? Is there a catch in your throat or tension in your stomach. These physical cues are valuable in helping you stop yourself when you start down that usual road.
When you notice that you're tensed up and possibly inflating the truth or hiding who you really are, pause (even if it means there's awkward silence) and take a deep breath. Recognize what you are doing and invite yourself to be genuine and honest.
Appreciate the real you.
Especially if you struggle with insecurity, it might feel like an impossible instruction to appreciate yourself-- the real you.
When you're not at a party or on a date, practice accepting and appreciating who you are.
Resist the urge to appreciate who you'd like to be or who you used to be. Instead, really look at yourself and find anything you can be okay with and maybe some things about yourself that you value.
These can be general aspects like: compassionate, kind, sensitive, decisive, focused, passionate, etc. They can also be very specific things such as: “I like my deep brown eyes,” “I appreciate that I am patient with little children” or “I feel good about the hard work I do at my job.”
The idea here is to find and then build upon an authentic feeling of self-appreciation. This makes it easier to be who you truly are when you are with others.
Let the real you come through.
Now is the exciting part... Use your self-acceptance and appreciation as a springboard to shine. Yes, you can shine and allow yourself to be who you are. Know that you ARE attractive and amazing despite and because of the things that you believe are negatives.
Remember that it's the real you who will most effectively and easily draw in your perfect match.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors of many programs, including Automatic Attraction Secrets-- your guide to easily attracting your perfect partner.