Don't Settle For A Relationship That Won't Let You Be Yourself

You shouldn’t pretend to be someone else for a guy. Period.

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Everyone wants that dream boy.

You know, the hot one, the one who shows up in a tux with flowers and champagne... on a Tuesday. We want the one who puts his hand on our backs when we walk, the one beloved by dogs and small children, the one who introduces us to his mother and doesn’t watch too much football.

He’s kind and gentle and oh-so-good in bed. Dream Boy cooks breakfast. Dream Boy can pick out perfume and champagne. Dream Boy is tall, dark, and handsome and you want him.


But if you can’t be yourself in the relationship, you need to say goodbye.

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There’s something more important than having Dream Boy, and that’s you. You deserve the space to be yourself. You shouldn’t have to act a certain way to meet a man’s approval. You are good enough, as is.

You need to be able to show a man your full self: all the flaws, all the good parts, all the nerdy parts and all the mistakes. You shouldn’t have to lie. You shouldn’t have to dissemble or pretend.

Here’s an example: You spent your time in college drinking and partying, and you met your best friends that way. He spent his time in college studying and getting straight As and looking down on people who wasted their education.


You shouldn’t have to pretend that you also spent your time in the library instead of the bar. A real man will like you no matter what.

Or maybe you’re addicted to caffeine. You wake up every morning to three cups of coffee and you freaking need it. He’s a clean-living junkie who thinks caffeine is a crutch of a drug. He goes to yoga four times a week and wants you to come, too. He cares passionately about the environment.

You, on the other hand, would rather eat glass than go to yoga, where you’d probably fall over. You barely care enough to walk across the kitchen to the recycling bin. There’s no need to down Excedrin in the mornings instead of coffee, to buy some serious yoga gear, and to bone up on the latest environmental controversy.

You shouldn’t pretend to be someone else for a guy. Period.

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Because think of the ramifications. When you act like you’re someone you’re not, you subsume your personality into his. You start becoming a creature of his creation, rather than yours.

That’s pretty much what the last fifty years of feminism have fought against.

You don’t want to make yourself into someone to make him happy because then you won’t be happy. You’ll be constantly on guard, constantly making sure the real parts of your personality don’t slip through. That’s no way to live.

And why do you date, anyway? First, you date someone for companionship. And it’s no kind of companionship when you have to pretend to be someone you’re not. It doesn’t make for authentic relationships or authentic communication.


Why would you want to be less than your authentic self? Why would you want to have to be constantly on guard, which leads to being constantly unhappy?

Dream Boy may look great, but if you have to change yourself to be with him, maybe he’s not such a dream after all.

But there’s another reason you date. Dating generally has two outcomes: You break up, which is painful, or you get married. Why bother dating Dream Boy?

You’ll probably get sick of acting like you care about things you don’t, or hiding parts of you he won’t like, and break up with him. Or, he’ll find you out, feel betrayed, and break up with you — a more likely scenario.

And do you really want to marry someone who doesn’t know the real you? If marriage is a true partnership, you can’t have a true one if your partner doesn’t know your authentic self.


You can never totally trust him. You’ll end up divorced or a Stepford Wife wishing you were.

Dream Boy may seem like everything you’ve ever wanted. But if you have to act a part to keep him interested, he isn’t worth your time.

You’re more important than any man, and your self-actualization — finding out who you really are — is the great journey of your life.

Don’t sacrifice it for anyone. Don’t change yourself for anyone. Keep true to yourself and wait for the real Dream Boy to come along.


Because he will, eventually, if you want him to. You’re worth it. And so is he.

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Alissa Scully is a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom of three kids and two German Shepherds.