Are you tempted to “enhance” your dating profile? The better strategy is to present your best Self in dating.
Wow! What a concept! Being yourself sounds so normal, why wouldn’t you want to do this? I can speak to this personally from my past dating disasters.
What feels like a hundred years ago, and for many years, I was another person when I dated. I was quiet, not funny, more serious, not very playful, and worst of all, very unassertive. Why would I be someone other than I am? That’s easy! I wanted to be married and to have kids.
So I set off to be what I thought men were looking for in a woman. Not atypical of how many women date. In looking back, this was so off track of what works, but I wasn’t aware of this.
Well, no surprise to you, my dating experiences were not healthy! It wasn’t until I was thoroughly tired of the dating game that I just decided to present who I really was — My Best Self. And that’s when I met the love of my life. We match naturally and exceptionally well.
Being someone other than yourself doesn’t work, especially in dating!
Why It’s Important to be Who You Really Are
So many reasons. Here is a good sample of why it doesn’t work to be “someone” else.
- You tend to attract in a mate what you are, or at least the same degree of self-esteem. If you wouldn’t want that person for a mate, then you need to present the healthy parts in yourself and change the unhealthy pieces.
- When you portray a different and inaccurate version of “yourself,” your mate will expect to see that version on an ongoing basis.
- If you create a false impression of You, your mate will be attracted to an inaccurate version of you rather than who you truly are. You need to present your best Self in dating.
- Being other than you are is a lot of work and pressure.
- Every time you act differently than your True Self, you deny who you really are, which is unhealthy to do. It means you are not accepting your True Self.
What is “Best Self”?
Your “best Self” is who you naturally are in a healthy way. It is the Real You. There is no pretense of being other than who you are. Not only are you accepting the real “You,” but you also value the real You.
Your best Self is those things that you like about You…your talents, ethical values, and qualities that you admire in yourself and others. Remember, no one is perfect. We all have things we can improve. That’s the humanness in us.
Advantages of Putting Your Best Self Out There in Dating
- When you present your best Self, you don’t have to worry about getting caught acting other than the genuine “You”. So a lot less pressure to feel and carry around.
- You will always be valuing and accepting your strengths and those things that are not perfect and could use some work. We all have those things.
- When you genuinely accept those positive things about yourself, you will attract a person with equally positive self-esteem. Often, in growing up, they were not told they even had good qualities. So over time, they assumed and accepted that “good and special” qualities didn’t exist.
Many times we are not told about our good qualities because people around us, including parents at times, were never told to look for their special qualities. So it wasn’t on their radar to do so.
Other times, it’s that our parents and others around us did not have a favorable view of themselves, so they didn’t feel like acknowledging those positive qualities in their children.
What Does Your Best Self Look Like?
Here are some examples:
- Great sense of humor
- Being able to take a joke
- Admiring your eyes or your smile, laughter, cute nose, hair, etc. (it doesn’t need to be all your attributes).
- How hard you work.
- Always trying to do your “best” whatever that is.
- You are kind, especially to others.
- You believe in yourself.
- How intelligent you are.
- How hard you work.
- Being non-judgemental (or always trying to be)
- That you can forgive yourself and others.
- You can risk “the unknown” in positive ways.
This list is by no means complete. But it can get you thinking of what you can value about yourself. It’s not about being “full of yourself.” It is healthy to value yourself.
Being your Best Self in dating, but also life, in general, is a habit you build over time. It takes practice and being aware of your actions. It’s not about being perfect, but valuing the positive things you already have in you, and working on those things you need to improve.
It’s viewing your strengths and areas for improvement in a non-judgemental manner. So over time, try to become aware of those things you do well or like about yourself. If this is too difficult at first, ask your safest and most emotionally healthy friends who value you. They already know those special things about you!