You Not Your Representative


Too many times when starting to date, you meet a persons representative in the early stages. Mannerisms and how people act can tell you everything you need to know about a person and the art of ‘being yourself on a date.’  They have pasted on fake smiles, giggle and laugh a little too loud, play with their hair a little too much and do everything possible to hide their flaws – whether it be a blackhead, or the inability to hold down a job.

Obviously, if you are dating people then you are looking for someone to make a connection.  Yet, if you are unable to be yourself or try to put on airs in order to avoid the other person getting to really know you…you might as well just stay home.

Sadly, the world of internet dating and hook-ups has made it even easier for folks to live under false pretenses and make other people think that they are something they aren’t.  People pretend to have glamorous lives that they don’t and can’t afford, or they just perpetuate a lifestyle of elegance and give you the perception that they are always in the limelight.

Some of them even go the extra mile of posting pictures that aren’t them or they manipulate the camera angles to make their appearance much softer than it really is. Others will bait you with thirst trap photos from a year or two ago in order to lead others on.  The whole thing seems sort of stupid.  The same technology that people use to hook up can be used to investigate the real you, so you really have to wonder what’s the point?

The first date is like a job interview.  Just like you might not let the boss interviewing you know that you are a smoker, it is fairly normal and probably wise, to hide a few things from the person you are on a date with.  For one with rambling on, and being as comfortable with someone on a first or second date as you are with your sibling, might make you seem a little over the top.  A connection can be had and you can be that comfortable but it will require two people who are on the same wavelength.

Relationship experts advise the dating population to at least be honest and unafraid to divulge some personal details.  Talking about your interests and being yourself on a date to the extent that you don’t compromise your values or opinions is essential to maintaining your self-esteem.  It is also good if you want to save time and weed out the definitely non-datables, earlier rather than later.

I’m a pretty quiet person when I first meet you. It’s not disrespect but when I meet people for the first time I like to observe their behavior. I know after about 15 – 20 minutes around a person if they are the type of person I can interact with. I offer up enough conversation in the early stages to keep it from feeling awkward but usually a woman will open up and tell you many things once a barrier of trust is built between you.

I’ve had several dates tell me I’m much more fun when I drink and that’s probably true. Not because I get crazy but when I drink I let my guard down a little bit. I open up and usually tell a deeper side of me. In fact I’ll even go as far as saying that if I like you when I’m drinking, I’ll really like you when I’m not.

I’m also a consummate gentleman. I pump gas, I open doors, I take out trash, and I do things that I feel women shouldn’t have to do. Not because they can’t, but because I can. I have warped political views and my views on religion are truly controversial so I try no to talk about them unless someone is poking and has to know.

My theory is that if the things you do most bring some undesirable and down right rude or questionable behaviors with you – you might want to hold off for a while. In fact, a lack of manners shows a serious level of disrespect for both yourself and the person you are dating.  At the same time, there will come a point should the relationship continue that they will see that side of you.  Then, it will be up to them to decide if your quality side is worth your less than desirable side.

The watered down version is this.  When you are dating someone, you want them to get to know the real you.  If you are hiding behind a facade, trying to be something you aren’t or trying to impress someone by fitting into their ideals – you are cheating yourself and the person sitting across the table.  You are wasting your time and energy, and risk destroying your self-esteem and self worth in the process.

Being yourself on a date isn’t about trying to impress someone, but about trying to feel and figure out whether this person is someone you could see yourself spending time with.  It is also about behaving much as you do on a job interview, where you put your best food forward to show that you have some couth about you.  You truly should be able to be yourself on a date and still remain polite, interesting, attractive, and desirable.  If not, you might need to spend your time in a counselor’s office or etiquette school before you continue dating. ~ Adeshola Williams


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