Dating should be fun but often it is anything but! There is so much contradictory advice :
- Be yourself.
- Only show the best of you.
- Soften up.
Which one is correct?
They can all be right in their own context! But the best advice I can give you is to be authentic.
What exactly does being authentic mean?
The dictionary meaning of authentic is: of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.
Your authentic self is found at your core. It is the part of you not defined by your job or your relationships. It is all of your skills, talents and wisdom. It is all of the things that are uniquely yours and need expression, rather than what you believe you are supposed to be and do.
Authenticity is not a default behaviour! It can often be easier to be what others want you to be!
To be authentic, you need to have the courage to be imperfect. You have to believe that you are worthy of love and acceptance, just as you are. Even when it’s hard, and even when you believe you are not good enough.
To have a healthy relationship you have to be able to talk about how you are feeling and what you want.
People often get confused about what being authentic is. They mistake honesty for being authentic!
We have all had an experience where a friend has said to us can they be honest and then use that to shred strips of us and tell us exactly what they think of us! They let you have it doesn’t feel great hearing what their opinion of you and what you do and don’t do.
This is not being authentic – it is rather using honesty to give an opinion. When you are authentic you are able to speak about how you feel and what you want in a way people can hear you.
Most people want to be loved for who they truly are, yet they never show up this way to the people in their lives.
How often have you changed who you are to attract the person you want, or to keep friends. You have simply adapted to please them. Being what other people want does not make you happy.
It is time to be you and show up as you; it is time to do the things you like and not to do things just to please a potential partner.
I do know many couples who are unhappy because the person wasn’t like that before they got married!
You should never need to change yourself to be accepted (this is quite different to presenting yourself in the best light)!
Are you putting others first just to be liked? Do you ignore your needs because you crave approval?
To get the connection you are looking for you have to be authentic!
Being able to speak up and be heard is something that can be learnt, but it does require practice and persistence.
You can say anything – it all depends on how you say it.
It come down to ‘I’ language rather than ‘you’ language. You need to take responsibility for your own feelings and how you express them. This is the key and is important.
What is ‘I’ language?
It simply means when you talk to others you use “I” when speaking about yourself, and not “you.”It is saying how you feel, you are talking about yourself without judgement or projecting onto the other person.
For example, here’s a couple arguing using “you” language: “You never take out the rubbish or do anything around the house. Can’t you just do what you say you’ll do? You are just like my ex.”
This type of “you” language puts people on the defensive and can be hurtful.
Here’s the same person using “I” language: “I’m the only one whose been cleaning up and taking out the rubbish. I thought we agreed to do this together. I love you and I wish we could work this out.”
“I” Language Empowers You.
“I” language is ownership language. It reinforces your responsibility for your choices and actions. It reinforces that you have control over what you feel and how you respond, especially in challenging emotional situations.
Start small with your friends – those people who love and care about you. Start just using I language. Take responsibility for how you feel – eliminate You.
This will work in all of your relationships but in a romantic one it will create emotional intimacy and build a true connection.
Not everyone you date will be able to do this and it shows you what the person is capable of. After all communicaiton is the key to a successful relationship and you need to be able to do this effectively.