Why you don’t want to be the perfect date
A friend of mine has been going on at least two eharmony dates a week for the past month and she has her first date system down pat. She gets a fresh blowout, throws on a sexy (but not too sexy) dress, low heels and some subtle lip gloss (never lipstick – men don’t like that.) On the date, she asks intelligent questions, listens intently, laughs delicately at his jokes and follows his lead.
She is like the perfect mix with the sexiness of a Victoria Secret model, the drive and smarts of Hilary Clinton and the nurturing nature of a Play School presenter. So of course, her date always calls the next day, asking when he can see her again.
Yeah, so what’s the problem? You’re probably thinking.
The problem is that she’s realised she’s going out on dates presenting herself as her match’s ideal woman, as opposed to the woman she truly is.
“I know what to wear, what to say and what to do to impress him so I know that he’ll like me, she says. “But it’s not really me he likes, he likes this woman who goes and gets a blow dry every week, when nine times out of ten I’ve got a top knot.”
“Women who are seasoned daters build up certain behavioural patterns to make the process feel more comfortable,” explains eharmony’s Dating and Relationship expert Melanie Schilling. “Over time, we learn what men respond positively and negatively to, and even at an unconscious level, it is very natural to adapt our approach to elicit more positive responses.”
And the first casualty in eliciting positive responses is our unique personality traits, which get cut for more traditional stereotypes or external expectations of what a woman should be.
The big problem with this is that it’s unauthentic. “Not only is it false advertising and not really fair to the man, it’s not fair to the woman herself,” warns Melanie. “If the man is attracted to this ‘sanitised’ version of her, what happens when he sees the real her down the track? And more importantly, if he is attracted to this version of her, he is probably not the right man for her.”
So how can you date without becoming the perfect date?
- Date yourself first. Spend some time in your own company and reflect on who you are and what is really important to you. Get to the bottom of your values, preferences and deal-breakers in relationships before your next date.
- Practice makes perfect. Ask a trusted friend to have a simu-date with you so you can try out your authentic conversation topics. Reach into your memory bank and find a few stories that relate to your values and really reflect who you are, and practice sharing these stories with your friend. Ask them for feedback about how ‘real’ you were in your delivery.
- Avoid auto pilot. On dates, be present and think about what you’re saying to avoid agreeing with sentiments just for the sake of it, or watering down your personality. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, be honest about your hobbies, and tell them about the things that make you unique.
- Trust yourself. It’s time to back yourself, believe in yourself and celebrate the unique story that YOU bring to the dating table. You’ll find that you start to attract and date more compatible guys and I have no doubt you’ll enjoy the process more when you relax and just be YOU.
Have you been guilty of unauthentic dating? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.
If this article gave you the confidence to find your match, try eHarmony today!Join Now