Ditch the rules, the games, the playing hard to get and just be you!
In the world of modern dating it can be easy to get wrapped up in a tangled web of game playing and rule following. The third date rule, the waiting to text rule, the playing it cool and whatever else the latest romcom or magazine article has told us to do. Wouldn’t it be an awful lot easier if we could just be ourselves?
As an avid, yet slightly reluctant, user of dating apps I have often found myself sucked into the games that we tell ourselves make us more attractive, more attainable and for whatever reason we believe will bring us greater dating success. We don’t want to seem too keen so we read a text then wait a few hours before replying, or we show up a little late for a date, order salad and an expensive white wine when we actually prefer the taste of the cheap one. We giggle sweetly, chew quietly and laugh at all their jokes. We play the part of the ‘perfect woman’, embodying all the habits and personas that supposedly will make them like us more, regardless of the fact that we are not actually being ourselves at all.
As I have got older, and perhaps wiser, I have adopted a new style of dating... transparent dating. I say what I want when I want. I reply to messages straight away, tell them if their jokes are lame and if I like them I tell them. It seems obvious doesn't it, just being honest? Yet so many of us will much sooner play the game than be honest and open about our feelings. Perhaps when we have taken on the persona of someone much cooler, smoother and even nicer than ourselves we feel less vulnerable to their judgement and inevitably their rejection.
The game has to end
We have been conditioned to believed that being slightly unattainable or creating an air of mystery around ourselves with make us more desirable to the opposite sex. Perhaps this is true to a certain extent. As humans we love to solve mysteries and even more so, we love what we can’t have. Thereby making ourselves seem ‘hard to get’ makes them want to get us even more. In theory it sounds like the perfect plan. But what happens when they get you?
"Can a healthy and sustainable relationship form when it begins with both of you pretending to be cooler, smoother and much more aloof than you actually are?"
Eventually the game has to end. And more often than not it ends because one of you gets bored of playing. The game isn't fun anymore when the mystery is over. Maybe initially, 'playing it cool' and following the dating rules can appear to lead to dating success but will it ever lead to a relationship? Can a healthy and sustainable relationship form when it begins with both of you pretending to be cooler, smoother and much more aloof than you actually are?
At some point you are going to have to start being you (unless you want to spend an entire relationship masked as this much cooler version). Why not be you from the get go and give them a chance to decide if they like the real you. Maybe they think that replying straight away is too keen or your incessant use of emojis is annoying. Maybe you ask too many questions or not enough. Perhaps they hate your laugh or the way you eat. All of these things are very plausible and fill most of us with fear and dread but doesn’t it make more sense for you to realise now rather than later down the line?
"you need to drop the facade and start transparent dating."
It takes a hell of a lot of confidence to fully commit to being exactly who you are. In a way it's much easier to keep up this facade of being the perfect, mysterious woman but if you truly want to find something real and something that will last you need to drop the facade and start transparent dating.
Text them when you want not when you think it’s been an acceptable time since the last message. Tell them how you really feel instead of pretending you don’t catch feelings. Stop overthinking every single word in every single text. Just start being truly, authentically you and see what happens! Maybe you’ll lose a few fuck boys along the way but you'll be left with the guys who like you for you. The guys who pay no attention to the speed of your reply or your use of ‘xx’s, or lack thereof.
Transparency is the new playing it cool. Welcome to the era of authenticity.