in: Dating & Relationships

First Date Rulebook: Just Do You

Shannon Lagasse

Sometimes our desire to connect with a date can eclipse our most authentic selves. First impressions are the best impressions, kids… so just do you. 


Ever spend time agonizing over your first impression on a first date?

You’re spending hours trying to pick out the right outfit or get your hair right. You’re wondering what you should talk about, how much you should talk, and trying to figure out how to put your best foot forward in the hopes of impressing this person you haven’t yet met.

There’s this tendency in society—probably due to the often sold thoughts that first impressions are everything and that what other people think about you matters—to fret about first dates. After all, this could be your future life partner we’re talking about! Of course you want to look good.

But have you ever considered that by spending so much time worrying about how you’ll present yourself, you’re actually denying yourself the opportunity to attract that perfect someone for you?

Think about it: I could cover up my tattoos and the red dye in the back of my hair for a job interview, but at some point, that’s going to come out. I’ll end up with my hair in a ponytail, red dye exposed, or in short sleeves with tats on display. Covering up might get me the job, but it’s not going to keep me the job.

Same goes for dates.

If someone’s not going to like who you are—quirks and all—they’re probably not your match. You know what I’m saying? Why try to talk less, talk more, or pretend to be interested in politics if that’s not your thing? Why try to act demure when you’re a bag of steaming hot hormones? Why portray yourself as a sex-loving tantric goddess if sex isn’t really your bag? Just be you. Just do you.

If someone doesn’t like how you present yourself, they’ve just made your decision about a second date or not that much easier. Why waste your time with someone who expects you to be other than you are?

We’ve all got quirks, little intricacies about us that a potential partner could find fascinating or off-putting, so don’t worry about trying to be everybody’s cup of tea. You aren’t. You won’t be. Just focus on doing what you do best: being true to yourself.

If there’s something you want to change about yourself, great. Go do that. But don’t change because someone else wants you to or because you think they’ll like you better.

If talking about all things taboo if your deal, don’t try to shy away from those topics on a first date. If that’s you, go for it! If they’re not game, so what? A “no” in this day in age just means NEXT. It doesn’t mean you’ll be alone forever, rotting away in your bachelor pad or in a tower like Rapunzel. It just means you’ll have to get out there and set up date number two (or two hundred).

But when you try to be yourself, people pull away, you say? HmmmMight be time to do some self-reflection on how you’re presenting yourself. Are you purposefully pushing people away because you don’t think anyone will ever like you, ALL of you? Are you afraid of commitment and intimacy? Just some questions to gauge whether it’s them or you pulling away.

This could also be because you’re fishing in the wrong pond. If you’re here on MeetMindful, chances are Tinder isn’t really your thing. You’d rather meet someone through your network who actually shares some of your interests and philosophies on life rather than base your judgment off of one grainy profile photo. Could you reach out to your close friends and ask them to make suggestions? You could also check out Meetups and events on subjects you really enjoy. Chances are you’ll meet someone there that you really connect with and can potentially create a relationship with.

Moral of the story is this: There are 7.5 billion people on this planet. That means there are more than enough to go around, and odds are pretty good that you’ll find someone who doesn’t mind (or even loves) that you’re a foot sniffer, laugh at fart jokes, or talk about heavy subjects with regularity. It’s time to quit trying to live up to this model of who you’re “supposed” to be when dating and start settling into being who you really are 100 percent of the time, even on a first date.

[image: via shutterstock]

About the Author:

Shannon Lagasse Shannon Lagasse

Shannon Lagasse is a coach, writer, author, speaker, and teacher. Her main passion is helping people overcome the stumbling blocks to getting the life, love, and body they want. Her most recent book “Why Can’t You Just Eat?” about understanding the mindset of eating disorders was an Amazon #1 bestseller. When she’s not writing another book, you can find Shannon reading or enjoying the great outdoors. Visit Shannon online at HungerforHappiness.com, or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

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