Being Your Authentic Self in Relationships
Dating in 2018 takes a lot of courage. There are so many options, and yet, many many people find that there are so few “good fits” for them. It’s no wonder that when you find someone special that seems right for you, you may feel scared to lose them! (Even though you never had them to begin with!)
Fear and the threat of being lonely once again strikes and you start to think to yourself, “How can I keep this person around? How can I NOT screw this up?”
This is usually the point at which people start forgetting who they are as individuals and start changing themselves or certain aspects of their personality to appear more attractive to the other person.
I’ve been guilty of this myself. Back in college, I dated a guy who loved Steelers football and for awhile, I pretended to like football too. When it became obvious that I couldn’t name a single player I liked or any real team, he said “Don’t worry! We will make a football lover out of you yet.”
Deep down, I knew that I would never EVER in a million years grow to love football. I mean, the whole point of the Super Bowl was the nachos and the halftime show as far as I was concerned. I didn’t grow up with football and there was no pigskin oval shaped hole in my life where football needed to exist. I had enough hobbies and frankly did not want to make room for something as time consuming as football in my life.
Did I say any of this? Did I hint at it? No! When he told me that he’d groom me into his ideal football-fanatic girlfriend, I just nodded cheerfully and went along with whatever he said. I thought if i didn’t like football, I’d lose him.
I’ll skip the next few months but just know that they were filled with fake smiling, loud cheering and many many cans of beer. (PS I hate beer too)
By the time the football season ended, I had HAD IT with the sport. If I didn’t have an affinity for football at the beginning of our relationship, by the end of the year I HATED it, even resented it for taking up so much of my time and giving nothing back to me.
So that relationship ended. Like most do. Now,was our lack of common interest in football the reason we broke up? Likely not. But I’ll tell you one thing: the moment I pretended to be someone else because of the fear of losing someone I liked, that was the moment I lost respect for myself.
And when you lose respect for yourself, there is nothing that person can do to fill that kind of hole in your heart.
So learn from my mistakes, team. Have the courage to be your authentic self. Don’t compromise on your personality or belief system because of the fear of losing someone.
Years later, now happily with my partner, I told him upfront that I don’t care about sports and that I wouldn’t sacrifice a weekend to a football game, no matter how “important” it was. And guess what? He still liked me. Go figure. :)
Sending you so much love and light for this next week!