When I Decided To Be Myself On A Dating App, That’s When I Found The Right Guy

There’s so much pressure to make a great impression on dating apps. After all, your profile is all a guy has to go on when deciding whether or not he wants to actually date you. But screw the pressure. Turns out, I actually found love when I stopped trying so hard. Here’s what happened.

  1. Rules really are meant to be broken. Ever noticed how many rules and articles there are about ways to make your dating profile zing? You have to be cool, gorgeous, mysterious and have a killer photo because let’s be honest, it’s your photo people care about. I used to spend hours trying to make my profile perfect until I realized, you know what? It’s not worth it and totally unnecessary.
  2. Honesty online is totally underrated. They say that dating online is great because you can make your intentions clear. That’s so true, but I’ve found that it’s also filled with people who lie and hide behind their profiles. I have to admit, I was also lying in many ways by creating an online persona to find the perfect guy. I’d try hard to be interesting, ask the right questions, and seem like a lot of fun just to get them to write me back.
  3. I got all the wrong guys. All my dates that moved from online dating to real-life failed. It was ridiculous but I was matching with a bunch of guys I just didn’t connect with. It’s because I wasn’t really being myself. I was attracting guys my fake persona was connecting with.
  4. I met a guy who woke me up. There was one guy who seemed really interesting and I liked him in real life. We connected so much because we were both creative, artistic and had the same sense of humor. But he said something that really hit home at the end of our first date: “You’re so different in person than on your profile.” He explained, saying that it wasn’t that my photo wasn’t legit or anything but that how I was communicating was different.
  5. I had to cut the crap. Although I wasn’t lying on the dating site, I was trying too hard to seem like an amazing person. I was always bubbly and carefree, even though in real life that’s not really me! I had to get real, even if it meant my imperfections would show.
  6. That guy and I were actually worlds apart. You know what’s funny? The artistic guy who delivered that shocking line at the end of our date actually wasn’t my type. Even though I liked him and we connected, there were other parts of our lives that just didn’t gel at all. I would’ve realized this online if I’d just been honest about who I was. On some level, I’d tried to be what he wanted or what I thought he was looking for.
  7. I decided to get real. I logged onto the dating site and gave my profile a makeover. I spoke about what my passions were, who I really am, and showed that I’m deep and have high standards. I got real during conversations. If people weren’t going to like this then that was their problem, but at least I was being myself. I was tired of being what I thought men would want. I wanted to feel comfortable in my skin. Plus, it would save me a lot of time. Instead of wasting days chatting to guys who I really didn’t connect with on important levels, I could find men who were more like me.
  8. It actually worked! Once I did this, I found an amazing, down-to-earth and interesting person who connected with me in a genuine way. He liked what I had to say and I guess it was refreshing for him to find someone who wasn’t trying so hard to impress other people.
  9. Being myself allowed him to do the same. An interesting thing happened when I dropped my guard and was myself. I gave people, like this guy, the chance to see me for who I really am and they could also be themselves around me. If I had a wall of fakery up, it just pushed people away.
  10. I’d hated the game but didn’t realize I’d been playing all along. Funnily enough, I was quick to say online dating was total crap instead of looking at what I was doing wrong. When I changed my approach and stopped playing games, online dating wasn’t so bad. Being myself relieved a lot of my anxiety about finding love online.
  11. I realized I’d rather be real and alone. If I’d dated those guys I met when I was trying so hard to impress them and not being myself, I wouldn’t have been happy. I would’ve been loved for what they thought I was, not for who I really am. What a waste of life. I’d rather be honest about who I am, even if this makes me grow old alone. It’s so much better than having to work hard to fake it. I just don’t see how that’s ever a good idea – and there’s always someone who’ll see right through it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.