Here’s What Happened When I Started Being 100% Real Right From The First Date

After a while, I got tired of wasting my valuable time and money on first dates that never lead to second ones. I finally realized that if I really want to find the right person for me, I’m going to have to be myself 100% and not hold anything back. Here’s what happened when I made this vital change:

  1. I stopped having regrets. I no longer stew in the aftermath of my date wishing I was more charming, more lady-like and maybe didn’t snort wine out of my nose. My new goal on first dates is to be totally and completely myself. Whether that means getting ranty about politics or ordering a second side of fries, I know that I can never regret being authentically me because I’m awesome. Duh.
  2. My dates were surprisingly receptive. Now that I tell my dates the honest truth about myself, like, “I’m a huge hypochondriac and will have an actual panic attack if I find one little mark on my body that’s out of place,” or, “I go through phases of crippling depression that I can’t control,” they tend to come back with, “Me too!” and if they don’t, they at least understand and even appreciate the fact that I’m being so honest with them.
  3. My dates got more honest too. Something kinda funny happened when I started being real and “confess” things about myself: my dates ended up doing the exact same thing. All it took was one person to take the plunge and the other person followed — if they don’t these days, I know that they obviously don’t want a relationship. At least that’s taken care of.
  4. I became confident in myself and what I wanted. I never really even knew what I wanted in a relationship until I started to tell people about it. The truth is that I need certain qualities in a partner, and since I stopped hiding these needs, I became more confident with myself and the way I act in relationships. I need a guy who can handle me, and I’ve discovered that there are plenty of guys out there who will not only “deal with it” but who will also find it enjoyable to handle my drama.
  5. I stopped settling. I know what I want now, and since I make it crystal clear from the beginning, it’s impossible for me to settle for someone who’s just “good enough.” If they can’t take me for who I am, then I know they’re not right for me. No more settling for mediocre dudes who can’t satisfy my needs. Woohoo!
  6. I actually started to enjoy the dating process. When you drop your barriers, the conversation just flows seamlessly. Whether or not I ended up going on a second date with the guy, I can enjoy a great time with him regardless. I can skip home happily knowing that I put my whole self out there and had a lot of fun doing it. (Well, usually.)
  7. I weeded out the guys who only wanted to date me for sex. The second I started pouring my guts out to these guys, I could tell right away who was looking for an actual relationship and who just wanted sex. No guy who wanted anything more than a one-night stand would have sat through my therapy session. I’m telling you, this is the best thing I’ve ever done for my dating life and I seriously wish I started it sooner.
  8. First dates stopped being awkward. No longer were first dates full of awkward silences and boring interview questions. Since I now lay it all out on the table from the get-go, we connect way faster than we usually would and I feel like I can trust them almost as much as a good friend. I know now that vulnerability is the fastest way to connect with somebody. All it takes is for someone to take the first step.
  9. I stopped wasting time. I’ve actually started to feel like I’m making progress in my dating life now as opposed to wasting my time and money on shallow conversations with random guys that may or may not go anywhere. Previously, I would agree to a second date because I didn’t feel like I got to know a guy enough or he was too nervous; now I know FOR SURE whether or not a second date is going to happen pretty much right off the bat.
  10. I stopped being ashamed of my flaws. One thing that I’ve gained from being more honest on my dates is seeing myself in a new light. I’ve started to celebrate the things that made me difficult or weird or hard to be with because they are a part of what makes me unabashedly Jennifer. My dates sometimes even think it’s interesting or cute how I get paranoid in social situations or that I’m a chronically late person. Not to get too deep, but I’ve become more whole through this process and would encourage you to try a little radical honesty yourself.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.