#NoFilter Shouldn’t Be Just For Instagram—It’s How We Should Date

I’m done with trying to edit who I am to seem more appealing or interesting. In the same way I avoid using filters on photos that I upload to social media, I don’t want to filter myself in real life either. I want to be a #NoFilter girlfriend. Here’s what that entails.

  1. I want to get real about my bad feelings. No feeling is good or bad, but I’m sick and tired of trying to hide feelings like anger, hurt, or jealousy. I’d rather be real about how I’m feeling by communicating with my partner about what’s going on with my emotions instead of stuffing my feelings away because I’m afraid of how they’ll be taken. If I do that, how the heck can my BF and I make a relationship work?
  2. I want to express myself without fear of judgment. I don’t want to say what’s on my mind or in my heart and then get slammed for it. That said, I refuse to hide my opinions and thoughts. Enough of that! I’d rather be disliked for who I really am than loved for who I’m not. Hey, at least then I’ll know where I stand.
  3. I don’t want to be glam all the time. I love wearing makeup. It always makes me feel more confident and bold. Still, I don’t want to feel the pressure to glam up every day if I don’t feel like it. Much like those #NoMakeupSelfies that were such a trend on social media, I want to be natural in real life. I’m worth so much more than a set of perfectly-manicured nails, after all, and it feels so liberating to skip all that stuff and just flaunt how I naturally look sometimes.
  4. I want to be liked for more than my looks. Linked to the point of how I want to be natural, I want the person I date to love me for more than what I look like. Telling me I’m beautiful is a lovely compliment to receive, sure, but it’s not as satisfying as being told that I’ve got a kind heart, a sharp mind, or a great way of seeing the world. As they say, you treat people how to treat you, so I want to focus on those qualities of myself in order to let them take center-stage.
  5. I want to show my flaws. If I have pimples or I’m having a bad hair day, I want to let them shine. I’m so done with trying to hide all my flaws and trying too hard to be perfect to those around me and the person I’m dating. Besides, what I consider to be my flaws might actually be what make me interesting. They definitely give me a unique edge.
  6. I want to be open about my previous mistakes. Instead of trying to seem like I have everything sorted, as is the case with many people on social media, I want to be real. Yes, I’ve made mistakes in my life. Who the hell hasn’t? But I want to learn from them and achieve self-growth from those lessons. I want to be open about everything in my past with the man I’m dating, including all my mistakes. It’s all about having healthy communication and trust.
  7. I don’t want to play any games. I don’t believe in dating games. They’re a waste of time and just lead to lots of misunderstandings while giving the wrong impression of what I’m about. Being a #NoFilter girlfriend is about being transparent and honest. It’s about telling it like it is and not playing silly games.
  8. I want to make a real connection. I’m not keen on dating for the sake of it. I want to have something real and lasting. That’s all about making real connections with the person I’m dating. I can only do that if I come to the relationship wearing who I am on my sleeve. If I’m not genuine with someone, then I’m preventing them from being real with me.
  9. I don’t want to smile. I don’t want to feel like I always have to smile in my relationship. If someone can’t handle me when I’m being real about who I am and what I’m feeling in the moment, then they’re not who I need in my life. If they want a robot, then they must go date one. Next! Smiling too much can also be a sign that I’m trying too hard to be nice, but that’s just about impressing the other person. I’m done with that. I want to be myself and give all that fakery a skip.
  10. I don’t want a social media-perfect relationshipI don’t want the type of relationship that looks perfect AF on social media but is actually troubled or bland in real life. What’s the payoff? What’s the point? I’d rather keep my relationship low key on social media but put effort into making my relationship the most amazing it can be. That means much more to me because it’s about focusing on what’s really important.
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.