Stop Changing Yourself Just Because You Think He’ll Like You More

We’ve all done it — the guy’s not only hot AF, he’s a genuinely nice person. He’s literally perfect, so we bend over backward to become the woman he wants. He mentions he likes girls with their hair up, so we go home and pour over articles describing how to create 101 summer updos, but is it worth it? No. Dating will be so much better if you stop pretending to be who you think he wants and start being yourself instead.

  1. Faking is tiring. Trying to be somebody else day and in, day out is exhausting. Constantly having to be “on” is the fastest way to burn out before you’ve even started. Is that really worth it? You’re expending crazy amounts of energy trying to figure out who he wants you to be and then even more energy trying to become her. Stop it!
  2. You’re not that good an actress. Unless you’re actually a professional actress, you aren’t fooling anybody. He says he likes fishing and suddenly you announce that you love fishing and you’ve been doing it since you were a kid. How exactly are you going to prove that when he surprises you with a weekend fishing trip?
  3. You WILL slip up. Part of becoming who we think people want is telling little white lies. That’s easy. The hard part is remembering all of them. If you’re pretending to be interested in what he likes, you’ll slip up eventually. There’s no way you can remember it all but, because he’s interested in you, he will. He’s listening to your stories and he’ll begin to suspect something when they don’t add up.
  4. It’s a massive waste of time. You’re wasting your time and his. If you have to pretend to be somebody you’re not to keep him interested, move on. What’s the end game? You’re going to fake it for 50 years? I don’t think so. Cut your losses now and save everybody the time and energy.
  5. It makes you a liar. Pretending to be somebody else is just plain dishonest. Think about this: how would you feel if somebody did it to you? I’m sure you have nothing but good intentions, but deceit is still deceit. If you’re not being authentically yourself, you’re lying. That really is the bottom line.
  6. There’s a difference between showing interest and being fake. The first thing to do is understand this distinction. Being fake is pretending to know about a certain topic or implying you have skills that you don’t. Being interested is completely different. Don’t say you were world-class fisher, tell him that you’ve never been fishing before but it sounds fun. A date where he teaches you how to fish is a lot sexier than a date where you spend hours pretending to know what you’re doing.
  7. You have to learn to laugh at yourself. Every single one of us has traits we aren’t exactly proud of. Learn to laugh at them. If you can laugh at yourself, it’s going to be a lot easier to be genuine around him. Are you a perfectionist? Come right out and say it. Tell him that you’ll probably be picky about certain things but say it with a smile and recognize when you’re being unreasonable. Self-awareness is a sexy (if underrated) attribute.
  8. It’s okay to be scared. Being yourself is not easy. Especially not around a stranger. Don’t panic if the thought of it scares the hell out of you. You’re not alone. Just try to remember that most guys would rather see the real you than play games for months on end. If he sees the real you and doesn’t like it, move on. No biggie.
  9. You can’t possibly be good at everything. Part of being interested but not faking is learning new skills. If you show interest in his hobbies, he’ll probably want to teach you more about them. Maybe you have hidden talents and you’ll take to it quickly but chances are you’re going to be pretty bad at the beginning. That’s okay. The point is to enjoy each new experience, not to be the best on the day that you start — and if you’re not good at being bad at things, tell him. That’s part of being yourself!
  10. Being yourself is liberating. Pretending to be somebody else is exhausting. If you’ve been doing it for a while, you’re probably pretty good at it. That doesn’t mean you should keep doing it. Being yourself and abandoning your perception of who he wants you to be is the most liberating thing you’ll ever do.
Aileen is a freelance writer and recovering perfectionist. When she was consumed by perfectionism, Aileen was always confused, angry and frustrated. At she tries to help other women who feel the same because life after perfectionism is bloody great!