At first I didn’t “get” what Lisa was talking about. It was our first conversation, and beyond knowing that she was struggling with dating, I didn’t know much else about her. As we talked on the phone her words came out in a rush, as words often do when people finally unburden themselves. It seems like Lisa had been carrying around a “little secret” for quite some time.
Lisa was earnest, and I could tell from what she was saying that she was also a thoughtful person. And while she appeared on the “intellectual” side of things and was definitely articulate, I couldn’t seem to make out what the issue was. After a few more rounds of, “okay, tell me more,” I finally deduced what Lisa’s big secret was, the one that kept her barely dating despite her longing for companionship.
The thought of continuing to put herself out there just to meet rejection was creating too much anxiety, and had thrown her dating into deep freeze.
But in the exact same way that each of us is. She was unique, her own person. Lisa was a writer who kept late hours and slept in most mornings. She listened to baroque music for pleasure, and didn’t actually enjoy random socializing or even being around many people. People wore her out. And because dating’s all about people, and the get-to-know-you activities that go with it, Lisa felt awkward every time she did manage a date.
Even though she was grateful when the pointers worked and she got a second date, her awkwardness never left. Because she was never sure the guy was really into her. The real her.
If there wasn’t real pain and discouragement in Lisa’s story, it would be hard for me not to feel excitement for her. Because while so much was not going right for Lisa and her dating, from where I sat from many years of helping women date successfully, Lisa had so much going for her. While she felt her uniqueness was a blemish to be hidden, I knew it to be the absolute best starting place in finding optimal dating matches.
This is one of the many things I teach in my online course Discover Your Sure-Fire Recipes for Dating (and Relationship) Success, and why I was so excited to work with Lisa. After all, choosing to be with someone who loves you for who you truly are is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness and health in a relationship. In fact, helping Lisa to stop hiding and start dating comfortably as her true self was key to turning things around for her.
The last time I talked to Lisa, she wasn’t really talking, she was singing. She was laughing and singing phrases of some baroque tune I’d never heard. A far cry from the person I first worked with, and a side of Lisa I hadn’t experienced. But then again, she’d stopped hiding. She’d started believing in the value of what she had to share. And I can’t remember if her eventual husband was a baroque-lover himself, but I do know it no longer mattered. How much of your true self do you reveal when dating? Subscribe to to my mailing list to receive my upcoming survey: What You Reveal When You Date, to explore where you are in staying true to yourself when you date.
You'll also receive a 10%-off coupon for this summer's Discover Your Sure-Fire Recipes for Dating (and Relationship) Success program.