Remember that boyfriend who cheated on me? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here to read the story) As much as I would like to say the relationship ended solely because of his faults, I had my own fair share of faults. Looking back I realize now that he was dating a very curated version of me, so honestly how can I blame him completely?
I had failed a lot in the relationship department before meeting him and like the bookworm, perfectionist that I am I was convinced that I could perfect the art of dating through reading a shit ton of books about it. I didn’t realize it at the time but when I met him, he met a version of me that was molded by conversations I memorized from books and tips and tricks on how to make him fall in love. While there are a lot of brilliant relationship books out there, there is also a lot of BS.
On top of that, every single text conversation we had was curated, approved or edited by my best friend Katelyn. They say two heads are better than one, right? We were witty, entertaining, flirtatious, funny, sassy, all of the above. And it worked, like a charm, the “can’t be tamed” man fell for it. To be clear, this is not to say that every single moment of the relationship was a complete façade, there were certainly raw moments. But, I spent a lot of time being calculated, making sure I always said the right thing – often referring back to chapters in a book when I wasn’t sure how to handle a situation or conversation. I realize that sharing this publicly makes me sound absolutely ridiculous and insane, but aren’t we all? I’m crossing my fingers that I’m not the only one.
After the relationship ended, it terrifies me to think I would have carried these tactics into the next relationship; fortunately for me, I fell in love with a friend. Someone I couldn’t fool because he already knew the raw, unfiltered version of me. He had participated in conversations between me and my girlfriends about dating, he knew the person I was when I’m surrounded by only my closest friends. I couldn’t fool him. Not to mention he has a knack for immediately calling me out on my bullshit.
So, what’s the punch line?
Stop thinking and just be.
It was liberating to not have to think about what I was saying all the time. It made me think, why do we feel the need to create the perfect responses, and present ourselves perfectly? If every text conversation we have with a guy is perfectly curated, I’m sorry but how do we expect to be comfortable completely being ourselves in person?
Stop letting yourself get anxious thinking of the perfect response, stop screenshotting his text to your best friend, and copy pasting her response to him (guilty!). This might be some off the beaten path advice, but when you’re texting him why not try to just say the first thing that comes to your mind? If you want to text him 5 times in a row, do it! If you want to drunk call him 5 times at 2am, do it! If you are looking for someone to fall for the real YOU, you have to be willing to be the real YOU right off the bat – no matter the outcome.
(Disclaimer: this advice will ONLY work if you are completely good with you, if you are confident enough in yourself to not need someone to validate your worth. If you aren’t, I suggest making this your priority.)
The wrong person may be turned off, think you’re weird, start being distant but the right person won’t. The right person will find you endearing, interesting, they will giggle at your odd response. The right person won’t be offended by your rude remark they will appreciate you for your strong personality. The wrong person will find you clingy and annoying when you drunk dial them 8 times at 2:30am, the right person will be flattered; they will answer with excitement that they were the person you thought of. Don’t believe me? Well, I confirmed this fact with a trusted male source!
In this perfectly curated social media society, do me a favor and give yourself a freaking break in your personal conversations, relationships or dating life. Stop thinking and just be.