“Be your authentic self!” is being shouted from the rooftops.
“Live an authentic life!”
“Live your truth!”
Being your authentic self is mandated by self-help gurus and life coaches. When did this start becoming the new mantra? Hmmmmm, maybe I’ll lay it at the feet of the mighty Oprah. While I truly believe one has to be true to themselves and not hide their feelings, or change to please others, is this the only way to be?
Now, hear me out. Yes, work on yourself, be open-minded, be honest and vulnerable. Find what energizes and motivates you. That is the foundation. Now, let’s build on it, specifically in terms of romantic relationships. In a relationship, neither partner wants the other to hide who they are, to feign interest in something that bores them or pretend to be a different person just to please the other half; agreed?
This is where you can take your relationship to the next level. You know what your authentic life is. You strive to be true to yourself in every moment. Now think how much better your life and romantic relationship would be if you worked on being your best self? Yes, your best self.
Babysteps ... You’re home relaxing in your ratty old sweats and your hair is in a messy bun. You want to be comfortable in your own house. You do you. But just a thought, why don’t you pull together some clean, better-fitting comfy clothes, run a brush through your hair and swipe on a bit of gloss. Or better yet, wear something that makes you feel pretty, add some fragrance, and most importantly, wear a smile. You’ll instantly feel like a better version of Ms. Sweats & Messy Bun. Your partner will definitely appreciate the effort.
Answer the door with a smile.
Walk into a room with a smile.
Even when you’re feeling stressed and negative over a bad day, say something positive. Do something positive, smile. It will change your mood and outlook.
Even when you feel like screaming, take a breath. No one truly listens when you’re ranting.
Ask yourself, is this the best version of myself?
The motivation for me to write about this is based on a true story. A girlfriend of mine was upset one night when her boyfriend told her that he wasn’t feeling very sexy. He said he just wanted to sleep. (Backstory: He wasn’t working out as much as he liked and put on a tiny bit of weight. She’s always reassured him that she found him attractive). Well, she wanted some sexy time and starts making the moves on him. His response was: “Come on! I told you I’m sleeping,” and rolls over. She was not having it. Feeling rejected, she huffed: “Well, if you feel that way...” She dresses and leaves in the middle of the night. He let her go. That put her over the edge.
Girlfriend, oh why the high drama? Couldn’t you have just gone to sleep and talked about it in the morning calmly? Tell him how it made you feel, discuss possible resolutions, compromises. Work things out together. You can guess her answer. “I wasn’t feeling calm. I have to be my authentic self! Can’t pretend to not feel what I was feeling!” She truly believed being her authentic self was to embrace what was missing in her previous marriage. She believed she deserved whatever she asked for, to be treated like a princess and to always be the top priority. These are not wrong, per se, but my way or the highway is not really what authenticity is about.
Girlfriend, no one wants your authentic self, they want your best self. Yes, she was feeling rejected. Yes, she was hoping he wouldn’t let her walk out of there. But testing your partner and letting your emotions go to high school drama is never a recipe for success. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a happy ending. They broke up shortly after. She honestly felt she “had to be her authentic self” even if it resulted in the demise of several relationships.
Her best self-reaction would have been to calmly discuss and let him know she felt rejected and hurt when he turned his back as she reached out to him. Tell him she understands he isn’t feeling really sexy right now, but how can they work on it together. What can they do to make them both feel sexy and wanted. Some empathy, compassion and communication goes a long way.
What’s more important, being right or being happy?
#DatewrxTip: Take stock of your closet and have comfortable clothes that look good and make you feel pretty. Athleisure wear - who doesn’t love yoga pants or leggings with a soft oversized sweater? Comfy jumpsuits, maxi dresses, sundresses, sweater dresses all work. Toss out worn, stretched out, unflattering clothes. Sloppy doesn’t work on anyone.