BLOG POST: Who do you bring with you on a date? Yourself or your representative?

Ever wondered why the guys that you like never seem to fancy you BUT the ones that you don’t like, always seem to fancy the pants off you? Well you’re not alone, it’s been coming up quite a lot amongst the women I work with. The conversation goes something like this:

Client - “When I like a guy, they don’t fancy me. And when they like me, I just don’t fancy them”.
Me - “OK, so tell me about the last date that you went on where you didn’t fancy the guy.”
Client - “It was like going out with a friend, I wasn't that bothered about what he thought, I ordered a pint and I was just being myself”
Me - “And what about if you DID fancy him?”
Client - “I would have been more girly with him, I would have ordered wine instead of a pint and I would have sipped it and been more delicate and ladylike. I’m usually a bit of a loudmouth who likes to crack jokes but if I fancied him, I would have reigned that in and been more mysterious”

With the guy she fancied, she felt the need to perform and impress him, as there’s more at stake. This could be the one she could marry one day, so she needed to be on best behaviour, right?

We laughed about the Chris Rock sketch where he talks about dating:

Relationships, easy to get into, hard to maintain. Why are they so hard to maintain? Because it’s hard to keep up the lie! ‘Cause you can’t get nobody being you… When you meet somebody for the first time, you’re not meeting them. You’re meeting their representative.”

So my question to you is..

Who do you bring with you on a date? Yourself? Or your representative?

If you’re like some of my clients then it’s usually the latter. Why? Because it’s scary to reveal your whole self, dating feels like a job interview where you’re being judged on how you look and everything you do or say. Bringing the representative feels like the safer option, the mask to hide behind so if it all goes tits up then you never really lost anything. But when you don’t show up as your whole self, what you sacrifice is human connection and when you have two representatives show up on a date then it kind of makes the whole thing a bit pointless. Here’s what to do about it:

  1. Relax your expectations on what the date means - use online dating as a way to meet like-minded people and not a way to find a life partner. If you go into the date with huge expectations, it will put unnecessary pressure on yourself and your date and it will feel like a job interview where you need to perform and impress. Instead, see online dating as a tool to meet people for a coffee and a chat and go from there, taking the pressure off those early interactions.  
  2. Adopt an attitude of gratitude - dating can trigger all sorts of fears and insecurities, especially the fear of not being good enough. Instead of focusing on all the things you lack, shift your mindset by focusing on all the things that make you great. Step into the shoes of a loved one and think about all the things they love about you and all the ways they appreciate you and respect you. You could even ask a good friend to tell you! Make a list of all your best attributes and keep reminding yourself of these.
  3. Let go of the need to be ‘cool’ - it’s tempting to bring your ‘cool representative’ to a date but honestly, all people ever want from us is to show up as ourselves. Brene Brown says “The need to ‘be cool’ is an emotional straightjacket. It keeps us from moving, growing, stretching and feeling free” and if we’re hiding behind our cool then how can we connect fully with someone? Allow yourself to be un-cool and own it.
  4. Use your feelings as your compass - how do you want to feel on the date itself? Playful, inspired, at ease? Then work back from there when you plan the date itself so if it doesn’t go anywhere after the first date, then you’ve still had a great experience, which takes the pressure off your date and will help you to relax and have some fun. You could suggest one of your date ideas the next time someone asks you out. Or why not make the first move?
  5. Set out your boundaries - think about how much time and energy you’re willing to commit to dating and set out some boundaries that are suited to your needs. So for one of my clients, she knows that her energy levels are best in the mornings so she’s experimenting with brunch dates. And for another client, her working week is pretty full on and she’s been struggling to fit in evening dates so now she’s limited dating to just one night a week to keep the weekends free for catching up with friends and getting some me-time.
  6. See rejection as redirection - each time you get rejected, they are setting you free to find someone who would be right for you, so extend gratitude and see rejection as a weeding-out process to find someone better.

I think it's no coincidence that the guys that my clients don’t like seem to fancy them because when the stakes are lower, they have permission to be themselves. That is all anyone really wants from us. Authenticity is a choice, one that you can make right now. So dare to be you, show up as yourself and give your representative the day off!

Vicki x

If you’ve enjoyed this and feeling like you need some guidance to figure this dating stuff out then come and join us on our Get Ready for Love 30 day course

And if you’re in or near London on 21st November then come along to our next Project Love Salon - ‘The Goddess Within: How to use goddess archetypes as a practical tool in life and love'. Early bird tickets available until midnight on Mon 14th Nov.