It’s one of the biggest issues we face when deciding to learn how to attract more dates and partners into our lives. Should I just “be myself,” faults and all, or should I attempt to conform to some sort of perfect societal ideal, and in the process, perhaps give up a bit of my core personality and construct a patently false image for the benefit of others? 

In reality, I myself have struggled with this issue for a good portion of my adult life. I have tried both ways. When I was told by my friends, parents, teachers and coaches to just “be myself,” nothing seemed to work. My peculiar sense of humor, blunt communication style, idiosyncrasies and outside-the-mainstream interests did not exactly leave a lot of women with that special tingling feeling. So then I tried the opposite approach. The classic “Fake It till You Make It” philosophy. I studied books, PUA materials, and I even went and received coaching on how to “Be The Man That All Women Want.” While adopting this approach certainly provided a situational confidence boost and some quick results in the shortest of terms,  after three years of faking it, I had nowhere near “made it.” I still wasn’t attracting the kind of partner I was hoping for, and furthermore, I discovered that people weren’t all that gullible. It turns out, people are actually pretty good at spotting someone who is putting on an act. The women I was dating could sense the incongruence between what I was trying to show the world, and what I actually was. The results were not great, to put it bluntly.

Have you ever found yourself in a similar predicament? You may be wondering to yourself, “If being myself doesn’t work, and being someone else doesn’t work, then what the hell WILL work?” I feel your pain and understand your struggle. The short answer to your question is that you have to be willing to do a little bit of both. In order to do this however, you have to know yourself at a fundamental level. This is a major issue for a lot of us. We DON’T really know who we are, we haven’t spent enough time with ourselves, in a state of introspection, to discover the types of people we are and what we really want out of life. Because of this, the advice of “being yourself” becomes nonsensical on its face, because how can you be yourself when you don’t even know who you are? In today’s post, I’m going to go over the values of remaining true and steadfast to your principles, as well as the value of making adjustments and lifestyle changes so that we can maximize our chances of success. Finally, I’m going to go over some methods we can use to help us figure out who we really are at our core, and then bring that core of ourselves out for the world to see.

Authenticity is Essential

I know you’ve seen these guys before: The dudes who are constantly “peacocking” themselves trying to “Demonstrate High Value” and put forward the illusion that they are greater and more important than they are. They lie about their income, their position in their companies. They dress like Don Draper when their personality is more like Mick Jagger, and tell tall tales about how much they bench press. Most of the time, the way these guys come across when they build themselves up is so obviously inauthentic, most people with even a rudimentary level of social awareness can see through it. If you think about it, one can hardly blame these guys. After all, if you look at most PUA related advice columns and books, most of them champion the idea of being a human chameleon, constantly changing yourself, your personality, and your style to fit the whims of what the opposite sex is looking for. The problem with this blueprint is that it encourages people to portray themselves as someone who is definitely not them. It’s perfectly fine to fake certain mannerisms and behaviors in the short term, but the problem is that deep down, underneath the facade, the true core of who you are is still there. If you give it enough time, the real you WILL show itself, and it WILL exist in opposition to the person you were trying to manufacture, and that will create confusion, lost attraction, and maybe even in extreme cases, anger amongst the people you’re trying to date. Not to mention that trying to maintain a phony persona is exhausting. You may be able to get short term sex from taking this approach, but you can forget about getting anywhere near a  long term relationship, unless your potential partner is socially clueless. If you’re going for a long term relationship, and doubly so if you’re looking for marriage, you MUST present your authentic self to stand a chance. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. Figure out who “yourself” really is, identify and nurture the strengths that come along with that, and proudly put that on display. Doing this will allow the right people to come into your life naturally and organically, no games and false personas needed. 

But, isn’t changing a good thing?

Looking back at the last section, you might think that I feel the case is closed. “Just Be Yourself” wins it. No need to make any adjustments, or better yourself. Just be authentically you at all times, and you’re set. 

Nope! 

Just because you are now able to discover your true self, doesn’t necessarily mean that that self is the most attractive version it could be. I like to think that there is always something that we can be doing to improve our presentation and personality, even if it’s something minor. Sometimes, for some of us, being more attractive means cleaning up our physical appearance. For example, if we aren’t doing all we can to maintain our hygiene, dressing in well fitted clothes, or finding a style that is congruent with our personality, then those are things we may want to make more of a commitment to. Some issues lie more with our personality and behavioral traits. It’s going to be really difficult to maintain relationships and a strong social circle if you are always operating from a space of negativity. Constantly complaining about how life sucks and is unfair, or how “the system” is constantly screwing you over tends to get really old, really fast. Acting like a dick because you think you’re being a “Billy Bad Ass” might attract a flock of insecure boot-lickers, but it’s not likely to win you many genuine friends, or awesome relationships with quality partners. In addition to these, you need to factor your lifestyle in to the equation as well. If you’re idea of a typical day off is 12 straight hours of Netflix bingeing while eating a whole bag of tortilla chips in one sitting, how can you honestly be surprised about not being able to meet anyone? 

Yes, being yourself is important, there’s no denying that,  but not to the extent that it’s going to limit, or possibly even eliminate, the chances of you finding kick ass dates and partners.

So , Where Does That Leave Us?

If we are actively looking for dates, and we’re struggling with the notion of how much we should or shouldn’t change in order to find the right partner, the best course of action is to really spend some time with yourself, analyze and plot out exactly who we are. Do an honest assessment of you, warts and all. Take out a sheet of paper and make a chart. On it, label one column “Physical” and another “Personality/Character.” Next, make several rows. One row should be “Positives” and the other “Negatives.” Try to think of the top ten traits for each section and write them in the spaces. Below the chart, make a list of five ways in which you could maximize the positive strengths that you have, for physical and personality. Next, take a long, hard look at the negatives in each column. Which ones are the ones you feel are truly holding you back in finding the right partner? Which ones are just ones that you like, but others may have an issue with? For the ones that YOU feel are holding you back, write down a list of 3-5 ways in which we could change or eliminate those negatives, and then formulate an action plan for you to get to work. By doing this, you will be able to pinpoint the serious issues, without having to compromise the best parts of you, and become someone who is wholly incompatible with who you are. You will strike a balance between the best of both worlds. 

Good luck!

-M

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