I’ve spent a lot of time in my romantic relationships pretending I was someone I’m not.
That shit was exhausting.
I didn’t feel secure enough to show my quirkiness. I was too afraid to reveal my true self.
Instead, I was this awkward, quiet girl who toned down her personality. Frankly, I was boring, or at least that’s how I felt I came across.
The real me was desperately screaming to come out.
But I just couldn’t let it.
“What if he doesn’t like the other parts of me?”
Ugh. To even type that makes me cringe.
I’m now wise enough to know that anyone who doesn’t like me as my true self isn’t worth a second of my time.
Hell, even anyone who makes me question if they won’t like me as my true self can just walk the fuck on by. This ain’t your stop, bro.
It’s not that I acted this way intentionally.
Deep down I didn’t feel “enough,” and I chose partners who helped reinforce this idea or story for me. I wanted so badly to just be me, but I buried myself deeper in a hole each day, letting these people become closer and closer to the version I was presenting to them.
Over time, it got really hard to dig myself out. They’re now used to the “me” that I’ve shown. How can I just flip a switch and be someone else now?
If you feel uneasy about revealing your true personality, values, look, etc., it’s a sign that it might not be the right situation for you.
The right people will make you feel at peace, accepted, and loved. No matter what.
You won’t have to wait to show that you’re a friggin’ weirdo. They won’t make you feel like you have to.
With that said, sometimes it’s not that it’s the wrong partner, it’s just our “stuff” holding us back, and there are ways we can move past it, especially if our partners are supportive and receptive to our efforts.
Therapists and coaches can help you navigate this by pointing out patterns in your behavior and thinking, helping you work through limiting beliefs and fears, empowering you to make decisions that are aligned with the kind of relationship you truly want for yourself, and so much more.
I’ve also found that taking baby steps can be helpful. Rather than feeling like you have to immediately flip the switch, ease into it. Show little bits of yourself, even if it means sending a no make up selfie when he’s only seen you all done up, or sharing a brief story with her about your past.
It can be vulnerable but so freeing when you get closer to sharing your authentic self with someone, and even more freeing when they love you more for it.
And if they don’t? Next!
Waiting to reveal your true self can sometimes do more harm than good, to your relationships and your mental health.
Take a moment to reflect on how you’re representing yourself to people in your life, romantic partners or otherwise.
Are you showing up as the real you, or are you holding back?