In the beginning stages of a budding relationship, people will tell you some version of the same advice: “Be yourself.”
They have good intentions. What they’re trying to say is: be comfortable, have fun, enjoy yourself, be genuine. They want you to be able to have a good time and to show this person who you truly are.
But what frequently happens is that people take “be yourself” to mean that you have to be the most ideal version of yourself.
If you’re smart, do everything in your power to show this person how incredibly intelligent you are. If you’re funny, make them laugh as hard and as often as possible. If you’re compassionate, overwhelm them with how much compassion you have at all times.
Be yourself – in the most perfect, flawless, and unattainable way possible.
But the point of being in love is not so that you can be perfect. The point of being in love is to form a connection with someone that allows you both to truly, actually be yourselves, especially on the days where you’re feeling vulnerable, or tired, or even… boring.
Maybe you’re clever. Maybe you’re adventurous. Maybe you’re empathetic. Maybe you’re silly. Maybe you’re intelligent. Whatever you consider your best qualities, the person you end up with will probably be drawn to them. And that’s wonderful.
But nobody can be “on” all the time.
Sometimes, it feels good just to be present in the moment without feeling the pressure to simultaneously be learning or performing or maintaining an interesting conversation. Sometimes you just want to sit in silence during the road trip, so that you can enjoy the peace and quiet and the views that pass you by. Sometimes the best Saturday mornings are the ones where you sleep until noon and avoiding putting anything on your schedule, instead enjoying the concept of having zero tasks and zero deadlines. Sometimes, the most enjoyable date nights are the ones in which the two of you sit on the couch and do your own thing, communicating only through the body heat that transfers between you two when your arms or legs touch.
Dating someone that you can be boring with is not the same thing as dating someone who makes you boring. It just means that you’ve found someone you feel completely comfortable with, completely yourself with. You don’t feel the need to perform, or to put on a show, or to entertain them.
You can just be you. Sometimes you’re a ball of energy and all you want to do is wrestle in your underwear, while you try to tickle them and make them laugh. Sometimes you’re mellow and curious and simply interested in having a stimulating conversation. And sometimes, you want to sit with them and just be. You don’t have to be laughing or talking, arguing or debating, competing or challenging.
You can simply exist around them. You can be present in the moment, aware of the electricity between the two of you, without feeling the need to have a third party present, whether that third party is a conversation or an adventure or another person.
Dating someone that you can be boring with actually allows you to be yourself because you don’t have to be anything. You don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to maintain a certain image. You don’t have to be funny or sweet or intellectual all the time. You don’t have to always be worrying about what happens next.
In fact, dating someone that you can be boring with actually makes you the opposite of boring, because when you’re that much at peace around someone else, you’re not even bored, or boring. You’re just happy, comfortable, content, relaxed. You’re yourself. They’re themselves.
Nobody’s performing. Nobody’s dancing. Nobody’s entertaining. You’re just the two of you, present in this moment. Sometimes discussing new ideas together, sometimes exploring new worlds together, and sometimes, just being together. Being who you both truly are, together.
So don’t go looking for the person who’s going to make you boring. Look for the person who you can be boring with – better known as the person who you can be your most honest, genuine self with.