I’m not quite sure which is more of a struggle for me in the dating world: trying to keep up an act that shows I’m smoother and less nerdy than in reality, or trying to restrain myself from being the real me — a sappy, over-the-top romantic.
There’s a difference. It’s one thing to just not do certain things you would ordinarily do or would want to do in a given situation, but it’s a separate matter to actually do something that does not come naturally to you.
Take these examples, for instance: My gut may say to write a girl a handwritten note, because that’s who I am, but I’ll restrain myself and just not do it out of fear that it’s “too much.” My gut may say to call or text a girl the next day, because that’s who I am, but if I purposely wait two, three, or four days, I’m actively going against what comes naturally to me.
You should always unapologetically be yourself in love.
You can’t be what you think someone else wants you to be. Eventually, the two personas — the real you, and the person you’re pretending to be — will clash, and it will likely end in disaster.
If you’re someone like me — a naturally emotional and romantic person — and you pretend to be the person who is more reserved and laid back, it will overwhelm your partner when the real you starts coming out. Maybe the first couple of romantic gestures will catch your significant other off-guard and they’ll be a pleasant surprise, but when it happens with regularity (because that’s just who you are), it will ultimately inundate your partner.
That’s not the person they fell for. They fell for you — the casual, lowkey person. If they wanted the romantic sap, they would’ve fallen for them.
If you are that casual, lowkey person and you’re trying to woo someone who wants that almost unrealistically romantic relationship with a partner, you’ll only be able to keep up the act for so long. When your natural, laid-back demeanor settles in, and the romantic gestures become less frequent, it can cause your partner to second-guess everything.
“They cared so much in the beginning, do they not care now?”
The truth is that you may care about them the same you always have; but because your actions have changed, they assume your feelings have.
You should never feel guilty for being the way you are, and you should never mold yourself to fit someone else’s expectations.
I want my partner to love me — the guy who will leave a love note in her workbag; the guy who will serenade her at karaoke; the guy who will grab her hand and dance with her in the middle of the living room — and not some guy who tricked her into liking him.