A few months ago, a friend contacted me for some relationship advice: she’s single, and there’s this guy she’d had her eye on. She wanted to approach him, but wasn’t sure how.
At first, she consulted a singles group she belongs to. She explained that she wanted to approach him and tell him that she liked him and “would he like to grab a cup of coffee sometime”. They all had plenty of advice: “No. Let him come to you.” or “Don’t be too direct, men hate that.” or “Play coy and let him reach for you.”
No wonder these people are single. Sheesh.
Anyway, my friend got smart and realized that she was perhaps seeking advice from the wrong group. She told me that she looked over her friends, paying close attention to those with marriages that she admired, and she called me. I was both humbled and honored.
She explained the situation, told me what she wanted to do, and asked me what I thought. I think she was startled at first by my response.
I said, “Do it.”
And I had more to say: “You contact him and tell him what you want to say. The worst that will happen is, he will say ‘No’ and not be interested. The best thing that will happen is he will say, ‘Yes.’ But the most important point of all of this is that you will have been true to YOU.”
Here’s the thing: we all have our soul mates out there. Maybe they’re strong, or beautiful, or shy, or quirky. But the right person for you, will respond to YOU.
This is important, people. So listen carefully.
If you’re too busy worrying about what other people might think of you and how you behave, and thereby filtering your true self through some screen of who you THINK they might like, you’re a fraud. Sorry. I said it. I know that sounds harsh, but please hear me out on this one.
You’re looking for a soul mate. Let that sink in for a minute.
You: beautiful, amazing, brilliant, uniquely YOU.
Shouldn’t you have someone who appreciates all of what makes you YOU? Shouldn’t you spend your life with someone who makes you feel comfortable being you?
But how can that happen if you’re pretending to be someone you’re not?
I see this a lot, sadly. And I’d like to see less of it because there’s something magical about spending your life with someone who “get’s you”.
Recently, I was reading a thread on Facebook where singles were discussing their best questions to break the ice on first dates. Many of the questions were pretty “blah”. I remember my first “date” with Grant. I spent a lot of time talking about me and my expectations in a relationship. We’d already talked some on the phone, so the regular getting acquainted questions were behind us. The conversation was raw and unfiltered, and I figured if he couldn’t handle me for a couple hours, he definitely wouldn’t be able to handle me for a lifetime. Why waste my time or his? Turns out he was into it.
Did you see the movie Hitch?
It’s from 2005, so if you haven’t, sorry for the spoiler. It’s about a guy (Hitch, played by Will Smith) who helps men catch the women they want. He takes on a client named Albert (played by Kevin James) who’s basically an overweight klutz, who’s a bit nerdish. Albert’s in love with this stunning millionaire of a woman that he works for. Hitch does everything he can to help the guy out, but in the end, Albert lets too much of who he really is come out, and ironically, this is what the girl loves about him. All of it.
I know it’s just a movie, but I find that this is the case all around me if I take the time to look. The greatest love stories are often unexpected; the people may seem mismatched from the outside, but they are perfect.
With my husband, he was the first boyfriend that I decided that there would be no stupid head games of any kind. I decided that if I wanted to see him, I’d see him. If I wanted to call him, I’d call him. And I was painfully honest with him about who I was and what he was getting himself into. He reciprocated. And you know what happened? We eloped just three weeks after that first date. That was almost 30 years ago…
I’ve also watched friends play the dating game, pretending to be someone they aren’t. They’re afraid they’ll run a prospect off because they feel they are too quirky, or intense, or creative, or bossy, or needy or, or, or…
And you know what? I’ve watched them drop that veil and find the ONE.
Here’s the thing: the right person for you will love that quirky part of you. They won’t mind the bossy side of you so much. They’ll celebrate the creative part of you. And they’ll complement the needy side of you and fulfill that very part of you that makes you seem needy. They won’t care if you’re overweight or balding or wear geek t-shirts or Oxfords. THAT’S what love looks like.
There’s a flip side to this too.
What if there’s a guy (or girl) out there right now looking for YOU, but you’re so busy being someone else, he or she misses you completely? I think that is the saddest story of all.
So please, for the sake of your happiness, trust me on this one. Be you–beautifully uniquely you.
If they aren’t interested, they’ll know pretty quickly–think about how much heartache that will save you.
Back to my friend: she did contact him and they did have coffee. He wasn’t put off by her approach at all. He wasn’t right for her after all, but you now what? She never would have known if she’d listened to the other advice. And think of all that time she might have wasted playing those silly head games.
So, if you love Star Wars, find someone who will watch it with you—over and over, if that’s your thing. If you love opera, find someone who will enjoy listening to it with you.
Having a life you love includes celebrating the things that bring you joy and happiness. Find someone who wants to celebrate those things with you or for you.
Look for the sort of soul mate that you really see yourself growing old with. Don’t compromise.
Can you imagine if everyone dropped their facades and decided to just BE? I’m pretty sure the divorce rate would drop drastically.
Share your thoughts on this approach in the comments below.
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