What It Actually Means To “Be Yourself” On A Date

March 2, 2012  |  
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“Just be yourself.” What does that even mean?! It’s the most generic, yet most popular, piece of advice before a first date. The truth is, it is good advice, but it can be hard to follow because we also often don’t realize when we are not being ourselves. You’re being yourself if you do this:

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When you disagree, say so

It’s okay to be with someone who you disagree with. But, you need to know right off the bat how that person handles being disagreed with! If your date says something—regarding politics, religion, or even just the décor of the restaurant—and you think he is flat out wrong, open up a friendly debate about it. If you hold in your thoughts, you’re setting yourself up to always have to hold them in.

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Let your clothes speak for you

“Is this too slory?” “Too conservative?” “Too funky?” Who cares! If you like to dress sultry, that is something someone you date should know. And you should see how he reacts to it. Does he respectfully appreciate that you’ve got a killer body? Does he seem offended by your outfit? Does he act sleazy, thinking he can get something out of it? What you wear will end up telling you more about the person you’re on a date with than it tells them about you.

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Don’t withhold quirks

Are you OCD? Do you almost lose it if your fork and knife are not perfectly aligned? Are you nauseated by different foods touching on your plate? Everyone’s got quirks! You don’t need to try with every fiber in your being to withhold your urge to let your quirks come out. They are going to come out eventually.

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Don’t be afraid of a boring date

If you’re not finding anything to talk about with a date, there’s a reason for that. You’re probably not a good match! Too many people, when they find themselves on a boring date, dig and dig to find things to talk about. And, actually, after a lot of effort, can create a good time for themselves. But that’s the key word—create. It shouldn’t really take effort to enjoy a date, but people can walk away from such a date under the wrong impression that they liked someone, because they made the date enjoyable for themselves.

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If you’re social, be social

Do you like to make chit chat with servers? Or with the neighboring tables? If you’re a social person, be social! It’s not rude to your date. It’s just how you are and good for them to know. Don’t try super hard to just focus on your date, when you desperately want to ask the woman at the table next to you where she got her purse!

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Sticking to your rules

Don’t like being picked up on first dates? Do you prefer first dates in quiet places so you can get to know each other? Or really busy places because you feel safer? Don’t be afraid to say so. It shows that you stand your ground.

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Eat what you want

I mean this in a way you may not expect. Most people tell women to feel free to eat a cheeseburger on a date if they want to. Women end up feeling silly or “girly” if they want to order something healthy, or “diet.” I say, if you’re trying to stay fit, don’t let a date de-rail you! Don’t let a man make you feel bad for ordering something healthy. Is it girly? So what. You’re a girl. (Well, a woman). If a cheeseburger or heaping bowl of pasta is actually what you want to eat, then by all means go for that too.

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