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

March 2, 2012  |  
"Couple having lunch"

“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:

"Couple talking"

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.

"Beautiful black woman"

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.

"Woman biting her nails"

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.

"People bored on date"

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.

"Woman ordering from a menu"

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!

"Couple at bar"

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.

"Woman eating celery"

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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  • Wuluwulu

    I thought being myself meant I could, burp, fart, pick my nose and pop my zit in the car mirror.  No wonder I never got a call back.  Aw well back to the drawing board…just joking.

    • Bitterswtkizz

      LOLOLOLOL! That’s the FINALS you’re talking about–lol! I embarrass so easily and I would be so embarrassed IF some did that on a date! I remember I went out with a guy and he was nice and he was far from being shy. He ALL the food on his plate…meanwhile I have all this nervous energy so I eating my entree slow. I watched him as he wrestled with a LONE penne noodle on his plate and I thought that could be me that he would quickly DEVOUR…the waiter even commented when he returned to the table—he said wow somebody was hungry–UGh! I cringed and was so embarrassed!

  • Bitterswtkizz

    Dear MEN,

    Psst…I just wanted to give you the HEADS-up on a few things….

    1- Stop spending MONEY that you don’t have on an expensive restaurant for the 1st date and then dropping subtle hints  that the evening was more than you could bear. GOOD GRIEF! I don’t mind affordable restaurants—appetizers that we can share is fine w/me.
    2- Stop pretending that the MOST expensive car in the parking lot is yours…I understand your being a gentlemen and escorting me to my car but you claim that’s your car and yet your still standing outside of it and haven’t gotten it–WHAT”S THAT ALL ABOUT?
    3. Stop monopolizing the conversation talking about your LOVE of money(ambition is certainly not frowned upon but an obsession for money and material things is a turn-off for me).
    4. DON’T share your DRAMA from past relationship(s) ( I’m not insecure I just don’t find it to be good dinner conversation).
    5. And for the luv of GAWD stop name dropping…I don’t CARE that you know people of people that know famous people—that doesn’t tell me WHO you are!
    6. Stop spending the entire date trying to find flaws in me—I have flaws we all do! Just ask yourself the question that I’m asking myself—CAN YOU DEAL w/ MY FLAWS!
    7. And don’t accept my FLAWS simply because you think you’re getting LUCKY 2night! SLOW BITES and CHEW and savor for another day!
    8. Stop getting offended because I offer to pay or go half on the TAB–I’m on the date too!—you know you WANT to accept it! 
    9. Stop blushing  @ the bubble headed waitress that obviously trying to pimp you for a HEALTHY tip—her service wasn’t that great!
    10. Just read 1-9 that will explain why we haven’t spoken since that NIGHT!~~~~People for the most part are themselves when they are in good company and are comfortable! And truthfully don’t indulge in long drawn out 1st dates  with people that you do NOT know. Bookstores are GREAT for 1st dates…they are equipped with cafes and there’s plenty to talk about. This allows you to know what types of things interest the person your with…

  • sholla21

    Good article. Faking it in the beginning leads to disappointment. You can’t keep up the charade and the other person doesn’t understand why you’re so different all of the sudden.

  • I really hate dates. If the person is really attractive and I don’t see us going anywhere I’ll just go home with him because what’s the point?

  • I am me from the moment I meet a person. I like being me. Don’t feel the need to pretend otherwise.