Who are you? Who are you with your friends, with your family, at work, on dates and in a relationship? Are you the same person or do you have different personas depending upon who you’re around? If you’re dating someone and begin introducing them to your family, friends and coworkers are they going to recognize you and your personality?
Everyone is on their best behavior during the first few dates with someone new, that’s understandable and acceptable, but if you make a complete 180 once you get serious or are around other people then you aren’t being real, and you’re not being fair to yourself or your date. Don’t be fake, that requires far too much effort, and you don’t want someone who likes you for who you are pretending to be.
I was sitting at my favorite sushi bar the other night devouring a sunshine roll, while eavesdropping on the couple who was obviously on their first date sitting next to me. The girl admitted to not having ever eaten more than a California roll in her day, so the guy took over and ordered for them. I thought it was quite chivalrous of him until “the show” began. The guy went ahead and ordered the most intricate rolls thinking that he was impressing his date except that he was dealing with a sushi virgin who wasn’t quite prepared for what was placed in front of her. And since he used the technical terms (hamachi, uni, nora, etc) she didn’t have any clue what to expect except that she was already a bit annoyed that he thought such a thing would dazzle her. Let’s just say the spicy tuna was the tamest, least intimidating of the fish. There was squid, octopus and eel and his date was petrified. Rather than think of her and ease her into a new experience, he was more concerned with his image and showing off his knowledge. His date checked out once the rolls started rolling in and she was no longer interested in anything he had to say. He didn’t quite know what happened and couldn’t back pedal or fix it. He effectively ruined the date by trying to be someone he wasn’t.
If a date is impressed by your posturing then what kind of relationship are you building? Wouldn’t you rather impress someone by being yourself?
When I go out on a first date I always think about what planning elements, within my control, will most help me make a good first impression. Certainly finding an agreeable time and place to meet are at the top of my priorities list; but other components, such as how I present myself, are also exceedingly important to consider.
I believe wholeheartedly that it is imperative to be yourself on a first date, which includes what you say, how you act and how you present yourself aesthetically. Everyone, whether they profess to care much about their outward appearance or not, has a style that is uniquely his or her own. For me, generally speaking, when I go out I dress up in one of two ways; 1) jeans and a concert or graphic tee or 2) jeans, button down shirt and tie (loosely tied of course).
Of course there are variations of these two specific styles that I’ll use from time to time to alter my look; for the most part these are the main two presentations that I prefer when I go out. Both say something about my personality – that I’m laid back but definitely care about and put time into my appearance, and also that style is important to me.
This is not to say that if you typically wear sweatpants and a plain white t-shirt everyday that you should put on a collared shirt and khakis just because you have a date because that wouldn’t be projecting the real you. Personally I am not a real big polo guy, therefore, even though polos are very standard for guys to wear on dates, you’ll rarely see me wearing one because that’s not my style and therefore I wouldn’t feel completely comfortable.
In the end, what you wear is just another element that contributes to your overall ability to feel like, and therefore be, yourself. So, even if you aren’t someone who normally cares about their appearance I would encourage you to take a few extra moments in order to make sure you aren’t trying to present yourself in a way that you think will appeal most to the person you are going out on the date with, and instead simply showing off the real you.