There seems to be two schools of thought.
The first says that you should always be yourself, no matter what.
- Don’t wear a lot of makeup, because if he doesn’t find the “real you” attractive, then he’s not worth it.
- Don’t fuss a lot with clothes, because he should see you as you normally dress.
- Steer the conversation towards your favorite topics, then talk his ear off.
- Always tell the truth up front, even if it might put him off.
The second school says that you should always put your best foot forward, no matter what.
- Never let him see you without makeup.
- Always dress in flattering outfits that highlight your best features.
- Find out what he likes to talk about.
- Avoid letting him know about possible deal-breakers until after he’s fallen in love with you.
The first school of thought is idealistic. We’d all love to believe that love is simply a matter of seeing the right person and falling for them just as they are. Movies and sitcoms caution us against inauthenticity: pretend to be someone you’re not, and the person you love will find out eventually.
The second school of thought is more pragmatic. After all, you’re not going to walk into a job interview and say, “Here I am! Take me or leave me.”
You’re going to put your best foot forward. You’re going to dress appropriately and practice your answers beforehand. Being polished gives you a better chance of getting your foot in the door.
Both schools of thought have their limitations.
“Love me as I am” is a wonderful motto, if who you are is the best version of yourself.
But if you use that motto to avoid making an effort, then you can shoot yourself in the foot. You expect men to show up clean-shaven, nice-smelling, with clean jeans and a stylish shirt. Why wouldn’t you make an effort, too? Looking attractive for the opposite sex is simply a nice thing to do.
“Always be your best self” is also a wonderful motto, if your best self is authentic and genuine.
But if you use that motto to hide parts of yourself you’re ashamed of, then you run the risk of attracting men under false pretenses. You don’t want a huge gap between who you are on a date and who you are at home.
The solution is to balance both philosophies.
Become your best self for your own sake, not for his. Would you improve yourself even if it had no impact on how men see you? Then do it!
For many women, beauty is an end in itself. It’s pleasurable to go to the salon, experiment with makeup styles, shop for beautiful clothing, and wear gorgeous shoes. It may be wonderful to receive admiring gazes, but that’s not their main source of pleasure.
You make yourself beautiful because you appreciate beauty. You don’t do it for him. You do it for YOU.
So, should you wear high heels because men like them? Absolutely not.
Should you wear high heels because you feel beautiful in them? Absolutely.
Let’s take another example: how to talk about yourself on a first date.
You can certainly give him the facts of your life straight-up. You can tell him everything he needs to know, from your childhood to the present day. You can feel satisfied that you’ve been absolutely honest with him.
But isn’t your biography just another story?
You can’t summarize your life in a few hours. It’s taken you many years to live it. By necessity, you choose what to tell about yourself. You include certain parts and leave other parts out. Heavy editing is required.
So why not edit it in a way that brings pleasure? Why not focus on all the good and wonderful things that have happened? Why not share the very best of your life with him?
You may choose not to talk about your difficult childhood or the job you hate. Instead, you may choose to talk about how much you’re enjoying your dance lessons, or how much you’re looking forward to traveling. Your hopes and dreams are just as much a part of you as your past.
Should you be positive in order to avoid telling him anything that might put him off? Absolutely not.
Should you be positive in order to share what brings you joy with him? Absolutely.
It’s the intention that matters.
So choose to feel beautiful, positive and happy for your own sake. A guy who is right for you will adore the results.