Today I wanted to share a bit of relationship advice that is in some ways the best, but also the worst.

You’ve probably heard this while you nervously prepared for a date, thought about telling your partner something important to you, or when worrying about introduce a touchy subject.

“Just be yourself.”

That’s what they say to you. It’s gotten to the point where it has nearly lost all meaning.

Most people try to be themselves. They admit to the world that they are befuddled, twitterpated, or otherwise shy and anxious around others.

Some frustrated men, disappointed by the lousy results they have been getting by “being themselves” have decided that being themself doesn’t work to “get women” so they have gone to an extreme of memorizing fake stories, wearing gaudy clothing, beating their chests to “DHV” and prove to women that they are desirable (or at least, that whoever they are pretending to be is desirable).

Now, all you women out there, don’t start your chuckling just yet. You’re not off the hook either. Have you ever gotten one of those “slimming” corset-like things to make you look thinner? Have you ever gone on some bizarre crash diet in order to be more attractive to your husband or boyfriend? Or have you ever let your physical appearance define your self-esteem or self-worth?

I’d wager that both genders have gone out of their way to not be themselves.

But this really isn’t very healthy. First of all, it only cements in your mind the idea that you aren’t enough in order to receive love.

After all, why else would you memorize those stupid routines (like The Cube) or measure your own value by the number that displays on the scale when you step on in the morning?

Every time you surrender who you are and concede that you need to be something else to “deserve” the love you want, you only reinforce a belief that you’re not good enough and strengthen a snowballing inferiority complex.

Even if your efforts and forcing yourself into something that you’re not are successful, you’ll find that they are completely unfulfilling. You’ll constantly feel anxiety that he or she will someday discover the “real you” and leave you, or you’ll feel like he or she doesn’t really love you at all, but rather the person you are pretending to be.

That’s a very lonely road to walk, and probably not quite the pot of gold you had hoped to find at the end of the romance rainbow, is it?


Clay is an author, blogger, and dating and relationship coach for Loving Boldly. He is also a nap enthusiast, coffee aficionado, and home brewer.

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