I’m not asking this question to the other person, the person you just met at a coffee date. I’m asking you. Who was that different person? The one contorting your true self so that this date would work? What happened to you?
Were you so hoping for a second date that you contorted yourself? Have you already presupposed this person on this date is special and you want to match up with him/her so badly? Chill. It’s just a first date. Don’t presuppose anything yet.
Are you having anxiety over not getting asked out on a second date? Do you think that not getting asked out on a second date means that something is wrong with you? That if you don’t get asked out again this is a rejection of you? Stop this crazy thought train. Perhaps there is something wrong with him/her. Perhaps the date person realizes something about him/herself that needs to be worked on before he/she can go forward. This situation is not all about you—but these thoughts of rejection are. Stop, just stop.
Do you wish you that your true self was more thin, more smart, more quippy? Do you wish that you were enough? So you are trying to be that enough person for this coffee date hoping that if you can create this impression it might become who you really want to be. Stop. You should not be dating at this time. Until you see your true beauty for yourself, you won’t attract someone who will. And trust me, someone will be attracted to the real you. The real you is quite awesome and that person will “get” you and ravish all that is you. (What a powerful joyful word ravish is.) If you are contorting yourself to be this imagined enough person, all you are offering the coffee date is anxiety, performance issues, fears of rejection, hiding and defenses. Who wants to date that? Do you want to be that?
Is this coffee date going so well that you contorted yourself so you could help the date go even better? Did you find yourself saying something about you that is not true just so you can say “Me too” and watch the glimmer in the coffee date’s eyes? Then is that person really being attracted to you? Or the image you are creating on the spot because you feel a click?
Are you worried that this coffee date is not going well and he/she may want to go out with you again? So you have contorted yourself to make this awkwardness “feel” better? If you are asked out again and don’t want to go, just say no. This can be done simply with genuineness. Why are you more concerned what he/she thinks than with what you want? Don’t contort yourself so the coffee date goes better when you are not feeling it. Be true to you throughout the coffee date. If there is no click, so be it.
Who are you in this brave dating adventure? That is what brave dating is about. It is finding out who you are so you can find that match who will be a love for a lifetime. Staying true to who you are happens all along the way. Along the way means it has to happen in the beginning too. From the first coffee date and onward, stay true to you.
So who will you be on this coffee date? Hopefully you will put the work in to find the real you so someone can “get” you and ravish all that is you. This work can be painful and requires vulnerability. Remember that “Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage.” (Dr. Brene Brown) Try. Lean on the good people in your life. Try. Be brave.