What does it mean to “just be yourself”?

I am sure you’ve heard this before: just be yourself when you go on dates, and everything will be fine. Act normal. Don’t worry, just be you.

And I know that often sounds like empty, over-simplified advice given by people who have nothing better to say.

You probably wonder – what exactly does that mean “just be yourself”? How can I not be me?

But – if you ever thought about it, there is a difference between how we act when we are with someone we know well (and don’t feel the need to impress them), and someone we just met. Especially if that someone new is a potential love interest.

We can be tempted to change our usual appearance, what we say, how we act… because we want them to like us.

Is that necessarily a bad thing? No – but if you want to be matched with someone who will love you just the way you are, it’s not exactly a great approach.

Here is why…


Do you feel and act differently when you go on dates or meet someone you’re attracted to?

How does that feel – good or bad? What changes?

Would love to hear from you… leave a comment below.

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10 Responses

  1. Peace love and happiness says:

    I’m 56 years old. And to be quite honest I haven’t had a real date in about 17 years. From my experience a man isn’t going to take you out an spend money on you unless they are getting something in return.

    • Petra says:

      What do you mean by ‘something in return’?

      • Peace love and happiness says:


        • Petra says:

          Hmmm… not all men are like that. Think about why you attract the type. I wouldn’t be very impressed with a guy who expects sex in exchange for buying dinner.

          • Peace love and happiness says:

            Hi Petra.. I have had a lot of takers in all aspects of my life. Really, it’s impossible to meet any decent men around my age, that are available and that I’m compatible with.

  2. Kerry says:

    So true Petra, all of my dates run smoothly when I am relaxed, when I haven’t stressed too much about what to wear, when I haven’t worried about the conversation we are going to have etc, even my attitude changes and I become more confident and happy within myself and this radiates. It also helps me pick up when my date is being ‘fake’ you spot the signs, it puts you in control.

  3. Lesley says:

    I think what you say is true, but it is difficult to be yourself on a date because of nerves. Im 47 and have recently attempted dating again after a very long time single. I get nervous, but come across as super- confident at first.
    Then each following date, I get more insecure and push them away emotionally. Initially they’re keen and then they start to drift away.
    If I could just be myself and not get so nervous, I’m sure I’d come across as authentic, instead of a bit odd!!!

    • Petra says:

      I know it’s hard. And I am sure it’s hard to be back on the dating scene after a long time! But you will get better with practice, please don’t beat yourself up about it. It is a bit like taking school exams all over again after many years, it’s strange and uncomfortable from many angles 🙂 Just keep reminding yourself you don’t have to impress, just find out if he likes you as you are. Good luck!

  4. Erika says:

    Wonderful common sense advice. It really is not a game trying to ‘win’ someone over, like you said a date is just a chance to see if you’re a match. I will have to remember this advice. Be your natural self, and be confident in yourself always 🙂

    It’s a bit late but I’d like to offer some encouragement to the lady above despairing about being single in her 50s. It is possible, I know because I see it around me all the time for people in their 40s, 50s and 60s – and I live in a relatively small rural community where the dating pool is probably a lot smaller than elsewhere. For example, my best friend’s mum – in her late 50s and widowed – has had a few partners since her husband died 10 years ago, but recently got engaged to the second ‘love of her life’ after dating him exclusively for just over a year. They met online, and I believe part of her success is that she is a very relaxed and happy person, and totally comfortable with herself. She’s not a supermodel or a flirt either, and her partners have all been proper committed boyfriends, although I’m sure she’s had to go through a few awkward dates to get there 😉

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