The Comfort Zone: Being the Real You

By on March 30, 2005

Picture your best friend. Assuming you’re not romantic with him or her, think about why you love them so much. Probably because they’re easy to talk to, fun to be with, and you can be yourself at all times. You would never hesitate to call each other, you don’t have to dress up when you get together, and you know there’s no embarrassment because you share an unconditional acceptance of who you both are.

Now picture someone you’ve crushed on who you could barely speak to. Someone you may feel intimidated by at times, who you put up on a pedestal, and feel like you can never say or do the right things in front of. Think about the energy you spend trying to read his or her mind, the time and money you may contribute to various outfits when in their presence, and the awkwardness that comes with feeling so insignificant or unsure that it makes you doubt yourself.

More comfortable with the first scenario? That’s because with your closest friend, you get to be YOU. How exhausting it must feel to constantly play a role when all you want to do is turn off the blaring stage lights and throw away your lines. Unless you’re selling tickets for your performance, don’t ever feel forced to act a certain way for anyone you are trying to be with romantically. If you can barely look them in the eye and feel uneasy in their presence, that’s not love, that’s nausea.

Oftentimes, as a society we tend to feel there are certain rules we must follow: Don’t be too nice or too mean or too forward or too shy, and don’t call right away because you’ll look desperate, but don’t call too late because you’ll seem like a jerk. Now, last I checked, we weren’t supposed to be studying note cards for the rules of dating. This is life, not a midterm. Just as a brand of deodorant varies from person to person, so does a style of dating and way of ‘making a move.’ If cheesy pick up lines are your way of breaking the ice, then do it with confidence until you find the one who will laugh with you, or if you’re on the quieter side and stay to yourself, wait for the one who will keep you company in the corner.

While some believe fate may play a role in certain matchmaking scenarios, it only takes you so far, and it’s up to you to follow through. Instead of second guessing yourself that someone is ‘out of your league’, why don’t you find out if they want to play on your team? If not, the only thing you have to loose is an opportunity.

Remember, it’s not necessarily the end of the world if someone chooses not to be with you. Not everyone is meant to be together, and it could be a blessing in disguise that’s protecting you from something potentially dangerous or unhealthy. It wouldn’t make sense if everyone was attracted to each other because it would leave no excitement for when two people really spark. Part of being with the ‘wrong’ person is to give us something to compare it to when the right one comes along.

Someone may score points in your mind because they hold the qualities you’re looking for, but may not turn out to be anything you expected after a conversation. It’s like how some movies attract you during previews and you think they’ll suit your interests, but after spending time in the theater, you realize it’s not what you expected. However, chances are you wouldn’t boy-cot all cinemas after a flick that flopped, and dating is the same thing.

While it’s hard not to take rejection as a personal offense, it’s important to put yourself in the other person’s situation by remembering not everyone is your type either. Some people just work better than others, but it doesn’t mean you’re doomed from ever having contact with each other.

Being yourself is the best thing you can do, and one should never have to feel intimidated or held back, nor should they feel forced to appear outgoing when they’re shy. It would be completely unfair to you if you had to change anything from your shoes to your personality to be with someone. If you start the relationship based on a lie and portray something you aren’t, you’re also being unfair to the other person who doesn’t get to see your true colors…which will appear eventually. How many times do you hear of people breaking up because “they weren’t who you thought they were”? That’s what happens when you keep the real you under wraps, and you aren’t helping anyone by doing that.

If a person you’re interested in is unable to find the wonderful qualities you posses, then they’re not looking hard enough and they’re not worth your time. Why would you ever want to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate all the beautiful components of who you are? I mean seriously, if someone has a problem with your addiction to cartoons or fear of public bathrooms then they aren’t worth the trouble.

Feeling confident with who you are and realizing you’re complete on your own will make finding a mate that much easier. Now, instead of considering yourself out searching for your other half, you can think of it as looking for another whole to connect with.


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