Dating is how you sample the Us before making that big commitment to move forward together. It's the trial run. You test the relationship. You try it out with your family and friends - and your children, if you already have some. Dating is not about showing the world that you found someone who actually hangs out with you. Dating is about learning whether you should continue to hang around that person. It's about learning the fit between the two of you.No matter how much it sucks, you can never compromise your vision for a relationship.
For that reason, you have an obligation to be your most natural self. The other person needs to see you exactly as you are.
But what if they run away?
Then it's not a fit, oh heart.
But then I will be alone!
Until you find a fit, yes.
Some people change their behavior and expectations after commitment. You might wake up to a person and a relationship you've never encountered if this happens. It is a Bait and Switch. You thought you found a fit while dating and discovered something completely unknown and unexpected when committed.
Something so deeply unfair and deceptive cannot last. So it's best to simply be your most natural self. Expose it all. Let the other person see you fully. Because eventually they will anyway.
Sight is everything. Without clarity, you don't have anything.
ETC: A friend of mine who will likely jump back into the dating pool in a few months urged me to amend this - it's not that you want to reveal everything.
She's right. I don't mean to "Expose it all," though that is what I wrote. Poor wording on my part.
You don't have to reveal everything about you all at once. That would be overwhelming and inappropriate. But if some aspect of your life were revealed, there wouldn't be a jarring shock at what your suitor would find. What s/he would find would be consistent with what's already known about you.
You reveal enough to convey a sense of you that the possibility of shock at other revelations wouldn't be relationship-threatening.