Kate Holmquest | September 15, 2015

How To Reboot
Your Dating Life
by Telling the Truth

Meeting new people and discovering who they are isn’t all there is to dating; we also get to know ourselves in every relationship—whether it’s one date long or a thousand dates long.

Authenticity is one of the hardest things to bring to the table when dating. After all, we’re getting to know perfect strangers, so often times our instinct is to put on a pleasant face and demeanor even when things aren’t going quite right.

But the entire dating experience can really change when you commit to honesty and authenticity. Yes, always being your authentic self can be challenging, but it’s also the best way to learn and grow, and to get the most out of every date.

Honesty on First Dates

Authenticity on a first date can be difficult—but it’s completely worth it. Prior to your date, try telling yourself, “I am going to be fully engaged while I’m there. I will be present enough to know what I like or dislike about this person, and I will be real and honest.” From there, work to be present and go with the flow.

Admittedly, being your true self is sometimes easier when a first date is going well. But what if you like your date’s personality, but you’re just not attracted to them? What if you end up in an uncomfortable conversation that conflicts with your values? What if only one of you is interested in a second date? Yikes!

This is when the going can get tough. Instead of engaging and being honest, many of us either put on a happy face and “smile through anything” or we become distant, just hoping to “get through it.” But that’s no way to live. Let’s think about the big picture: what do you want out of this date? If you’re not getting it, don’t be afraid to say how you’re feeling out loud (without being mean)—trust me, the world around you isn’t going to crumble! Both of you will probably be just fine, and then you can move forward from there.

A Second Date? Or Not?

When dating, consider going out with lots of different people to discover more about what you want in a partner. If you’re honest, authentic and present on every date, you’ll learn so much about yourself and each person you meet.

There’s nothing wrong with going on lots of first dates. Have fun! (And yes, you can tell the truth AND have fun!) Savor your experiences, talk about your loves, your likes, your dislikes…dive in and be there.

So after that first date with a new person, if you don’t feel like it’s going anywhere—say so and move on. While it may be hard to say NO to a second date, think about it this way: you’re not really sparing that person’s feelings. Instead you’re just delaying the inevitable. The other person will think you’re interested and you’ll suffer through a second date, distant and far from engaged. Sounds like a terrible way to spend time, right?

The bottom line: Simply say yes and mean yes or simply say no. You can do it.

Take Notes and Learn More

As a dating failsafe, try taking an inventory after each date: what were your likes and dislikes? Journal your thoughts and feelings about each person. Even when dating consciously, it’s worth reflecting on each date afterwards to get a handle on your overall experience. Writing down everything can help you be with your thoughts for a moment and perhaps even learn a new lesson or discover something new about yourself.

Consider your journal your “dating study guide.” It’ll help you learn more about yourself and exactly what you’re looking for in a partner. Happy dating!

Kate Holmquest

Kate Holmquest is a coach, curriculum developer, and campus director for Wright and the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential who believes that dating is one of the best possible playgrounds for discovering and transforming yourself! Potential movie titles that describe her quest for satisfaction in single life are “40 First Dates” (a.k.a. dating with velocity), “Ten Things I Hate About You” (a.k.a. telling the truth on dates), and “The Thing About My Folks” (a.k.a. noticing and breaking the relationship rules I learned at home).

Blog post image courtesy Flickr user wtlphotos.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.