By Judith Signal
I’ve been dating this girl for a while (let’s just call her “Lady”), and I think things are starting to get kind of serious. The thing is that I feel like I’m not completely myself around her. I’ve got a few quirks and habits that I’ve been hiding so that she’ll like me more. My question is this: How do I let her get to know the “real” me without losing my Lady?
Dear Being Real,
As humans, we have the ability to “own” many things — a house, a car, a phone and an abundance of other material items. However, there is only really one thing that we can claim total and complete ownership over: our identity.
It’s a long process to come into this ownership. As we go through middle school and high school, we adopt personality traits from our friends. But as we grow older, we begin to take little tokens from those closest to us, mix it with our own thoughts and interests, and ultimately create the most unique and special form of ourselves. Our identity is, in practical terms, what makes us who we are. To me, it’s the most important thing we as humans own.
So why, my friend, would you want to hide any of that from someone who you may be falling in love with? Romantic relationships — and any friendships, for that matter — are built on the foundation of trust and honesty. I’m not here to scold you for being dishonest, Being Real, but I am here to try and push you in the direction of being yourself.
But you know that, Being Real? It’s so important. It’s so incredibly liberating when you finally let those dark feelings fly into the wind of reality. Now this isn’t to say that you should be revealing your deepest thoughts and emotions to everyone you meet. On the contrary, you should save them for special people, such as Lady and your closest friends. That’s why we have best friends and significant others. We all know that hiding is easier, but it’s way less fulfilling and ultimately, you are going to find yourself stuck.
So now it’s time to address your specific question — I am sorry that you feel like you have to hide from your Lady. If I’ve learned anything throughout my college career, it’s that the most important thing you can do is be yourself around those that care about you. Because if they truly do care about you,then they will love you, flaws and all.
I can’t say that Lady will accept these feelings. I wish I could promise you that, but Judith doesn’t make promises. She can only make heartfelt suggestions for, hopefully, heartwarming success.
Open your heart to your Lady. She’ll appreciate it either way. And if for some crazy reason she doesn’t accept you, flaws and all, then she’s not meant for you anyway. Being yourself is the most important thing you can do, and the first step to solidifying your place in this world.
“To thine own self be true,” right?