If your profile is the online dating equivalent of your CV, then your first date is the interview. I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve heard this one. But how often have you gone on a date and spend the whole time trying to be someone you’re not?
Sure, just like in a job interview, nobody’s expecting you to stroll in wearing a dirty T-shirt with messy hair and burp your way through dinner cause “that’s the real me, baby”, but more often than not, if the date seems to be going well and one person fancies the other, he or she is likely to bend a little bit with the conversation, maybe tell a few white lies or keep some information hidden for the sake of being liked. Sometimes, people do this because they simply don’t know what to say. They haven’t thought enough about what makes them unique and interesting, so instead of being confident in their power to attract, they try overly hard to please and end up presenting a false (and often not very interesting) front.
For most people, going on dates is a bit of a learning process. If you’ve been out of the loop for a while and / or have just come out of a long term relationship, you may well find yourself drifting towards thinking (and therefore talking) about your ex far too much. You may feel shy or struggle to find topics of conversation suitable for the situation you’re in. With practice and perseverance, most people begin to figure out what works for them, but here’s a little trick to keep in mind if you want to minimise the time you spend learning on the job.
Similarly to your online profile, you can start by sitting down and thinking a bit about yourself in the context of dating. Think about your answers to questions like: What activities do you enjoy? What are you good at? (sums, crafts, organising things, meeting new people, whatever). What do your friends most like about you? What makes you special? What would you do if you never had to work for money?
Sometimes it helps to talk these things through with friends or family members so that you have a clear idea in your head. This will help prepare you to a date situation by getting you to practice saying things in a certain way, though I would suggest avoiding the temptation to say things in exactly the same way all the time (or you may actually bore yourself eventually). Apart from maybe helping you improve your dating profile, you can have this information in the back of your head when you’re on a date, so that you can have a clear idea of who you are and what’s so great about you and don’t feel that you have to be somebody you’re not.