I once knew a girl who would literally go through a total transformation with every new relationship. When she was dating the jock, she loved sports. Smitten with the musician...out came the ripped jeans and leather jackets. The all-time doozy was when she bought a stick shift car because "guys find it sexy." Let's just say we usually ended up taking my (automatic) car anytime we needed to get anywhere. It was frustrating, and sometimes a little sad, to watch her put on so many facades. Because, at the heart of it, she did not trust that she was enough. She wasn’t sure that she would be loved just for being herself. I think she would have really struggled with the question: why should he date you?
I often hear single women say "how am I supposed to compete with all the other beautiful single women out there?” I get it. It’s hard to stay out of the comparison trap and, truth be told, the dating scene can feel about as civilized as a UFC fight sometimes. But, comparison and competition lead us down a never-ending path that gets us nowhere. As my favorite poem, Desiderata, says “never compare yourself to others or you will become vain or bitter, for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”
It’s unproductive to spend a lot of time worrying about what the “competition” is doing, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to ponder the question: why should he date me? Don’t get me wrong. I am sure there are many reasons he should date you. My concern is that you don’t know it.
It’s kind of like that dreaded job interview question: why are you the best person for this job? I bet you would have some answers for a future employer. You probably would have put some thought into it. Maybe you would have even taken the time to jot down a list of your strengths and accomplishments in advance. During the interview, you’d talk about your positive qualities and how you would add value to their company (with a dose of humility, of course). Just like a job, I think it’s fair to apply this question to choosing a romantic partner. After all, people want to be with people who add value to their lives, right?
So, how do you stand out from the crowd when it feels like you’re just one drop in a vast sea of women looking for love? I know of only one way: Be You. The best defense you have against allllll the other girls is being completely and unapologetically you.
There is no one else out there just like you. No one shares the same background, experiences, personality, eyes, nose, laugh... You are one of a kind. Completely unique. Embrace that authenticity and you will make the experience of you undeniably attractive.
In the search for the right fit, it’s important that we know who we are and what we value. My momma always said “there’s a lid for every pot.” And, unlike the girl I mentioned earlier, it’s not advisable to try to be every size of lid. Maybe you are a free-spirited, spontaneous woman who throws caution to the wind. Perhaps order, stability and planning make you giddy. Maybe you love tradition, or maybe you think it’s silly. Perhaps you’re career driven or maybe you dream of being a stay-at-home mother. None of these things are right or wrong. Too many times we know what we really want and who we really are, but we are afraid it isn’t right or isn't good enough to get the guy. But owning who you are is really the only way to find the right fit. And, just like you, there is a pot out there looking for his special, unique lid.
It may not sound like the most romantic exercise, but I encourage you to literally write down some responses to the question: why should he date you? Think about how you want someone to experience you and how you can add value to someone’s life. You might be surprised by how many great qualities you can list. Just like you would arm yourself with confidence going into a job interview, it is helpful and healthy to enter into dating the same way. Not so you can sell yourself to men, but so you remember how much you have to offer and how special and unique you really are. Facing the dating world armed with confidence about what you have to offer helps you remain true to who you are and reminds you not to settle for less than you deserve.
Girl, he would be lucky to date you!