Best Love Life Advice: Be Yourself

I’m sure you’ve heard or spoken the phrase “be yourself” to somebody in the course of your life. It’s something we humans say to each other when we know someone is not being true to who she or he really is. Of course, there can be plenty of reasons for not being oneself. Problem is when you are not being yourself, your love life is one of the places where the consequences can be quite disappointing. Think of being yourself as a form of being “true to yourself.” Only it’s happening in the context of being in love with another person. I’ll have more to say about that in a moment.

Question is, if you are not being yourself, what are you being? There are many kinds of human interactions where a person must be a certain way because of some rule or limitation. For example, if you’re in the military and you’re expected to maintain a certain behavior when in contact with a superior officer. Another example would be, how you behave at work. I think you understand.

In your love life, however, not being yourself has dire consequences. First off, when you are being yourself in a love relationship, you are permitting your partner to experience you directly, truthfully, and in the moment. This type of interaction nurtures and sustains the “in love” feeling you are sharing in your relationship. If you are not being yourself in love, you are concealing something, practicing a form of dishonesty, and eroding the in love feeling that exists. Best way to keep love alive, you guessed it, is to be yourself.

This of course applies to both forming and sustaining a healthy love relationship. When dating or courting (dating is the initial process of meeting someone & courting is when you’ve committed yourself to her or him), the best (only) chance you have to “fall in love” with someone and for that person to fall in love with you, occurs when you are simply being yourself. The natural chemistry required to concoct the in love feeling you are looking for is not something you can force or make happen. Sorry, that’s just not the way we humans are built. Chemistry is something that happens to you or doesn’t. If it doesn’t, move on, even though some people stay in “love” relationships for other reasons having nothing to do with love (bad move).

The good news is, dating and courting is easy when you are being yourself. You are relying on natural chemistry to put you together with and keep you together with the potentially “right” person for you. I say potentially, because Mother Nature only does part of the job, the rest is up to you. More specifically, making sure you are attracted to a person who can form a healthy versus unhealthy love relationship to nurture and grow the in love feeling you are sharing.

Sustaining a love relationship is much less work when you practice being yourself. I say practice because it’s very easy to misrepresent yourself (distort or omit the truth) especially when problems arise. In the long run, the practice of being yourself involves actions like taking the risk to speak your mind (true thoughts) and speak your heart (true feelings) to the person you love and encouraging him or her to do the same.

Now this is the hard part, you have a better chance of repairing and sustaining a love relationship when you practice being yourself even if doing so is hurtful in the moment to you and/or your partner. Hurt when you are telling the truth to someone you love heals faster and better than the hurt that occurs when the truth is concealed or distorted.

All comments are welcome. Tell me about your love life.

Dr. Thomas Jordan, author of Learn to Love: Guide too Healing Your Disappointing Love Life, a guidebook that shows readers how to identify what is in their psychological love life and unlearn what they’ve learned that is unhealthy and causing repeating love life disappointments or resignation.

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.