Have you ever filled out a profile form for social media or to join an online dating site? You know the ones I’m writing about. You put down your name, maybe add a photo of yourself, mention your education level, job, hobbies, likes and dislikes, If it’s a dating site you probably tell anyone who is interested what you are looking for in a relationship. Then you spell check it and send it flying off into cyberspace to the target for which you wrote it. Good for you but have you ever thought about who you are, what choices you made in life to become the person who is writing the profile and if this is really you?
Let me tell you a story about a young man I met some years ago. He had been a classmate of mine in college, a nice, personable individual who made good grades, liked to do exercise walking, and enjoyed Big Band music from past decades. We friendship dated for a while which meant that if we both had a little time during the school day, we would go for coffee and talk about whatever was important to us for an hour.
When I moved to a different University, we talked on the phone once or twice a week but eventually went our separate ways. End of story? Not quite. I met him again about a decade later. One of those chance meetings. The young man had of course grown about 10 years older. That day his outward appearance was mostly the same as in college. We exchanged phone numbers, promised to reconnect when we had time. He told me to look him up on social media.
I did that night and was astonished at his profile. It just didn’t match up with the man I had known. Gone was the interest in Big Band music, his enjoyment of quiet conversations at a coffee shop, his love of walking in the early evening to wind down from studying or work. His profile appeared to have been created by a profile manufacturing service. It was posed and flashy.
I did call him and we had a nice conversation during which I asked him if he really liked all the things he mentioned in his profile. He said honestly he did not but he knew that he had been a very dull person and that no woman would want to date a man who loved Big Band music and walking. It just wasn’t exciting enough so he tried more modern pastimes and found that he could tolerate them. “And how does that work for you?” I asked. He said it was OK, he got lots of offers to meet new women from the dating site but somehow, after a date or two either they became disinterested or he did.
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you become someone you are not just to attract someone you think would like the new, artificial you? Could this be why so many of your social connections fail to turn into relationships? Here is a suggestion. Don’t try to make yourself into Superman or Wonder Woman.
Most people do not really want to meet those two. They want the real you so choose what you like about yourself, what you enjoy doing with your time and money and allow yourself to be genuine. After all, if you are terrified of skydiving or you swim like a rock and have no idea what a back stroke is, you probably do not want to try and have a relationship with a champion swimmer or a dedicated skydiver.
Let’s talk about this. When was the last time you added things to the story that is you that didn’t exactly match who you really are?
Until I hear from you, virtual positive energy coming your way.