A note: The blog-piece that I refer to entitled ‘4 Signs He’s Not The One’ has been redacted and is no longer on my site. And secondly, Ben does not exist.
Two years ago, I gave my readers ‘4 Signs He’s Not The One’. While that piece was written with my impressionable young female readers in mind, at the time I didn’t know about the type of reach my writing would have. I dropped the blog on my website, went on Instagram @franklyfahmida for a minute and mentioned it on a story to my (modest) following, and then received DM’s from lots of girls, who, having read the blog, reached out to ask for advice on their personal situations.
If anything, I think I found it endearing that I was looked up to almost as an older sister type figure.
While I’m certainly no dating-expert (please take this as a disclaimer), I’m back two years later, in the month of February, when love is said to be in the air and is likely on your minds, and I’m here this time with Your Guide To Honest Dating.
Before I begin, I’d like to very quickly outline who this blog is NOT for:
– If you are majorly insecure as a person and lack self-love, this blog-piece isn’t for you (yet)
That’s because a lack of self-love will have you doubting yourself and sabotaging your date before it’s even begun. You don’t believe in your sauce and that’s the problem. You aren’t ketchup, reader! You aren’t just mayo either, for that matter. (WHO TOLD YOU YOU WERE MAYONAISSE, I JUST WANT TO KNO-).
Anyway, I spoke to the Head Chef at Claridge’s and they can’t even put a name to your sauce. They’ve come across nothing like it – you’re amazing and the sauce, oooffff, it’s delicious!
On a serious note, until you wake up to your sauce – that is to say, believe in yourself, work on yourself for yourself, vibe with yourself, love yourself, come into yourself and operate from a place of peace and security – you aren’t ready to date.
Have faith reader, give it time and it will happen!
– If your life is feeling lacklustre, or worse still, you are dating out of boredom (no really, this is a thing, there are people out there who do this)
This blog definitely is not for you. Find meaning in life pls, learn a new language, read a book, watch a film? Do better.
– You have the wandering eye and/or cheat
Ew…scary. Seek therapy.
Now with that out of the way, I’ll tell you who this blog is for: it’s for men and women alike and those that are seeking a real connection and a meaningful relationship, because that’s the prize when you date honestly.
If you get dating right and do it honestly, you’re in for a big reward – you will likely find a best friend in a lover and you stand to grow alongside your other half, a bit like two pot-plants stood side by side, that with encouragement, tender love and care from each other, will bloom into the best versions of yourselves.
That’s what I want for my readers, so we’re upping your odds of finding good love and that’s why I am without further ado giving you:
Your Guide to Honest Dating
(1) Show up as your authentic self
My No.1 rule and biggest piece of advice to anyone who is about to go on a first date is to be yourself.
As awkward and nerve-wracking as first dates can be, breathe easy. Your job on this date is simple: be yourself. Express who you are and what you value.
That’s how you build a genuine connection, by being your genuine self.
So, be authentic on your date reader, and be unabashedly yourself. That is, after all, who your date is going to (eventually) fall in love with. Not some false mirage you’ve created of yourself. Not the person you’re pretending to be sat there agreeing with your date’s every word (a note on that – no one likes someone who agrees with everything they say, it’s called people-pleasing and it’s unoriginal).
You’re allowed to have your own interests and hold your own opinions. You’re allowed to, or should I say, rather are meant to, be entirely yourself.
Because hey reader, do you know what happens when you ace the date(s) and get into a relationship?
Your date loves you for you. I’m heavy on that, a big proponent of loving people just how they are – I think it’s how we open up even more, become even more of ourselves and bloom. Because there’s nothing more beautiful, encouraging and reassuring too I think, than being loved for yourself.
It’s up there with some of the best feelings in the world.
And you don’t want to cheat yourself of that feeling.
So be honest from the get-go. Show him/her the real, authentic you. Give them something to like and maybe later fall in love with.
And let’s say you are just yourself and the vibe is off and you don’t connect with your date. Guess what? Maybe getting that second date isn’t so important. Because maybe your date isn’t your person.
(2) Don’t tell lies
This one would seem obvious…and yet some of you tell lies about who you are on your dates.
You embellish or rather, wholeheartedly exaggerate the truth and suddenly your date isn’t sat opposite Ben, who she could have sworn her friend Karen told her was an Accountant who likes to play the drums, when she set up this date.
Oh no, Ben does do accounts but it’s not to pay the rent or anything normal like that. Ben isn’t normal, silly! Accounting is the noble act he does from the good of his heart. He’s also now telling you he’s a 6-time Olympic award winning runner and in his down time, for a bit of fun even, he does laps across Hyde Park to sponsor Beluga Whales in the Arctic Ocean.
Meanwhile, Ben doesn’t even know what a Beluga Whale is and what’s more, the most exercise Ben has done is walked to the Uber to get to this date!
To the Ben’s of this world – steady on athletes, it’s okay to be yourself!
In fact, why do you think your date even selected you for the date? Fair, they will have selected you because you’re physically attractive to them but also, a large part of it (especially for women) is because they saw/heard of something else that they liked, to do with your personality. Your date selected you for this date because you are YOU and they already like you for that.
I do get it readers, it’s natural to want to sound good on your first date because you want to make a good first impression. However, please remember that that brilliant first impression doesn’t count if it’s built on lies.
Cultivating a healthy love begins with a truthful date. Your relationship, is the last place for lies. After yourself, the person who should know you second best is your partner.
If the date goes well, you’re going to get into a relationship and spend a lot of time with your person. And if they didn’t suss out your lies on the first date(s) (which most people will btw, even if they aren’t outlandish lies like Ben’s), your lies will catch up with you during the relationship.
Furthermore, you’re meant to be coming home to your relationship for a bit of peace. God, can you imagine having to put on a façade? That sounds long and futile. Ugh, I’m tired from thinking of it already.
(3) Date with a purpose and voice that purpose
People date for different reasons. For some people, it’s their preference that they date casually. And for others, they’ll date with the intention of marrying their person in the near-future.
Another category of people who date are the ‘I-don’t-know-er’s’. If you’re on a date with someone who doesn’t know why they’re dating, then this is you:
Before you even arrange a date, let your intentions be known in order to see if you’re on the same page as your potential date. If you aren’t on the same page, that person isn’t for you and you’re wasting your time.
4) Showing vulnerability is okay
Showing vulnerability isn’t a must on a first date, especially when you’re just getting to know someone. Actually, most people don’t show their vulnerable side because that might entail laying bare their insecurities, for instance (which every single one of us has btw, to some varying extent because we’re all human). And most people do struggle to share that side of themselves.
But for those of you who are able to show your vulnerable side on the first date, there’s no shame in that. There’s actually a hidden strength allowing yourself to be seen, really seen, by having the ability to be openly vulnerable and this may in fact allow you to connect with your date on a deeper than superficial level. That’s because showing vulnerability shows your date that you’re an open-book, are good at communicating and are in tune with your feelings. There’s nothing more attractive than that.
And in fact, if the date sat across from you is any good at love, they’ll notice any insecurities even as early on as a first date and on future dates and in your relationship, will build up your confidence to make you the happiest version of yourself.
And last but not least;
(5) Don’t overthink it, listen to your gut
At the end of your date, you’ll know if there was a connection there.
You’re going to feel something in your gut if it’s a yes and whatever you do, you aren’t to overthink that feeling in your gut. Listen to your intuition and go with your gut.
If on the other hand, you don’t feel something in your gut and there is no connection, when it comes to a second date “unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it”. (That last quote is from Bukowski – Bukowski with the gems on Frankly Fahmida’s site, who’d have thought it?).
That sense of whether you do or do not want to see your date again, will be there. All you have to do is listen to that initial response within yourself, not overthink it and let your gut guide you on the matter.
That was Your Guide To Honest Dating.
The truth is that there are many methods to dating. Frankly speaking, none of these methods will guarantee you success. But it is important that we are ourselves and are honest when dating. Oftentimes, this alone, will boost your chances of success in connecting with someone.