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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Just Be Yourself

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Just Be Yourself

I’ve been thinking a lot about dating lately, my dating life in particular, and perhaps that’s because I’m single.  At first it was okay, I was happy to be.  I was relieved of dating a guy who was way too into me and I was, well, not into him at all.  Yet, I felt trapped.  I couldn’t escape the rituals of dating.  I felt guilty because he liked me so much, and I just couldn’t bring myself to like him that much…or at all.

I finally broke free, and it was hard to do, but I knew it was the right thing—especially for me.  Though in the end, I felt guilty about it.  I felt as if I hurt him, but I knew I couldn’t go on dating him.  Like the old saying goes:  “It’s not fair to either of us.”  And yes, I think I used that line.  But it’s true.


Then came single-dom.  AKA: Freedom.  But then came this new guy, who I met and is funny, smart, witty, and attractive and gets me.  We met in the same area, and then, he had to go back to his, which is in another state.  One close by, but still, another state.  We’ve kept in touch, but haven’t been able to see one another again.  So I’m not sure where things stand, but I would like them to stand much closer.  That is, I would like he and I to stand much closer.

We’ve talked about making plans, and I hope they work out, but it just bugs me, I mean, really digs at me, about how this whole dating thing and relationship thing works.  Because it is work.  And that same old looming question comes right at me:  Why is it that the ones you always really like are so hard to connect with, and the ones you don’t like would do anything for you?  There’s something wrong with that picture.

I have to wonder if it’s something I’m doing wrong.  Am I being overly nice to the guys I don’t really like, for that reason?  Am I overly nervous with the guys I do like, for that reason?  Or am I just screwing up big time and I don’t know how?  Probably all of the above.  What I would like to know is how to fix it.

I think that it has to do with actions, and often times, we don’t even know what our actions are.  I think with Guy #1, we’ll call him “Ted,” I was also in a place in my life where I might have been a little lonely, so spending with someone, anyone, was okay.  Again, not fair.  So I might have seemed that I wanted to be involved with him, when really I just wanted someone to hang out with.  A friend…not a husband.  With Guy #2, who we will call “Gavin,” I was completely myself at first.  “Hi, I’m Nicole, this is me, take it or leave it.”  And all was well.  Until I realized what a crush I had, and then I was “Nervous Nicole,” and it was like as soon as the phone calls started, I forgot how to use my words…and I stumbled over them like an idiot.

So how can one someone fall in the middle so that dating or a relationship works just right?  So that you can keep the interest of someone you are interested in, and not entice someone who you are not interested in?  It all comes down to one clear point, I suppose, and yes, I am making this up, and then hope that I follow it:

Be Yourself: 
Oh so simple, yet oh so hard to do.  With Ted, I don’t think that I was completely being myself.  I was putting myself out there more, and hoping for something that I knew didn’t exist.  And he liked that attitude.  What he saw was someone really interested in him, and I didn’t realize that was the attitude that I was portraying.  If I had just been myself, he probably would have been just as bored with me as I am with myself.  Ha…kidding…sort of.  But truly, maybe I wouldn’t have been the girl he thought I was, and the dating wouldn’t have dragged on for so long.

With Gavin, I was myself at first, and we clicked.  I think we clicked.  I know I did.  And that clicking made me nervous.  When I like someone and I think they might like me back.  Panic Mode!  Why is that so scary?  Because that’s when something real might happen.  When it’s not just a crush anymore.  When people connect and recognize the real person.  No one is putting on a front; they are just being themselves, genuine and true.  And that is what is so endearing, and what most people try to find.  The goal then is to keep that momentum, and not be scared of it.  Because this person already knows you, and wants to know you.  So why ruin a good thing?

Now that we went through that, I don’t why I turn into such a Nervous Nicole every time I talk to Gavin.  Maybe because there is the possibility of something more, or perhaps because I’m scared that there isn’t.  I think the only way to find out though is to keep being myself.  That is the person he met to begin with, after all.  And if he wasn’t scared then, then I shouldn’t be either.


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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