Like many of my clients, I am someone who values personal growth. I love to actively learn about human nature, creativity and expanding my knowledge. I do this for the purpose of understanding myself, other people in my life, and the world we live in.
My most recent find is a book called The Way Of Integrity,* by Martha Beck. I can’t say enough about how great this book is. Obsessed in an understatement. I highly recommend this book as one I believe everyone should read. When I was dating I wish I had discovered resources like this. Better late than never, right?
In her book, Martha Beck reminds us that the word integrity comes from the Latin root “integer,” which means intact or complete; whole. The modern day understanding is living by one’s moral principle and values.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post about who my clients are and what they are looking for in a partner and in a relationship. One of the things I hear most often is how people are looking for someone who is honest and true-to-self.
What does this mean exactly and how does it relate to dating?
In dating, people want to meet people who live as their true genuine self. People who don’t apologize for who they are; people who have convictions and stand by them; people who dig deep and live by their true nature instead of how society conforms them or persuades them to go against their grain.
It boils down to acceptance. We all want to meet somebody who accepts us for who we are at our core. We want to meet someone who “gets us.”
However, how can someone “get us” when we don’t BE us.
It’s much easier to understand someone else when we get to know and understand ourselves.
When this becomes a challenge in dating.
The strong desire to be in a relationship might thwart your attempt to live within your integrity. You might start lying to yourself, or telling yourself stories in order to make a relationship work. Mix this with society pressure, family/friend pressure, culture pressure, etc. The end result is likely a relationship that hurts you more than nurtures you. You’ll find yourself spending time on the wrong path. This is how many end up settling. We say to ourselves: Well, this is good enough.
Another challenge is rejection. When we are rejected by someone we like, it weighs on our consciousness. We wonder what happened. Was it something you said or something you did?
Let’s say it is something you did or said. If you were being honest, if you were coming from a place of integrity, then either way you did the right thing.
The truth of that matter is there is no possible way to please 100% of other people, or to be liked by 100% of people, or to be a certain kind of “perfect” person. So, you as well be the true you, and the right connections will start to form.
So many things in dating frustrate us. There’s a whole dictionary of terms exemplifying my point: Ghosting, catfishing, breadcrumbing, etc.
However, if we lived with authenticity and we trusted our world within these “suffering” type feelings wouldn’t be a problem. They wouldn’t faze you. You would always be at peace, no matter what. At the very least, your feelings will hurt less and they will not deter you onto a path of resentment and pessimism.
Another great book sharing a similar sentiment to The Way of Integrity is Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself by Aziz Gazipura.*
As you can tell from this title, Aziz focuses on people pleasing aspects of integrity. This is when we make choices because we want to be nice and accommodating instead of doing the tough thing and letting someone down.
Have you ever stayed in a dating relationship longer because you didn’t want to be the mean guy and hurt the other person? Or even simply gone out on a date because you were afraid to say no?
Some people stay in these relationships for years or go out on dates with people they know for sure they don’t like (in that way). Deep down knowing this relationship is not right for you, knowing this relationship is not right for the other person, but beingt too stinking nice to say so.
Has this been you or have you been on the receiving side of the situation?
Would you want somebody to stay in a relationship with you because they’re too nice? Because they’re too scared to hurt your feelings?
When we people please we are also not being our authentic selves, we are not living within our integrity.
We all deserve a relationship built on a foundation of mutual respect, honesty and understanding. Integrity.
Logically, how can you align yourself with the right person if who you are projecting is a facade? Whether the facade is you pretending to like a certain activity or being a doting loyal partner to someone out of cowardice of hurt feelings.
Being inauthentic is a waste of time.
If you are someone who is wondering how honest you are being with yourself, take the time to reflect and really think about it. Do you make choices because of what other people think? Do you find yourself saying ‘yes’ a lot when you’d really rather say ‘no.’
We live in a tough world. We do. People can be harsh, critical and downright mean. However, look around and decide what tough parts are from your own making, because those are the things you can change. All you have to do is self-reflect, be honest, and create action. It might be easy, it might be hard. Either way, in the end, it will be worth it because you will develop a peace inside yourself you never knew existed. The sweet feeling of relief.
In turn, in regards to dating, you’ll find yourself aligned with the right person. The person who brings out all the wonderful qualities inside you, the person who supports your qualities and loves you unconditionally.
Other Great Resources Related To This Topic
The Laws Of Human Nature* by Robert Greene
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life* by John Townsend and Henry Cloud