As you stretch your comfort zone and dare to flirt and date, it’s important to be yourself. It may seem kind of contradictory to challenge yourself to do all these things you’re not used to doing and still be yourself, but you can do it. More importantly, you have to. Here’s why: Pretending to be someone you’re not is not going to help you find love. It will only make you feel bad. You’re going to feel fake and you’ll have a hard time remembering what you did or didn’t say or exactly how you’ve projected yourself. If you pretend to be anything but your authentic self, you’ll feel miserable and no one wants to date someone who is miserable. Eventually, whatever you’re hiding will come out. And then you’ll be a liar and probably labeled a crazy person. Remember, the bottom line is we’re all a little crazy. If you’re worried about revealing it all once, you should be. Just simmer down the crazy soup and wait a few dates to reveal that you have to organize the big spoons and the little spoons just so. The same goes for admitting your college shoplifting habit or the fact that you’re not really a red head. Slow things down a bit. Take your time and enjoy the dating process. There’s no reason to dump every detail about what makes you, you on the first date. Healthy people attract healthy people. People who put on a show are usually not content with themselves. If you want a shot at a healthy relationship, you have to be happy with yourself first. After all, you don’t want to date someone who is pretending to be something they’re not, do you? Contrary to popular romcoms, finding someone won’t make you happy. Only you can do that. So, if you feel the need to be someone you’re not, chances are, you’ve got some work to do before you’re ready to date. The goal of Fantasy Dating, and dating general, is to feel good. It’s to have fun and enjoy time with someone who might be a good match for you. To find that match, you have to be your authentic self from the start. Now, if you’re shy, you might be thinking, “But my authentic self wouldn’t approach someone and start a random conversation.” But how do you know? Have you tried it before? What if you do strike up a conversation with someone at the market and realize that chatting about different types of peanut butter is fun? What if the exchange makes you smile and gives you a little lift? What if you surprise yourself? Maybe it’s more your style to drop a hint by smiling and saying, “Good morning” the next time someone holds a door for you. Maybe the smile you get in response will make you feel great. There’s no right or wrong way to flirt. But there is your way. Just be yourself. We dare you.