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Step outside yourself for a moment. Imagine you are a friend who has to set someone up on a blind date with your friend (you). How would you describe yourself?

We all have an image of ourselves in our heads. We know what we like and what we don’t like. When we meet new people, we assess them. We observe their behavior, listen to the things they talk about, look for any quirks and weigh whether or not we think we can maintain any type of ongoing connection with them.

Just as we size them up, we size ourselves up, too. We contemplate how they match up with what we want and desire in another person. We wonder if our quirks, attitudes, behaviors, likes and dislikes will align with what they are looking for.

At times, we may even engage in hiding some of our “weirder” quirks, because we don’t want to scare the other person off. We put on our best behavior and then slowly reveal the dark secrets the more we get to know the person.

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Don’t bother denying. Everyone has done this at least once before.

It’s human nature to want people to see us in a positive light, but by doing this, we are short-changing ourselves right along with our potential dating target.

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If you build a relationship up based on attributes, habits, likes and dislikes that maybe aren’t the truest to who you are, what you get back from that will never be as satisfying as it could be if you came into it being your whole self.

So how well do you know yourself, and how true to yourself are you being when you put yourself out there into the dating universe?

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I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this as it pertains to me.

Over the last nine months, I have been doing a lot of self-evaluation and self work that has led me to make some discoveries about myself. They are discoveries that—when paired with a desire to jump back into the dating fray—could be off-putting to new potential romantic interests.

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For example, if I am honest with myself, I really don’t like people coming over my house. My home is my sanctuary. It is where I come to unwind and be myself. I have my things set up exactly as I like them. My gardenia-scented wallflowers from Bath & Body Works keep my place smelling exactly like I like it. I don’t wear shoes in the house. I insist that the lid on my toilet be kept down at all times when the toilet is not in use, and I have to go to sleep either with the television on or music playing.

This isn’t a list that I would run down on a first date, but it is an important enough list to consider when looking at other people to date.

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Am I a weirdo? Is there someone out there who would be willing to put up with these idiosyncrasies to date me?

I am also not into sleepovers (I need my space and my time alone in the morning), and although I can be a social person, I require a good deal of time by myself after social engagements in order to replenish myself and regroup.

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A thing I have learned in therapy is that I am an introvert with extroverted tendencies. It felt so good to be seen when my therapist told me that, but again, how does that align with someone who may want to spend a lot of time with their dating partner?

The point is, before we start looking for what we want in another person, we have to have a clear understanding of what we want and desire in ourselves. How much are we willing to compromise—if at all?

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We cannot be fully present in a new relationship if we are not wholly representing ourselves.

So take the time. Know yourself. Be honest about who you are.

Only then can you find someone who matches up with who you are and what you want.