Keep it secret?

When it comes to matters of the heart, should we try and ‘sanitize’ our first few dates with a crush? Or, on the contrary, should we try and be our true selves right from the beginning?  Florence Escaravage explains in her Love Intelligence method, (recently imported to the States from la belle France), why it’s best to put it all on the table.

 

Need some ideas for date number 2?  Check out Marie Claire's list of 52 Second Date Ideas!

Let it all out?

It’s 7:50 pm, you’re alone in your apartment, calmly waiting for your dinner date to show.  Your cupboards are conveniently filled with ingredients for a ‘romantic dinner’, but the Pizzahut takeout menu’s in plain sight…just in case.  True, there’s a few butterflies fluttering in your nether regions, but nothing too serious.  After all, you feel in control, since, for once, you had sufficient time to prep:  Your new outfit’s sexy but not desperate, your hair’s got a messy-on-purpose tousle, and you’ve craftily covered up that scar with L’Oreal’s finest.  As for that all-important area, the bedroom, it’s been taken care of:  no yearbooks, Winnie-the-Pooh sheets, Harry Potter novels or diet books in sight – and down came that photo of you in a bikini looking a little fat (who put that there, anyway?). 

And Facebook? It’s been censored for ages:  you no longer ‘like’ Glee or Cher, and your profile picture is appropriately seductive…it’s from a girls-only summer vacation, you have such good memories…though, unfortunately, you were obliged to crop our your best friend from most of the shots - the girl’s inconveniently attractive, it’s not good for business.

 Should you always listen to your friends?

What’s more, you’ve reviewed your friends’ pep talk from the night before: No nervous chatter about your sister’s wedding or the month when you thought you wanted to be a Buddhist nun.  Above all, the sharing of life plans, deep dark secrets or sexual fantasies is strictly verboten.  Just play it cool.

            Though this kind of ritual is standard practice for many girls - and women – you have to wonder whether it’s the most effective.  After all, your date is there to see you, not your ‘picture-perfect’ alter ego that could have co-starred in a chick flick with Ryan Gosling.  What do we hope to achieve by this song-and-dance, anyway?  Do we want to hide our eccentricities or ‘flaws’ until death do us part?  Or do we have the right to let them out a bit at a time once we’re confident he won’t flee in horror?  And are we fooling ourselves in the process, trying to make ourselves believe we really are that polished, that ‘normal’?  And what about our date?  Ishe doing the same thing at his place before we come over?  Isn’t all this just false advertising?

 Should you keep it real when 'looking for love'?

And, most importantly of all, in trying to ‘sanitize’ our first encounters, are we really just snuffing out the little flame of attraction that could have been?  They say that opposites attract, that it’s by showing who you reallyare that chemistry can take off.  Is this a heretical, dangerous cliché, destined to scare off future prospects and leave us crumpled and alone in a sea of chocolate wrappers, cursing our penchant for Irish dance?  Or, on the contrary, is this the small grain of truth that we should be basing our behavior on, instead of the trite ‘girl-to-girl’ tips found in the pages of women’s magazines the world over?

Perhaps the biggest danger in the dating game isn’t letting slip that you once belonged to a Pokemon fan-club.  Instead, it may be the very censoring you impose on yourself.  In smoothing away your idiosyncrasies, foibles and personal hiccups, you aren’t letting your guy see – and fall for – the person you really are.   And ain’t that a shame.

 

Preconceived notions

"Seeming 'perfect' makes me more attractive to men"

What you probably think

"I want to cover up my faults so that the man I like likes me back."

Gender
Woman
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The New York Times
A smart approach to love by Florence Escaravage
Psychologie Magazine
An Undercover Reporter Experiences Florence's Method First-Hand
ELLE magazine
An Efficient Method by Florence Escaravage, the Queen of Love Coaching, February 2007
Herald Tribune
How to Create Emotional and Intellectual Intimacy by Love Intelligence®

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