Presenting Attractive Independence

When you are envisioning your future significant other, what are the traits that come to mind? Before even getting to know someone on a deeper level, what type of image would attract you?

Most likely, you are thinking of a vibrant, charismatic individual with a stable yet exciting life - someone with interests and causes that he/she is passionate about. Your ideal person is talented, educated, highly accomplished, and has many "cool"projects they're working on. Now you just want to share that person's life so you can be a part of that whirlwind of success and adventure. You are waiting to fall in love with someone you truly admire.

Here's news for you - everyone is. People are often drawn to those whom they perceive as capable of providing something they currently lack in their own life. The problem with that mentality is that everyone is looking for someone to sweep them off their feet, instead of focusing on bettering themselves and their own lives. If you find that realization daunting ("Oh god, there's too much I have to work on before I like myself - I need to get fit, find more fulfilling work, re-connect with my family, etc..."), don't worry! You have your whole life to figure things out along the way. But an important part of successful dating is being able to portray yourself in a way that attracts people.

Here are some tips for presenting yourself as the independent, intriguing man/woman that others would be honored to date:

1. Talk about what you're passionate about.

There's no God-given rule that says you must talk about what you studied / your job, etc. Sure, it's probably appropriate to mention those things in the introductory stage, but unless you studied something you love or have a job that is immensely fulfilling to you, there is no need to restrict yourself to those default interview-like topics. People are drawn to passion, so talk about what really gets you going - are you into dance? Have you participated in any shows or competitions recently? What about your recent dabbling in charcoal sketches? Are you going to try to showcase your artwork? Talk about the mission trip you took to India and how the people there touched you with their stories. When you open up about the things you are truly passionate about, you are guaranteed to be more interesting and charismatic than if you force yourself to adhere to some false standard format of conversation.

2. Focus on activities you do on your own or with friends.

It's always a safer choice to not talk about exes on the first date. The past is the past, and now you want to portray yourself as 100% single and unattached. Talking about your solo adventures and projects, or fun trips you take with your friends shows that you have your own rich, fulfilling life outside of your dating life. You're independent and happy with the people you currently have around you - but your world is open to good, solid, newcomers as well.

3. Be humble when it comes to education and accomplishments.

Remember that less is more when it comes to impressing people. If your date asks you where you went to school and you went to a prestigious school, answer politely and modestly, and don't try to say any more on the subject unless further pressed to do so. If you are a YouTube star and all the videos online of you singing have tens of thousands of views, you don't have to inform all your dates of that. Lightly mention that you have a YouTube channel, and let them do their own curious research. They will stumble upon it themselves and be more wow-ed than if you boastfully shoved your accomplishments down their throats. Unaffected humbleness will actually prompt people to want to know more about you - remember, there is no intrigue without mystery! 

4. Pay attention to details.

When you are first dating someone, you don't know them well enough to know the specific things they notice and appreciate. Therefore, the best route to take is to put effort into all details - how you dress, your manners, your first date idea, etc. You never know if someone actually loves watches and will notice the beautiful Italian watch you decided to wear with your outfit on that initial outing. Maybe your date is a music aficionado and will appreciate the Blue Note Seven CD you have playing in your car. The more details you pay attention to, the more opportunity you give yourself to impress your date. You may not feel that you are particularly classy or cultured, but as long as you put effort into your dates, you can rest assured that you are presenting an attractive image of yourself.

5. Take your time when it comes to pacing the relationship.

Nothing ruins your image of being an independent, desirable man or woman like becoming too attached too quickly. View the dating process as a relaxed moving with the flow, and hold yourself back from over-stressing, over-thinking, or trying to push the relationship in a direction that doesn't feel quite natural at the moment. The hard part of relationships are that they're a mutual construct between two people - yet any two people will have different personalities and attitudes towards things, as well as be in slightly different situations in life that need to somehow match up cohesively. There is bound to be conflict or tension at some point, and the best way to keep a person around when that happens is to not go berserk about it. Instead of throwing out rash decisions or ultimatums when under stress, take your time to deal with conflicting emotions so you can make the best,rational decisions for yourself. The people you date will respect your more for it (and ultimately, find you more attractive!).