When we embrace who we really are and begin to accept our limitations, we feel we have a spine. When we are ashamed of who we are, there's only one option for protecting ourselves; a brittle armor that keeps the world at a distance.Your true protection is found in choosing someone who is kind, giving, and accepting of who you are.After being single for many years, my friend William is now in a great marriage. He finally accepted he had to go to gatherings with people who shared his passions.He said to me, "Ken, I'd come home from work and just want to turn on the TV and relax at home.After too many rejections, we often decide to hide our truest selves—at least until we've sealed the deal. I'm not advocating that you share your gravest traumas on the first date, simply that you share your authentic, vulnerable self from the very beginning. As long as we lead with an airbrushed version of self we will feel inadequate and insecure. In nature, creatures are endowed with exoskeletons or endoskeletons.Those with exoskeletons must hide their soft parts with a hard armor.You have the right, and even the obligation to yourself to move on until you find the real thing. These "attractions of deprivation" are tricky and confusing.They often feel more like real love than healthy love does!
If you really want love that can last, it's doubtful that you'll find it here.Take advantage of all the possibilities the online world offers, but use them wisely.Dating sites are programmed to make us think in terms of numbers, to keep hopping to the next person, the better and sexier match. There will be a constant feeling of uncertainty and that's not what we want when we're dating.Watch for the traps inherent in online vehicles and then use them to your own advantage. Most of us have been battered so often that we've learned to stop trusting. When we hide our true self, we find ways to sabotage real intimacy because we're scared of being "found out." When we grasp for a goal by trying to reshape ourselves, we end up disempowered, diminished by a critical ideal that makes us lose sight of our true worth.Look for dating websites that are values-based, or for websites that offer events, meet-ups, volunteer activities, and communities of shared interests. We tell ourselves its hopeless, while we secretly long to be proven wrong. But real protection comes from your own self-acceptance, and from knowing that you won't waste time with anyone who doesn't offer you the same acceptance. And ironically, the less we accept who we really are, the more we'll be attracted to people who share a similar ambivalence toward us!