First dates can be unnerving. The excitement, the uncertainty and raw nerves can easily get in the way and trip us up if we allow them. Often times it can be difficult trying to strike the right balance of conversation, attitude and behavior. While our mothers teach us to be on our best behavior when meeting someone new, our need to be true and honest to ourselves insists we should simply be who we are and "consequences be damned!"
Do we sit politely and hold our tongue, or do we open up and allow our date to see the good, the bad and the ugly all at once? We want to be loved for who we are - imperfections and all. Doesn't it make sense to show all of our faults right away so we can find a relationship with someone who will accept those imperfections right from the start?
In reality, there does exist a comfortable balance somewhere in the middle.
Certainly we should always be true to ourselves and honor both the person we are and the person we are becoming. Especially in dating, we can sometimes have a tendency to put our best foot forward in the beginning only to steadily decline as the relationship progresses, but we should always be putting our best foot forward in every day of our lives since life is about becoming the best version of you possible. It's a commitment to work toward and strive for each and every day, and it's not something that should make occasional appearances then disappear altogether.
If you find yourself on your best behavior during a first date with someone you really like, decide to make that best behavior your new usual behavior. If it's good enough for the first date, it's good enough for the fifth date and even the fiftieth date! No one likes to experience a bait and switch on a date with someone we like. They are quiet and polite with a comfortable flow of conversation, and we find ourselves enjoying their company only to learn several weeks later that their "real" personality is pushy, aggressive and caustic. That will only spell disappointment for all parties involved.
We shouldn't have to mask or try to hide our true spirit from anyone, but sometimes it's better to reveal yourself gradually so your inner layers can be seen for the interesting and unique puzzle that makes up you.
Definitely showcase all of your best qualities. Certainly don't try to hide your negative qualities, but do make a steady and determined effort to minimize those negative qualities. Let your awesome side shine through as much as possible until it eventually takes over. Allow your most positive traits and behaviors to take hold, blossom and expand until they fill up your entire being and you can be seen for how wonderful you truly are.