Do Women Refrain From Being Themselves On Their First Date ?

Women are always expected to behave a certain way in public places to be hailed perfect but some women feel the need to control their personalities on the initial dates to impress their counterparts.

Trisha Majumder
New Update
women on first dates
Women are always expected to behave a certain way in public places to be hailed as "perfect". This conditioning often compels women to alter their personalities on the initial dates, so that they can impress their new partner. But is it the generational pressure to be perfect or are women simply scared to be themselves?

Women are told from a young age that the only way to survive in this man's world is to compromise and adjust rather than claim space for themselves. Even though things are changing, lack of confidence and constant doubt keep women from being themselves. Indian parents are known for controlling their children even when they are fully functioning adults. And the control over daughters is a whole lot more because a woman's character is tied to her family's reputation. Women are rarely taught to speak up for what they need and deserve. They are always warned to not put themselves out so much.

When it comes to dating these conditions become a trait for women. They stay conscious about their looks and behaviour so much that it almost feels like altering their personality. Even films have reinforced the belief that women are always prim and proper. However, the same people don't think twice before shaming a woman for putting on makeup and calling her fake. Since women constantly battle this no-win situation, they grow conscious about every aspect of their life and develop a people-pleasing attitude. Be it looking for potential suitors for ">marriage or just dating, women carry the immense pressure to be liked by everyone. This attitude also seeps into their dating life.

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Women on first dates: How do they carry themselves?


Ruchi*, a 24-year-old IT professional, calls herself an extrovert who loves to talk to people and often overshares about her own life with everyone she meets. She recalls being told that if she grabbed the spotlight on first dates, she might scare away her suitors. She reveals how she has practised being a soft-spoken person over the time and only when she is comfortable with her partners, she slowly goes back to being her real self. "I know this is not correct but I have heard so many comments about being a loudmouth I always feel no one will ever like me at once," adds Ruchi.

On the other hand, Anushka Chanda, who is 21 years old, recalls how films and television shaped the idea in her head that on the first date a woman should look a certain way. Due to this, she was always very conscious about her looks, until her recent first date. "I was on periods and having painful cramps to the point I almost thought of rescheduling. I went ahead with the date anyways, but didn't just feel like dressing up at all and ended up going in the most basic shirt I had and sweatpants and it went so well!"

Meghna*, who is currently in a committed relationship, recalls how she ended up lying about herself in a past relationship because she was terrified of letting someone down. "I wish I knew better and had someone tell me to be confident enough to be myself because I was so terrified of disappointing the date that I ended up lying." The 28-year-old further adds, "I made a version of myself to suit his liking without even knowing what he preferred." Meghna says she was so exhausted from keeping up with the imaginary version of herself that she couldn't be invested in the relationship enough. She said, "I ended it eventually because it wasn't fair to him in the first place." Meghna says things have changed for her now, "I am so much more confident of myself now that I no more resort to lying but everything is still in progress. I want all teenage women to know that they are enough and should learn to love themselves."

When will we stop teaching girls to censor themselves in order to appear appealing? We know no one is perfect, then what is the need to impress others with lies? Can't we just let women be and encourage men to accept us as we are instead?

Views expressed are the author's own.

*names changed on request.

women and dating