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I have said many times that dating is an endeavor that will make you painfully aware of all your insecurities. To use pop psychology parlance, dating will hold up a big mirror, allowing you to see whatever you want to see about yourself. And let’s face it: it’s often easier to see the things we’re less confident about.

As an Intellectual Badass (IB), sometimes dating will make you aware of that one thing that consistently holds you back in getting what you seek – I call this your Dating Kryptonite, which will be tomorrow’s topic. But often, the IB may be embarrassed by the very things that make him or her unique and interesting.

Here are a few examples:

  • A single IB may be bright, especially in areas that many people have NO CLUE about. Common examples include scientists and techies, but can include any area of vast knowledge, like a friend of mine who is extremely knowledgeable (and passionate!) about politics. Sometimes these IBs avoid sharing what they know to avoid “boring” others, sounding like a know-it-all, or getting made fun of. Female IBs are especially prone to this.
  • Some IBs are shy, quiet, or introverted, and may clam up on dates or in group situations, afraid of saying the wrong thing or bringing any kind of attention on themselves. Or they may just feel self-conscious about their quieter natures, probably because they’ve been hassled about it.
  • Other IBs have quirky, esoteric, or “nerdy” hobbies or interests, and worry about what other singles will think about that. Think the guys on Big Bang Theory (and the occasional reactions from non-IBs Penny and Priya).

In the above examples, the IB is making a crucial dating mistake. What mistake is that?

Not owning your unique awesomeness. And owning your unique awesomeness is an important part of dating mindset.

The thing is, dating encourages us to be generic and not stand out. This is even truer in online dating. Why? To avoid rejection and the crappy feeling that comes with it. Being rejected sucks, but being rejected for who we really are sucks even more. Yet, not owning who you really are backfires – you may encounter fewer rejections, but you attract fewer people because you aren’t letting your awesomeness shine though.


“So How Do I Own My Awesomeness?

If you know a LOT about a particular topic, no matter how technical, share your knowledge with others. You don’t want to ramble or preach, but share. Yes, some will find it dull. But others will admire or appreciate it, or learn to. Ross from Friends (an IB for sure) loved his dinosaurs, and we loved him for it, even if we aren’t dinosaur people.

Quiet, shy, introverted IBs: you don’t have to change, or hide. Your biggest challenge isn’t to become extroverted, it’s to give people some access to who you are so they can establish a connection with you. Show people the benefits of your personality – that you’re a good listener, an interesting person with a rich knowledge, a person who isn’t… to put it crudely… an attention whore. Personally, I’ve always preferred quiet men. Once you get to know them (which can take a while!), they’re often fascinating people.

So you love your video games, rare stamp collection, or collection of Star Wars dolls? Good! Show what you’re passionate about! People may not value them like you do, but they’ll be attracted to your passion. I know one guy who littered his online profile with nerd stuff – games, Star Wars, TV shows he loved – his mailbox filled up. How’s that for owning your awesomeness??

When you own who you are, people will admire and respect you, even if they aren’t into what you’re into. When you try to hide or disown who you are, people sense it and your dating prospects will plummet. Don’t fight it; own it.