Updated: Jul 3, 2020
I ask this question because how you answer is a reflection of what you really want. And it’s time to get honest about what you really want. In just about every first date situation, you’ll be asked, “How would you describe yourself?” or instructed to “Tell me about yourself!” If you're not asked that explicitly, other questions will be lobbed your way that will essentially try to parse out the same information. While this is something that should be expected and thought through, many novice daters and other singles overlook the importance of this opportunity and don’t take the time to prepare meaningful answers. The best advice I can give is to describe yourself in a brief but honest and authentic manner. Talk about what you value – not just the superficial activities that make up the busyness of your life. For example: “I am . . .
1. “Someone who is consistently growing. I invest the time to continue learning and improving myself.”
What does this say about you? People who are growth-oriented are attracted to like-minded people. If you can communicate that you set goals for yourself and you want someone special to celebrate your achievements with, well – “like attracts like,” as the saying goes!
2. “Someone who thinks positively. I’m an optimistic person with an unwavering resolve and I am determined to have a good life and a happy, long-term relationship!” What does this say about you? Everyone knows there will be challenges in relationships, but if you can let your date know that it’s your style to meet those challenges head-on rather than sweep them under the rug and hope they go away, that’s impressive stuff.
3. “Someone who takes responsibility for my actions and when things go wrong, I don’t look to place blame, but rather I’m someone who looks at how I can improve the next time around.” What does this say about you? Everyone has an imperfect past; everyone has a story. In general, people appreciate it if you can own your part in what went wrong in the last relationship and demonstrate growth and a commitment to doing things better next time. Pointing fingers and calling your exes terrible names is a big turn-off.
4. “Someone who is mature and who has integrity.” What does this say about you? Sometimes you have to put aside personal interests or personal gain for the well-being of the relationship. You just have to set ego aside. (Easier said than done!) Just like you would in a job interview, if you have a personal story that illustrates how and when you did just that, tell it! The wonderful thing about answers like the ones above is that they're a little deeper than talking about your favorite pizza toppings or the best dog you ever had. They show the lens you're using to look at the world and they enhance your appeal – to someone who is wired the same way. If you have great expectations for a relationship, then answering “Tell me about yourself” with insightful answers can lead to a rich connection. This type of answer wouldn’t be appealing, for example, to someone who is looking for a “friends with benefits” or “one-night stand” scenario or to someone who is less relationship-ready. And if that’s not what you want, weeding those people out with answers like the ones above saves you time and energy.
Think back to the last time you were asked the how-would-you-describe-yourself question on a date (or online). How did you answer? How will you answer next time? Take a few minutes to write it out and you’ll be a lot more likely to spit it out in that getting-to-know-you moment.