Dating guarded people

But it's so obvious that we won't really fully get that outcome if we don't have the courage to put our real selves out there. Stand fully in yourself and your truth, and trust that the right people will come, and the others will fall away. And be brave -- because this whole dating scene takes serious courage.

We will only truly experience meaningful connection with another when we're just our raw, real, totally vulnerable selves. But it's not nearly as overwhelming or difficult once you know and honor your truest, most wonderfully lovable self.

[Read: 25 important life lessons you need to learn to have a happy life] Who is a people pleaser?

A people pleaser is a person who gives a lot of importance to pleasing others.

They can’t say no, and they’re terribly afraid of offending others.

The other kind of people pleaser is the kind where they try to help someone all the time or constantly compliment others, in the hope of getting the same treatment back from their friends.

And the withholding and passive-aggressiveness and game-playing that results from not just being ourselves is epidemic. A good friend of mine ascribes quite seriously to the notion that as a girl, she should never initiate a text message. "Guys are the pursuers," she explains, a fact that I concede to be true for masculine-energy men, "so they come to you. "Well, I guess that's an awesome way to manipulate someone," he replied.

"I can imagine it'd create this constant fear and wondering and wanting more.

"This game playing is ridiculous," my mom has said, on repeat. misfortune) of listening in on a conversation or two (or 100) amongst my girl friends and is appalled at the level of spinning and strategizing that goes on.

"Just do what feels right, listen to your intuition," she counsels. You want to say hello, do it." I hate to admit that despite my better judgment and good intentions -- and my mom's pretty spot-on advice -- I found myself straying a few weeks ago.

Because I know that the reward could have been way greater than the risk.

Fundamentally, dating should be all about love and desire and fun, right? Figure out what you can't live without, how you want to be treated and who you want to be as a partner.

But for most of us, we know where to draw the line.