Show, don’t tell

I recently got engaged, and so did about 500 other people at BYU-Idaho.

Finding the one has taught me a lot about dating.

A lot of dates I’ve been on in the past seemed more like a sales pitch than anything else. It kind of turned me away from dating for a bit. I’d think to myself, “Wow, this guy is really trying to sell himself to me.”

But these guys weren’t showing me through their actions, and we all know the cliché, yet very true saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”

I felt like by the end of a date, I didn’t really know the guy at all. He was talking the entire time, not letting me get a word in, and I still felt like I didn’t have an idea about who he really was.

There’s a principle in writing called “show, don’t tell.”

The idea is to show your reader what is happening through actions instead of just blatantly writing it. Showing is much more effective than telling.

To show someone is strong, you’d write about how they lifted 200-pound dumbbells during their daily workout instead of writing, “He is very strong.”

This should also be a principle in dating. Don’t tell your date what you are; show them!

If you love God, show your dedication to him by the words you speak, the way you treat others and the way you pray morning, night and before every meal.

“I am so dedicated to the Lord” means nothing if it isn’t backed up.

If you are truly humble, it will show through your actions. You don’t need to vocally say it, and in fact, saying you’re humble isn’t very humble at all.

Bragging about how fun and outgoing you are is not impressive. Planning a fun and creative date where this attribute can be revealed is attractive.

Dates should not be a sales pitch. Be your genuine self.

If you act like someone other than yourself on a date, the relationship will not work. Maybe at first, but it will not work out long term.

A date is not a job interview. You should not talk yourself up like you do on a résumé.

I still vividly remember the dates I went on that felt rehearsed and very ingenuine. I remember them for negative reasons.

I have a fiancé now, and part of the reason I fell for him was because he never tried to sell himself to me. He showed me his authentic self from the beginning, and he was and continues to be that same person no matter who we are with.

He is kind, giving, outgoing, sweet, empathetic, energetic, giving, righteous and so much more. He has never once referred to himself as any of those words; he showed me through his actions.

I found out how caring he is when I saw how he treated his employees at work.

I realized how family-oriented he is when I saw how often he talks to family on the phone.

I knew he was giving after constantly seeing him serve others.

I learned of his humble heart as I heard about his acts of kindness through other people and never from him.

I continue to smile every day as he puts my needs before his own, showing how selfless he truly is.

It was so refreshing for me to see who he was instead of hear it. It was through him being his genuine self that led me to fall completely in love with him.

He makes my life easier, not harder, which is exactly how a relationship should be.

It’s easy to try to sell yourself on a date, but just remember the principle: “Show, don’t tell.”

Copyright 2015 BYU-I Scroll