Shrink Wrap: When can you be yourself in a relationship?

Who wouldn’t want to accept ScarJo for being ScarJo?

Typically celebrities meet and fall in love while they are working on a project or walking down the red carpet, so they are usually at their best. So the question is, if you meet under fairy-tale circumstances, like actress Scarlett Johansson and reported new boyfriend Romain Dauriac did, when can you let your hair down with a romantic partner and just be yourself? You certainly don’t have to be a celebrity to be faced with this dilemma.

Anyone who is beginning to date can get caught up in working hard to be his or her best self — whatever that might mean. You want to be seen in the greatest possible light, which might lead you to always make sure your hair, makeup and clothes are perfect. It might also force you to be superaware of what you are saying and doing at all times, wanting to make a good impression. Not only does that require a whole lot of energy, it might ultimately lead to your holding back from expressing your own needs in an effort to make the other person happy.

What happens, though, if you let your guard down and express your preferences? Does your partner welcome it — or get annoyed and make demands, wondering where the old hypersolicitous person went? If all is well, hopefully you feel accepted and you can continue to open up and be yourself, which will make the relationship grow. If not, and your partner seems uncomfortable with the real you, then talk about the things that are important to you and see if he or she is able and willing to understand them and be responsive. If your partner can’t, and seems to want just that “best” you, then you might be in a dead-end relationship.

The goal is to be able to relax and feel safe so that you can be genuine and not self-conscious. You want to feel free to voice your wishes, not worry about being judged.  After all, who can be red carpet-ready all the time?

— Relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer is creator of “Shrink Wrap” – national commentary on what we can learn from celebrity relationships – and host of “Let’s Talk Sex” at Healthylife.net. Her book, “What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship,” is available nationwide.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

DA: Homeless man severely beat by men in…

Two former college football players pleaded not guilty to the alleged severe beating of a homeless man in Allston earlier this year.

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Going Out

Thursty: Revamped Audubon is back in action

Having been a long time fan of Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman Square, one of my only complaints about the place is that there's only…

Entertainment

Here's what to do in Boston this weekend

MUSIC Huun Huur Tu Friday, 8 p.m. First Church in Cambridge 11 Garden St., Cambridge $28, 617-876-4275 www.worldmusic.org This group comes from the tiny nation…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox top Yankees, 5-1

John Lackey shines, Pineda ejected in Red Sox win

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston…

Bruins - Red Wings Game 4 preview: Boston greedy for more dominance

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."