People like to be told what to do. It's a major red pill for the vast majority but taking society into consideration, it's not a stretch in the slightest. From instruction manuals to dieting programs to those aesthetically pleasing workout VHS tapes from the eighties, it's definitely safe to assume that the world is a scary place and we're all looking for a little guidance—and that isn't a bad thing, is it?
Of course not! How are we supposed to do things right if we're never taught to do them in the first place? You can't put together an Ikea assembly if you've never used a screwdriver in your life, it's hard enough putting them together with the manual in hand. Now, it's easy enough to do a quick Google search and watch a couple of crummy YouTube videos, but dating is far more complicated.
The Biggest Mistake
Now I hate to be the person to pull out the cheesy "be yourself" line, but in the case of courtship, everything is individual. Yes, there are guidelines; maybe don't spill soup in their lap, don't follow them home and break into their houses in the late hours of the night to sniff their underwear, don't be weird.
Put simply, Google doesn't have the answer to what you want in a relationship, or what your significant other wants. Suspect them of cheating? Ask them, be upfront. Want them to put more effort into sex? Tell them. Nothing is accomplished if you don't take the first step.
There are some websites that describe the way you should act down to the tiniest fiber, even going as far as your sex life (we're looking at you, Cosmopolitan). Frankly, it's ridiculous.
How do I be myself?
Well, the problem is that I can't exactly tell you who you are and no one else can. Don't seek validation from other people, don't look to your companions for a sense of identity, and for the love of all that is divine please, please do not go into a relationship without evaluating who you are first. For some people, it's easy. For others, it's an absolute nightmare.
First off, don't strive to be a model boyfriend or girlfriend or to be the archetypal "bad boy" or "nice guy." Don't openly seek labels to smack onto yourself or search for identity in anything outside of yourself, because you are within, you exist within yourself, not on that Tumblr blog and certainly not in this week's hot new Cosmo.