July 19, 2017

By Katy Ray

Famed social media star Jeffrey Marsh has recently published a book, How to Be You, and it’s jam-packed with life lessons that will transform your inner journey to self acceptance and your outward journey to dating and love. Through Jeffrey’s own story of “growing up fabulous in a small farm town,” along with the stories of hero/ines who have transcended the stereotypes of race, age, and gender, Jeffrey’s book reminds us all that you are not alone, you can deepen your relationship with yourself, and you have the courage to change your life—especially your dating life!

I feel like being you needs to be everyone’s top priority. The problem is that you’ve been taught that you have to pretend to be someone else to be exceptional,” explains Jeffrey.  Their book explores and applies the principles of dating and being yourself, which are pivotal skills to master when you’re romantically involved with someone.

“If you look at what you’re doing in your life as a list of priorities, the first thing you need to do is get clear on them, and put being yourself all the way at the top of that list,” they say. “And then, stuff like a job, a relationship, hobbies, or whatever else you want to do goes underneath that, because learning to truly accept yourself in all situations will create a foundation for anything else you want to do.” This includes potential rejection when dating, difficult breakups, and strained relationships: It all gets easier when you put yourself at the forefront, and Jeffrey’s book and social media messages help people to do just that.

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Jeffrey, who has openly shared their story of life as a child, creates content that speaks to their 11 year old self: “When I was growing up, every adult and every kid around me tried to get me to not be myself, and there are lots of ways that people try to keep us down and keep us from being who we are today.” By sharing their personal journey to self-love and radical acceptance, and posting the things they wish someone had told them when they were growing up, Jeffrey has transcended their past and has guided others to do the exact same.

This includes people who may have had a strained family relationship while growing up or coming out as LGBTQ. Jeffrey speaks openly about the patterns that were created by their relationship with their father, who was largely unkind during their youth, but has recently become quite loving and kind. “I think it’s such an issue, especially in the LGBTQ community, to date jerks. When I was 11 years old,  I was programmed to spend a heck of a lot of time trying to convince jerks that I am worthy. That’s the pattern that was set up by me and my dad, so I dated jerk after jerk after jerk, trying to convince them not to be a jerk to me, until I learned that a person doesn’t have to date jerks! There are other options, and hence, I found my current partner.” Jeffrey met their partner on an online dating app similar to LGBTQutie.com, has been in a loving, committed relationship for seven years, and has some advice for those entering the dating field:

“I paved the way for my relationship by doing my own spiritual work before we ever met each other. I was single, and I had just broken up with someone who had treated me horribly, so I knew that I had awful taste in dating. I knew that I was untrustworthy, that I didn’t know what I was doing, that I seemed to be magnetized to these people that didn’t treat me well, and I needed to do something different.”

Instead of repeating the same pattern, Jeffrey decided to get as centered as they could, through spiritual work such as Buddhism and meditation, and eventually sat down to make a list of the top 10 qualities they wanted to find in a partner. Jeffrey’s top ten list contained qualities like someone who accepted their gender identity, someone who was financially stable, and someone who had their own hobbies and interests. Armed with these qualities and the list, they set out into the dating pool. “And my partner was the first person I dated who had all ten. And I was like, yes we shall have date #2!”

Jeffrey’s journey through dating illustrates that self-care and acceptance are essential parts of healthy dating, and life in general. “I wouldn’t frame self-care as a step to make dating better: I would frame self-care as a heck of a wonderful way to spend your time, because life is precious. And I would recommend anybody, even those not interested in dating, to do self-care, because there are so many benefits.” Whenever Jeffrey encounters someone who is struggling with embracing their identity, they say: “you are just like every other human that has ever existed and has ever existed. If spiritual work and self-care were easy, everyone would do it. But it takes a special kind of warrior to face uncertainty and fear to do the work.”

Jeffrey has a golden rule for anyone who is dating or in a relationship, which is: “be the person you want to find. So you want to find someone who is open, loving, kind, and honest? Part of what I challenge you to do is to become that person yourself. And maybe you’ll find somebody, maybe you won’t, but become what you want your partner to become.  We all delusionally convince ourselves that we have to change our partner into the person we want them to be. So stop that business, and turn it around and do it for yourself!”

After spending much time in the dating field, Jeffrey seeks to dispel certain myths of dating as well. “There’s the widely believed myth that someone else will complete you. The assumption there is that you’re not complete on your own, and of course you are.” Jeffrey goes onto say that looks can be deceiving. “It’s been so instilled and implanted in us that I see it every single day: to inherently trust in people who are sexually attractive. It would be great if everyone would be a little more choosy about whom they share that real deep true self with.”

Finally, Jeffrey reminds us all to master the art of being ourselves: “I wish I could rid the world of this idea that you need to change who you are to be acceptable to a romantic partner—it’s not true! Learning the art of being yourself is your best bet in dating because if you encounter someone who rejects you when you’re yourself, then they’ve given you some helpful information. If you go out on a date and pretend to be someone else, and they love you, then you’re in trouble. How are you going to keep up the act?” Jeffrey’s book and message about self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance are sure to transform your dating as you continue maneuvering through the LGBTQutie dating app, and your dating life! 

To keep up with Jeffrey on social media, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram. And check out their TED Talk below!

And don’t forget, LGBTQutie is more than just a dating app! We offer LGBTQ centered news, events, original blog posts like this one, and the opportunity to network with potential colleagues and make friends, all on a safe, inclusive online space. So while you’re catching up with all things Jeffrey Marsh, take a moment and download our free app today!