By Steven DeSalvo

When we are our true, authentic selves in a new relationship, we begin it with honesty about who we are and what we desire. It gives the partnership a solid foundation from which it can grow into a long-term friendship or potential romantic adventure. When we are not our authentic selves, the relationship starts on uncertain ground. Despite good intentions, over the long run, it can create bigger problems.

Here are five pieces of relationship advice to help you put forth your authentic self:

1. State clearly what you need: You can’t go into a relationship saying “yes” to everything, or you will end up pleasing your partner at your personal expense. You can say “yes” when it is comfortable, but you must also be willing to say “no.” “No” is not always rejection when it comes to articulating desires, needs, and expectations. Both answers can provide your partner with timely feedback so all desires or expectations are known and understood.

2. Be your authentic self to develop trust: You want to be liked or loved for who you are, not for who you think a person wants you to be. This can be the hard part because we all want to be liked and find love. To do so, we may go down a path of being someone different just to please another person, but eventually, the truth will come out. You can’t fake it ‘til you make it!

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3. It takes energy to be someone else: Being yourself is the most comfortable and easy state of being and it is actually more attractive to people than being someone you are not. It also makes the time you spend with someone more authentic. The fact is, if you act in a different way just to please someone, you’ll eventually tire of the façade and revert back to being yourself somewhere down the road anyway. It takes too much energy to be someone else. So, why not start as yourself from the very beginning?

4. Over-giving eventually exhausts you and your resources: When we give too much of our time, energy, or other personal resources in a relationship without getting anything in return, we will eventually feel exhausted or put out. Giving what you feel comfortable giving — versus over-giving to please someone — is the most optimum. Over time, there must be a reciprocal give and take in your relationship for both parties to feel satisfied.

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5. Articulate your feelings clearly: This is important in all stages of relationships, as our true feelings should be known and shared. New relationships need reassuring signals along the way to show that there is enough interest to continue. In longer partnerships, we have to continually be true to ourselves and express our feelings on an ongoing basis to show how we love, care for, and value our significant other.

As these five pieces of relationship advice show, being anything other than our true selves builds a relationship on the shaky ground of untruth and uncertainty. When we show up as our authentic selves, we set a relationship in motion from a foundation of honesty and respect that endears us to others and deepens our connections.

Steven DeSalvo is an author of the book Relationship Dynamics, which looks at how we develop deeper and healthier connections that will fulfill our desire for lasting and meaningful relationships. Connect with Steven on Twitter at @BecomeAdult or visit www.BecomeAnAdult.com.