It is finally happening. You’ve been dating for a while now. Maybe only a short time, maybe much longer than you would have liked. Some of the dates have been awful, most have just been boring and disappointing. At times you seriously considered giving up and accepting your single status for life.
But recently you met a guy, and this guy is different. Right from the start, you could tell something was happening. Something special and exciting and lovely. You really like him and it’s completely obvious that he feels the same. When you’re together you both laugh a lot. Life seems fun and full of possibilities. Even a drink at the same local pub where you’ve been a million times, seems fresh and new when you’re with him.
Warning: Danger Ahead
Suddenly the future is all you can think about. Literally. And your busy mind, as it projects into the future, raises so many questions. Questions like: “Where is this relationship headed?” “Is he planning to ask me to move in?” “Are we going to get engaged?” “Is this the man I’ll have kids with?” “Will it lead to marriage?” “Is this the one?”
What you need to understand about this way of thinking is that all it does is create anxiety. Projecting into the future obsessively like this is actually very disempowering. Why? Because you are emotionally investing in events that have not happened yet. What do I mean by “emotionally investing”? It’s when we decide that will be over the moon IF a certain event happens – and we will be devastated if it doesn’t. It’s a dangerous game to play because you can’t control what the other person will or won’t do.
Ignorance is Bliss
This may be an unpopular opinion, but it’s my belief that none of us can afford to invest emotionally in anyone we’ve been dating for less than three months. To do that is simply setting yourself up to fail. Yes, you are both crazy about each other. Yes, you love being together and miss each other when you’re apart. Yes, you have so much in common and it feels so natural and so right! And yes – this may be the beginning of a long lasting relationship. It may indeed lead to a shared future that includes marriage and children.
But you don’t know that yet. And guess what; neither does he! It’s just too early to tell. There are things you still don’t know about each other, aspects of your personalities that haven’t been seen yet. If you’ve been together less than three months, I promise you this is true. And if you emotionally invest too much, too soon, it could result in a broken heart if the story doesn’t play out the way you imagined.
Take it Easy
Dating somebody is really about looking after yourself in a healthy way. It means you take it one day at a time and enjoy the experience, without torturing yourself about what might happen next week, next month or next year. It’s about hoping that this will work out, and at the same time knowing that if it doesn’t you WILL be okay. Of course it will be disappointing, but it won’t shatter you. You’ll be able to move on quite quickly and bounce back, with more experience and more wisdom.
By protecting your emotions at the beginning of a relationship, you become a stronger person and increase your self-esteem. These are qualities that will help you in the long run, in all areas of your life. And when you and your guy do make a commitment to each other, you’ll be able to enjoy it much more because there won’t be that underlying pressure and desperation. Dating in present time is worth the effort – I never said it was easy, but give it a try and you might surprise yourself!