Ladies, especially, please take a moment to read this.
Dating can be fun and rewarding. You’re able to spend time with someone, go to dinners, dances, etc, and have a great time! However, many times, we tend to take these dates into relationships for the wrong reasons, or ignoring “red flags” that end up making us unhappy down the road.
Before you decide to be exclusive with someone, you need to ask yourself several questions.
How do I expect them to treat me?
Many times, we go in to relationships, letting things slide in the beginning. We make excuses like, “Oh, they don’t really know me well yet.” Or “It’s not that big of a deal.” This is the truth, if anyone makes you feel put down or unworthy of anything, you need to let them know how they made you feel. Sometimes, personalities need to grow. If they ignore your wishes and disrespect you again, you seriously need to reconsider seeing this person as a potential date. You do not EVER deserve to be put down, disrespected, or ridiculed. Someone who cares for you will be cautious of hurting you.
Where are my physical/emotional boundaries?
Knowing where you stand, physically, being able to talk about your limitations in the relationship is a huge deal. If you talk these things out with your partner, and they continue to “push the envelope” please respect yourself and do not allow them to manipulate you in to doing things you’re not comfortable with.
Emotional boundaries tie in to this, as well. If you’re not comfortable talking about marriage and kids, on a hypothetical level with that person, you need to draw the line there. Tying your hearts together by speaking of a future with them before either of you have made a commitment, like being engaged to marry, can be dangerous. There is a high chance that they are “saying the right things” to get whatever they want from you. Sometimes, that is physical pleasure, or financial security, or even, just someone to placate them until someone else comes along. Do not put yourself in a corner by being so emotionally, or physically, invested too soon.
Where do I see myself in ten years? (WITHOUT THIS PERSON)
If you can see your future without this person, and feel content, you really need to analyze what you are doing in this relationship. Many times, in the present time, we feel content with someone in our life because we are lonely. I’ve been there. I understand. Filling the void of loneliness just to have someone with you really isn’t worth it. You’re hurting yourself, and the other person, in the process. You should desire to be with someone, because they accentuate the life you already have.
Am I just lonely, or ready to make a commitment?
This, in a way, ties in to the previous question. If you are lonely and crying yourself to sleep, because you don’t have a warm, sense of security by having an embrace to help you sleep at night, then you’re not ready for a true relationship. Again, being in a relationship to avoid loneliness will only hurt yourself. The reason is, you cannot be happy with someone else if you’re not content with yourself. You will rely on that person to bring you joy and contentment. That’s a lot to ask! Someone who truly cares for you will do their best to make you happy, but they will fail you, sometimes. I was the person who did everything I could to make someone happy, but it wasn’t good enough. If someone isn’t happy with themselves, nothing someone does for them will truly bring joy. It may bring you peace for a moment or two, but you’ll be looking for more and more. You may, even, start looking for happiness from someone else. That isn’t fair to them.
In a nutshell,
Wait for someone who only adds to your quality of life, someone who shares some interests with you, but can expand your mind. Work on yourself, do things that make you happy, and live your life! In the right moment, when you are happy being YOU, a good person will come along and pursue you. They will love all the quirky things about you that other people ridiculed. They will make you feel MORE capable in your strengths, MORE comfortable in your skin, and motivate you to embrace your weaknesses. Sometimes, these things humble us and help us help others. Allow someone to treat you well, dote on you, pursue you, and add to the life you’ve already created for yourself.