In our modern dating world, unnecessary heartache runs rampant, as people consistently fail to communicate expectations, and recognize their worth! The “talking stage” extends into months, and years, without boundaries and desires openly discussed. This can lead to disappointment and heartache, as your dreams of a relationship vanish into thin air. What one person viewed as an exclusive partnership, the other may experience as a fwb situation. It is critical to remain on the same page throughout the course of any relationship, whether it is casual or serious. This way, you can manage your expectations, and prevent suffering from undue pain and hardship. To protect your precious heart, I recommend following these 6 essential dating tips!
1. Establish your intentions (right at the beginning!)
Do you want a casual hookup? Are you looking for a serious, long-term relationship? Is marriage in your near future? Every option is valid, and you deserve a partner who seeks similar expectations. A miscommunication regarding intentions can be devastating to the person who yearned for something more serious. It is worth noting that intentions may change throughout the course of your time spent together. One person may develop stronger emotions, and desire an exclusive partnership. As your feelings evolve, it is critical to assess the status of your relationship, and stay on the same page as your partner.
2. Maintain open communication
This is much easier said than done. If I’m being quite honest, half the time, I don’t quite understand what I’m feeling, or what exactly I desire. However, maintaining open channels of communications, and expressing your concerns, is necessary to building a healthy, enduring relationship. Closing off will only push your partner away, and result in mutual heartache. I know it’s scary to be vulnerable, to let someone in behind those barriers, but the payoff is truly worth it!
3. Don’t settle for less
You know your values. You know your worth. You know your needs. Don’t compromise the foundational elements of who you are. The heartache of losing yourself in a relationship is much worse than losing another person. Never abandon your moral compass or sense of individuality for someone else! And make sure you are being treated like the absolute queen (or king) that you are.
4. Recognize your needs
Your needs, whether they are emotional, spiritual, or physical, are all valid! Every person has a different love language, and requires various forms of intimacy to feel secure and appreciated. Voice your desires to your partner, because you deserve a fulfilling connection!
5. Be content with yourself before dating
You’ll never discover genuine happiness in another person if you didn’t already have it inside of yourself. There isn’t a magical potion to liberate you from your anxiety, sadness, or worries. Pining for an elusive future, where the perfect partner liberates you from every problem, is a dangerous, futile state of mind. Discover peace and joy within yourself, before extending that reserve of love to another person. Your partner should augment the happiness in your life, not serve as the sole source.
6. Fall in love with a person, not an idea of a person
Yes, it’s super fun to fantasize about the future, and imagine a honeymoon to Hawaii, but it’s critical you manage your expectations. Just because he swiped right, doesn’t mean he is going to be the father of your children. Also, make sure you are authentically invested in the person in front of you, rather than the “idea” of said person. Sometimes, we accidentally fall in love with the concept of love, rather than the person we are dating. Ask yourself if you are truly happy spending time with your partner. Do you gain more joy from imagining pretend scenarios, or truly being in their presence?
Even when following these 6, handy tips, it’s possible you may still experience moments of heartache. Unfortunately, those are the tides of life, as we weave in and out of relationships, searching for the perfect mate! However, if you follow these guidelines, I promise you will encounter less disappointment, and more fulfillment, on the road to finding your next relationship.
Written by: Brianna Rauchman