Ah, yes… let’s talk dating! Because dating as a twenty-something in 2018 is so. much. fun. Am I right?
While this isn’t a personal issue I struggle with, I’ve seen one too many of my friends (and not just girls!) battle with getting too emotionally attached, too soon. They meet someone, hit it off, text regularly for a a couple weeks or so then – WHAM – they’re upset because he/she has or hasn’t done SOMETHING. They haven’t asked them out yet, they posted a picture with someone of the opposite sex, or just said something that really irked them– responding negatively to any of these is a reaction to feelings of early attachment.
Don’t mistake my advice for discrediting emotions because, to be frank, I wish I had more of them. But it’s vital to keep strong emotions in line when you’re dating because sometimes, putting realism at the forefront will lead you to a better outcome.
So if you’re someone who needs to chill the hell out when meeting new people (love you guys, but really) here are 6 ways to conquer those feelings of early attachment:
Hang on to the Single Mindset
While dating isn’t all butterflies and roses, the single life can definitely have its perks– and that’s what you need to hold on to. Personally, I love being single. The liberating fact that you can do whatever you want on your own terms, ALL the time is appealing enough for me. I think it’s the wild child in me and in the words of Ms. Cyrus, I can’t be tamed. And I know we ALL have that 2010 Miley in us so try and gear your mind towards that freedom and embrace the fact that if a someone offers to buy you a drink, you can accept it guilt-free.
Don’t Get Wrapped up in a Fantasy
Do you catch yourself thinking about how great this person is? Are you thinking about how kind and patient they are, and don’t even get you started on that cute booty– yeah?
No. I hate to break it to you, but these thoughts are unrealistic. All you’re doing is setting yourself up for disappointment because a) you just met them and haven’t witnessed any of their character flaws yet and b) no one is that idealistic.
Maybe it’s because I’ve seen one too many relationships fail in my life, but a lot of the time there’s a lot more beneath the surface that you need to get to know. Which brings me to my next point…
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself (I’m Serious)
Halsey isn’t the only one who’s Bad at Love. Sadly, toxicity is such a big drawing factor when it comes to lust and determination. If you’re not going to take in any of my other tips, I beg you to listen to this one. If you’re feeling any sort of anxiety during the beginning stages of a relationship, chances are there’s some shady-ass behavior going on. And hear me out– shady is NOT healthy. Red freakin’ flag.
A few weeks ago I finally decided to go on a date with someone. It had been over a couple months since I took a chance on someone new but he was cute and charming so hey, why not. We hung out once, had a good time, and even made plans for our second date. Three hours before we were supposed to meet for the date I texted him because I hadn’t heard anything. Long story short, he bailed. He never apologized, just matter-of-factly told me he couldn’t hang. Ha. Long-er story short, he did this a couple times. I wasn’t upset at the fact that he had to bail, I was upset that he didn’t apologize for any of it. This is a trigger for me because it’s a super narcissistic trait and I’ve been down THAT path before.
This was a matter of 2 or 3 weeks and let me tell you the relief I felt when I told him it wasn’t working out, even in that short amount of time. It felt amazing to put my foot down and think “no, I deserve better, boy baiiii!” Some people may be thinking “it was only a couple dates, you should have just given him another chance–” EFF THAT. I’m not down for being put on the back burner at any point in a relationship and you shouldn’t either.
Ask Yourself What You Want (What You Really, Really Want)
Make a list of the qualities you want in a partner. Create two separate ones- a list of traits they cannot change (eye color, skin tone, etc,) then make a separate list of characteristics you would truly like your SO to have. And don’t just list things like “loves to travel” because it sounds good on paper- if you’re passionate about traveling, include it, but if you’re okay with one family vacation a year, leave it out.
Don’t take the first list too seriously- who knows, maybe you like blue eyes after all! But certainly take the second list seriously and don’t settle for less. Remember that you deserve so much and to accept just anyone who bats an eye at you is settling- and we don’t settle here! Be patient, strong, and picky and you’ll be surprised at the people you turn down for the better.
Don’t Check Their Social Media
I should just rename my blog “Social Media is the Devil” because let’s get real, it gets in the way of a LOT of personal growth. But really, when you’re first getting to know someone, put off adding them on social for as long as you can. And I’m not talking a few days, I’m talking like, weeks or even months.
If you scroll through their social it’s most likely just going to stir up some intense feelings that are totally unnecessary at this point. They’re not your ex and they aren’t your family or your bff. There’s literally no reason to follow each other until later down the road.
Don’t Make Decisions Based off Your Emotions
Think of the future relationship you want to be in- you want to feel safe and part of that safety net comes with having someone there to listen to your feelings, right?
Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you that’s not okay, because that’s obviously ideal. What I am going to express, is that you shouldn’t be so completely dependent on the person that that’s how you get your emotional validation. In the beginning especially, you really need to practice self-awareness and take control of your emotions. If you’re feeling lonely, avoid texting them. If you’re upset because they aren’t texting you back, avoid lashing out and saying something embarrassing. Instead, distract yourself with a self-investment such as taking a walk, meditating, or simply cooking your favorite meal.
Lastly, remember that you’re badass and your happiness isn’t dependent on anyone else but yourself. Don’t idolize anyone just because they’re charming and make you feel good temporarily. You CAN be happy and single, it just takes a little work 🙂