Dating someone new can be exciting. Talk about the butterflies fluttering in your stomach, texts that make you smile, engaging dates you probably want to span on for decades, and you two blustering with so much energy that you cannot wait to see them again.
However, since it’s not expected that the bubble lasts forever, you need tips to ensure you make the most of it and change the status quo from dating to being in a relationship.
So how can you not sabotage what’s in front of you before it barely starts? How do you enjoy dating while still maintaining your independence? For these reasons, I’ve compiled a list of tips for dating someone new.
Tips when dating someone new
Have an It is what is Mindset
It’s expected that you put this person on a pedestal and fantasize about who they aren’t and what the future could hold for you two, but as much as a little bit of that is okay, you also need to take things easy.
Don’t hold expectations of what they would do for you or how the relationship would progress, and cultivate the mindset that whatever happens is how it’s truly meant to be.
That person you think is best for you might be different, and how would you deal with that when you get to know them? Are you going to settle because you got caught up in your fantasies?
In this kind of situation, let things flow and enjoy the moment.
Get to know them
Ask questions to show interest. Note that getting to know someone on a deeper level can’t be achieved through mundane questions; instead, ask them about their goals, where they see themselves in five years, or if they are open to the idea of having kids or not.
This would also help with knowing if you two are compatible because you’re asking the right questions that show who they are in person.
When all that’s said is done, pay attention to their behavior. How does this person treat strangers? Who do they consider friends? Are they impatient? They won’t come right out and tell you they once snapped at the waiter in a restaurant or some of their bad traits, but you’ll know that if you stick around long enough.
Put in Effort But Ensure it Isn’t One-Sided
Relationships are about giving your all. However, there are days when it’s 80/20 or 30/70; the most important thing is that you keep contributing to your quota in the best way you can.
In this case, ensure your partner isn’t the only one making all decisions regarding your dates. If they suggest hanging out somewhere one time, challenge them with another idea some other time. Lastly, if you ever have to wonder if you’re doing too much, then it means you are.
Don’t Be All Up In Their Personal Space
Text them, but not too much. Don’t leave a slew of messages online. Do most of the talking physically. Give them a chance to breathe and do what they’d like to do without you hovering over their heads. Make them miss you and wonder why you haven’t called all day.
If you show them that they’re all you need at the initial stages, that goes to show that you’ll be dependent on them for everything. Do things you would naturally do without their presence in your life.
Boundaries are made to protect you. If there’s something you don’t like or that could affect you, that’s when you need to set your boundaries to help your partner understand that this is important to you.
From the onset, let them know what you can and cannot accept in a relationship. If you don’t take calls once it’s 11 at night, or don’t get intimate without being in a committed relationship, then they need to respect that.
Talk About the Potential of what you have and where it’s headed
Place communication at the top of your list of priorities. If you’ve been seeing each other for a while, then it’s time to talk about where the relationship is headed to see if their visions align with yours.
Remember, they will only know if you talk about it, so putting it out there that you want to define your relationship isn’t a terrible idea because you know where your priorities lie and you probably don’t want anyone wasting your time.
Don’t Be In a Rush
When we meet the person of our dreams, it’s safe to say we want to skip all other steps and just be with them. We have questions like “When are we moving in together,” and we dare to dream about the future, but don’t rush this process.
Take your time with everything, both to get to know them better and also to ensure you enjoy this moment. Once you’re in a relationship, you won’t have it back again.
Introduce them to Your Friends
If the status of your relationship has been established, then it’s time to meet your friends. Introducing them to your friends will help you know what kind of person they are since we are sometimes a reflection of those we choose to be friends with.
An early introduction can also solve any issues you might encounter. For instance, your friends not liking them can be an issue, but a quick intervention can also help fix that.
Have the Sex Talk
Although there are a lot of sex positivity talks going on nowadays, people still get awkward talking about them. However, it’s important to talk about sex before it happens. Hit them head-on with your wants and needs to enable sexual compatibility.
This would also be that time to tell them you’re not open to trying out new things at the moment, but things might change as the relationship progresses. Lastly, ask if they’re sexually safe to avoid any complications.
Don’t sacrifice everything for the relationship
A new person in your life means changing your normal routines to accommodate them. However, don’t miss out on things you enjoy doing or people you love hanging out with just because of them.
Remember that you can still have you and the relationship. If you can’t, then it’s important to re-evaluate and discuss with your partner what your independence means to you. Relationships aren’t about one person being dependent on another; it’s all about complementing and supporting each other.
In the end, strive to maintain balance.
Be on the lookout for red flags
If this person is extremely possessive over you, don’t shrug it off as just jealousy; take it for what it is. Again, if they constantly manipulate you or make you doubt your reality during heated arguments (gaslighting), then you either need to have a talk with them or leave.
Speak to a trusted friend during this period because gaining an outsider’s perspective—though not always advised—can be what you need to determine if you want to stay or leave.
Be Vulnerable about what you feel
Society tells us it’s too soon. Wait for a month or three months before confessing how you feel, but what those pieces of advice fail to recognize is the reality of falling for someone. Also, if you don’t say anything, how is your partner going to know?
Vulnerability equals strength. Opening up to someone about the way you feel is the deepest form of intimacy, and if your partner makes you feel like it’s wrong to talk about your feelings, then they don’t deserve you.
Bottom line: say what you feel. Chances are, they’re waiting for you to break the ice.
Keep going on dates
When you finally become a couple, the idea of dates might not be as appealing as it was before, but this is the time to be flexible with your date ideas; share funny and deep stories you wouldn’t have shared on the first date.
Again, you can go anywhere with them in whatever you want to wear, and they wouldn’t mind because the close bond has already been established. But don’t stop with the dates just because it’s official.
Focus on Actions, not Words
Anyone can say the words, “You mean the world to me”, but it takes someone who truly means that statement to prove it to you.
This means don’t pay attention to words, but rather what lengths they will go to show you through their actions. Someone who claims to care about you will hold out the door, pull out the chair for you, and buy you dinner.
They wouldn’t just throw out the words, “I care about you,” without any backups. If you’re going out with someone like this, tell them their words do not affect you because you need action.
Don’t Compare your current partner to your ex
Comparison kills all that is beautiful, so don’t be tempted to compare your ex with your new beau.
Your ex might be the standard for you, but the person you’re currently with is your new love interest, not your ex. In this case, don’t bring them up unless the relationship is at a certain stage because that goes to show that you haven’t moved on.
Make sure your mind doesn’t wander on what that ex would do if they were here. Focus on what’s in front of you and on what you have now.
Dating someone new can be exciting or frustrating, depending on the measures you take to ensure it all runs smoothly.
One of the things to remember is to never operate from a lackadaisical mindset. Don’t feel that’s all you’ll ever have, that you don’t deserve anything, or that it’s all too good to be true.
Many people suffer from anxious-avoidant attachment, which can lead them to sabotage what they have, but you know that you deserve what you have right now. It’s not too good to be true; it’s okay to rely on others, but don’t use that as an excuse to ruin the potential in front of you.