In our culture we are trained to fall in love first and ask questions later. Hollywood stars, movies, reality TV. You witness, over and over again, people jumping into relationships because they feel attracted to another-they think this feeling is love. What they don’t show you is that three months later you are miserable, or asking yourself “How did I get here?”
A common understanding in the dating world is that the third date is THE date. He invites you over for a candle lit dinner and you make sure you’re wearing your best lingerie, both knowing what’s in store after the lobster penne and chardonnay.
It’s not that having sex is a bad thing if that’s what you want. It’s all of the expectations that come after your heart is more engaged. Did you ask about your level of commitment? Do you know that you both want a monogamous relationship, or do you know that both of you don’t?
If you are looking for long term love, then it’s a good idea to ask a few questions before you jump into bed and get your heart involved with Prince Charming.
Here are a few I would recommend:
Is this person free of other commitments so that they are truly available to explore a relationship with me? And are they free for this now-not with a future promise of being free for it one day?
Other commitments can include exes that they are still emotionally entangled with, children, jobs, etc. It can be anything that keeps them too busy to have a real relationship. They may say they are available, but then their actions betray them. Believe what they do, not what they say.
Do we want the same kind of relationship? If you are looking for a long term, monogamous relationship, do they as well? And are they looking for this now-not with a future promise of wanting this one day down the road, or maybe thinking about it.
Do you want the same things for your future? If you want children and your date definitely does not, why would you continue dating? If you are doing it hoping he will change his mind you will be setting yourself up for a lifetime of heartache.
I’m sure I could come up with a bunch more, but these are a good start and I’m sure you get the picture.
If you find yourself, like me, the master of the short term relationship, while your heart really wants something else, it may be a good idea to take a step back and start asking the hard questions.
I know this sounds like it takes a whole lot of fun out of dating. “No, don’t kiss me; I have a list of things I have to ask you first!”
What I found was that once I started to get physically intimate with someone, my heart was already too far into the game and it suddenly didn’t matter if he said he wanted to date other women. I was in and I was going to make sure he fell madly in love with me by turning myself into everything he could possibly want. It never worked. Not once.
Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker has a great rule. No sex until monogamy. You can kiss and date and get to know one another, but until you are both on the same page about where you stand with each other, inviting him in after he kisses you goodnight on your doorstep is a no go.
What this means, for both parties in this case, is that you have to talk about it first. It doesn’t mean you have to have a ring on your finger, (Patti’s rule is she needs a ring before living together), but you both need to know if you are heading in the same general direction.
I know this is a tough thing to do when your hormones are raging and all you want to do is rip off his shirt with your teeth, but again, it comes back to loving yourself first. Can you respect your own boundaries to ultimately find the love you want? It may leave you with a few nights of frustration, but ultimately you get to fall asleep at night feeling good about yourself, which, as I always say, brings you the love you wanted in the first place.
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