When I meet someone new, I don’t go in with my heart blazing. Instead, I wait for them to prove to me that they’re nothing but a waste of time. I know this makes me sound really jaded but it actually has a lot of benefits.
I don’t ignore red flags.
Because I’m waiting for him to show me what’s wrong with him instead of why he’s a great partner, I don’t miss out on the red flags that come my way. If my new partner is arrogant or repeatedly late to dates, I take the warning signs at face value. I don’t try to brush them under the carpet or live in denial and I don’t make excuses for him.
I keep a cool head.
I’m not going to tell my BFFs that I’m madly in love with a guy I’ve just met. If I’m waiting for him to step out of line, I’m keeping a cool head instead of being swept away and getting distracted by bliss. It’s actually quite a nice feeling, to be honest. I don’t feel like a crazy person.
I see the truth of him.
If I’m not falling in love at first sight or getting swept away into a whirlwind romance, I can see the guy for who he really is rather than who I think he can be. I find this is much healthier, especially since in the past I used to rush in and try to get the fairytale relationship or build up the guy into a mythical creature that only existed in my head. That’s toxic.
I don’t erase my life.
If I’m taking things at a measured pace and not letting myself get pulled into a serious relationship too quickly then I don’t do stupid things like put my life and priorities on the back-burner. I shouldn’t let everything else fall apart just because I’ve found love. If the guy’s worth my time, he’ll try to fit into my life rather than replace it.
I slow down.
I know from experience that it can be fun to jump into an exciting new relationship, but that has never done me any favors. By slowing down with the guy, I don’t rush things and I don’t get ahead of myself. The benefit of doing this, other than guarding my heart, is that I don’t put pressure on the relationship to be something that it might never be. This means I don’t get my heart unnecessarily smashed into pieces.
I lose expectations.
I’m not the type to start a relationship without at least some important standards and expectations in place, but if I’m not chasing the fairytale then I don’t fool myself into chasing the too-high and impossible expectations. For instance, I won’t expect a guy to make me happy all the time because I know how to make myself happy.
I take time to trust someone.
I don’t just trust a guy when he says he really likes me and wants a future with me. How could I if I don’t even know the guy that well? Trust takes time, and by easing into it, I see if the guy really deserves mine or not. It’s not something I just want to hand out.
I don’t feel the rush.
I’m not just avoiding rushing into a new relationship to look out for myself, I’m preventing myself from feeling the rush to have someone—oh, and anxiety to be the perfect partner. I don’t strive to be available to the guy 24/7, which means that I don’t worry too much about his feelings for me and if he’s serious. I take things as they come and believe him if and when he shows me he’s not the right one for me. I take my time to process his actions.
I don’t use up my resources.
It’s easy to fill my mind with someone new I’m dating. I’ve done it so many times before, and before I know what’s happening, I’m spending hours analyzing his texts and thinking about him. Now, the thought of a guy taking up so much of my mental energy frightens me. By expecting him to disappoint me, I can hold back a bit and see if he’s worth all of my time and attention to begin with.
I feel empowered.
Controlling how I react to the situation of having new love in my life makes me feel more in control of my life and destiny, instead of letting a guy come into my life and take over. These days, I think, “Yeah, he’s great, but let’s see. No matter what happens, I’m still going to have an amazing life.” It’s so empowering to know I’m in the driver’s seat.
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