I’ve Learned To Stop Giving My Heart & Body Away So Quickly – And It’s Changed Everything

Giving away intimate parts of myself on a mental and physical level used to leave me in ruins. After years of inflicting pain on myself, I’ve finally learned that slowing everything down is a much healthier way for me to date. I’ve stopped giving my heart and body away at the drop of a hat and it’s certainly made a difference.

  1. Rushing into getting physical never left me feeling right. I used to sleep with people right away (like on date one or two). At the very least, I’d make out with them intensely. I always used to want to jump into things as quickly as possible. Despite this desire, though, it never sat well. I always felt out of control and left with an icky feeling in my gut. Nevermind the fact that this pattern never resulted in any healthy relationships.
  2. I had some issues that led me to be impulsive. There were three big reasons that I was wildly impulsive when it came to sex: untreated bipolar, alcoholism, and patterning as a result of trauma. This medley of a history left me with an insatiable sex drive and unhealthy ways of being in relationships with others. It was only after I got help for all three that I was able to start changing my ways.
  3. After tons of practice, I’ve slowed things way down. Even while getting treatment, my patterns weren’t resolved overnight. It took many years and lots of mistakes to finally gain a semblance of healthy patterning. Today I finally date in a way where I don’t give everything away on the first few dates. Now I’ve brought the speed down and am learning new ways of being.
  4. It gave me my self-respect back. Slowing down–mind and body–has left me feeling like a dignified and respectable woman. I used to leave dates feeling so dirty, as if I had just given huge parts of myself away to people who didn’t deserve it. Now after dates, I’m left feeling clean, happy, and full of respect. It’s really an amazing feeling.
  5. I feel much more in control. Impulse control wasn’t even in my vocabulary before. I used to act on any impulse that came up. Now, I have a space that allows me to make a different choice. Viktor E. Frankl had something beautiful to say about this space, writing, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” I now have the power to choose.
  6. I can now get a cleaner read on if I like the person or not. The problem was that I always got physical before I even knew someone. As a result, my body was flooded with endorphins and hormones. It clouded my judgment and left me all woozy. Now I take everything much slower. I don’t tell my dates as much about myself and I don’t get physical with them until I’ve decided I like them and they’re worth trusting. As a result, I’m actually able to connect to my intuition and feel things out.
  7. I’ve stopped objectifying my dates. For too many years, I treated my dates as if they were objects to play with. We were instruments so that I could get a fix and get all high from the endorphins. I don’t do this anymore. Even if I’m wildly attracted to a person, I don’t just jump into bed with them. Instead, I look them in the face and treat them like the human they are.
  8. As a trauma survivor, I feel safer. I used to give my mind and body on the first few dates. I’d do this whether I thought a person was safe or not. This resulted in me feeling even more unsafe and triggered by hands I didn’t know. Now, I take much more care of the fact that I’m wildly sensitive. I really take the time to get to know people and as a result, my PTSD symptoms don’t flare up. I save my mind and body for someone worth trusting.
  9. It saves me from a ton of heartache if it doesn’t work out. When dating, most people aren’t going to be a good fit. It’s just a numbers game — it is what it is. When I was giving all of me to a person after a few dates, I used to be heartbroken when it didn’t work out. Now I know that there’s a good chance it won’t work out, so I save myself until I feel confident the relationship is going somewhere. Because of this, I’m spared so much pain.
  10. Speed isn’t about morality – it’s about my intuition. Having sex, getting physical, and sharing intimate details aren’t necessarily wrong to do on early dates, I just had to learn they aren’t right for me. It’s been much easier to change my ways when I’m not shaming myself. I’m just focusing on listening to my inner-most self. She usually has some wise things to say about life and love.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.