How not to lose your true self while finding your other half.
When you’re at the beginning your dating journey, you might get a bit lost in the whole experience, especially if you are jumping straight in with both feet. Filled with uncertainties and ambiguous desires, you don’t truly even know what you are looking for. If this sounds like most of you guys, read on for a general list of what you can do to gain and maintain that sense of consistent inner confidence while in the midst of your dating excursions.
Tip #1 — Do not change for anyone
Dating can and ultimately should be exciting, but when you begin to change as a person for the person you are dating, consider taking a step back to really analyze that change. Most of the time, we unconsciously want to please the person we are with, so we might want to spend more money, buy lavish gifts often, and put on a façade that is not entirely truth affirming. Remember, you can buy people all you want, but eventually as time goes by something will seem missing, which will be that desire for a real heart to heart connection, not a wallet to heart one. Yes, you can spend money or buy gifts, but do not buy your partner. Instead, create quality dating experiences that take you both on a unique journy to get to know each other in a more intimate way. Take a cooking class, go to a musuem, go to an amusement park, or learn about gardening.
Tip #2 — Maintain your independence
So often when we enter into a new relationship with potential, we become so desperate we end up doing everything with our significant other even if it does not jibe well with our own morals. Remember your morals, your lifestyle, what matters to you: keep practicing gratitude and keep evolving as a human being. There is ultimately nothing wrong with some “me” time while dating or when in a relationship.
Learn to be happy with yourself completely before considering joining a serious partnership with someone. When we are not centered as individuals, at some point we will begin blaming or complaining to others for our unhappiness It can get pretty messy so we need to refocus our attention onto something real and not on an ambiguously targeted concept. Your independence in your identity is expressing who you are on a daily basis. It sounds simple, but in order to positively achieve this balance, you’ll need to put it in action without a passive-aggressive mindset.
Try expressing yourself through dancing, painting, or singing. Pursue activities that stimulate your mind. Have a hobby, help others, and do not get caught up in the whole clingy relationship perception where you need the other person to satisfy you out of desperation. It is OK to be your own person and generally speaking, being in a healthy relationship will never call your identity into question or have it minimized or taken away from you. Your identity is the most important thing you invest in when dating.
Tip # 3 — Live in the present
When we are in that new phase of our dating lives, we want to go somewhere, anywhere, and do things, anything! We move too fast, proving to others and to ourselves who we are when we enter a relationship. People subconsciously have many expectations of themselves on how they need to be handling their given relationship. Truthfully, nobody and no concept should ever dictate how fast or how slow you should move within your relationship. It has to be natural and definitely unforced.
Remember that we live in the now, in the present. This means that in order to fully accept and embrace everything we need to heal the past. If you are holding some pain inside, deal with it now. This is part of maintaining your identity. Feeling and healing your past hurt may be one of the most important things you do. Through this we will gain a better sense of clarity in our overall identity at the end of the day. To help deal with all the feelings and raw emotions, it might be useful to begin writing things down. Simply write down what you are feeling and express your thoughts on paper, and make a habit out of it, either every morning or every night before bedtime. This will indirectly organize your mind so that you do not have to bottle things up until you completely explode. Essentially it will enhance your ability to fully appreciate the present moment if you are honest with your feelings.
Do what makes your soul happy. Do you like taking a long shower, doing a yoga class, or just watching a movie and pigging out for a night? These are the moments that you need to frame in a positive light, to better reaffirm your identity on a daily basis so that you do not lose sight of your true self while finding your other half; otherwise you will lose the very essence that made you desire to begin a relationship in the first place.
Tip # 4 — Prioritize family
You’ve probably heard this before, but so many people think they are mature enough once they start dating that they can get further away from their family, both physically and emotionally. They want to be rebellious, show their maturity (which actually shows the lack thereof) and unfortunately they get lost in the process. This idea of separation makes them feel temporarily in complete control, yet it has negative circumstances in the long run.
Our priorities are our building blocks of life. They make us who we are. Our responsibility, discipline, and integrity are all characteristics that create our priorities. You might say this is your character. There are many temptations in society and if you are not morally ready to handle dating, you can get caught up in them and never fully reach your potential.
That being said, having your family as a top priority means that you respect yourself enough to take a stand, a stand where nobody has the right separate that bond. It gives you a sense of security and stability, as well as a possibility to have true and best friends who always have your back and have your best interests at heart. These are the people you can trust 24/7 and who will tell you anything, not sugar coating things. Get together with your family to just be together. Do anything or nothing. Laugh, watch movies, listen to music, paint together, etc. Start making memories with the people you love and your life will be that much more joyful and this is where your identity will make a comeback.
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Unedited Photo: Flickr/Khashayar Elyassi