I should have listened when my brother turned around to me and said, “Sis if it feels too good to be true, it usually is”. A week later I was back on online dating after spending time with someone who had won my heart after just a few weeks of intense Face Timing, texting and wild luxurious nights out.
It’s been a long time since I met someone who got my mind and body racing like he did, and you would have thought an independent, busy dater like me would have known better. But deep down inside I still dream of the fairy tale. The soul-mate who I can travel the world with and wins over my body and soul.
So, note to self: take a breath. It’s too easy to get caught up in the fairy-tale excitement. It is time to slow down and embrace a bit more self-care. Here are my five ways to ensure you don’t get ahead of yourself:
Do Not Dive Straight into an Exclusive Commitment
When you meet someone that ticks the imaginary boxes you have in the back of your mind of the perfect partner it’s tempting to think this is the one and commit straight away. This is actually counter-culture to the new keep-swiping-never-exclusive dating vibe going around. The best thing to do is be open that you have strong feelings but step back and keep a bounce in your life so that get to know them.
Give Each Other Text Space
We look at our phones on average every 12 minutes, so it’s easy to get caught up with constant texting. Then you start finding yourself waiting for your screen to light up. This puts a lot of pressure and expectation on you both. Take this pressure off, be spontaneous and only text for a reason. That beats sharing predictable good morning and good night texts.
Add Variety To Your Dates
If you really like someone, the chemistry can take over and you arrange these long intense all-night dates. Again, this sets a really high unrealistic benchmark. Try to mix up the times and types of dates. A lunchtime walk in the park, a morning coffee, a picnic. This gives time for the natural flow of conversation alongside the more glamorous nights out.
Hold Off The Big Future Plans
Going on holiday, weekends away or romantic day trips to the coast are things dreams are made of, but too much too soon can add too much pressure.
Hold off sharing photos on Facebook and declaring your new love to all your family and friends straight away. There is lots of time for that, so get to know them first and then gradually introduce them both at the same speed together. Shared introductions help keep the balance.
It feels wonderful to meet someone that gives you butterflies. Your heart beats fast, your mind cannot stop thinking about them. Your body is filled with the love drug, potent chemicals dopamine and oxytocin the bonding hormone.
Meeting someone you like at any age is magical, but just like a butterfly, it’s worth being a bit cautious and taking things slowly until your both ready to spread your wings together. As I have learnt if you are not careful those feelings can disappear really fast.
By Louise Proddow