Have you ever met a guy, not been physical with him, but told him your life story or deepest, darkest secrets? So the next day you feel like you slept with him, even though “nothing happened”? Have you ever had a “situation” with a guy where you start meticulously planning your future together in your mind, then one day, he’s gone and you feel “stupidly” broken? If any of these situations sound familiar, it could indicate a lack of emotional boundaries. Boundaries around emotional intimacy are something many of us don’t think about, but they’re key to developing a healthy dating life.
Some of us can be the romantic type, who feel a deep connection with someone and then proceed to devote our lives to them in our minds. We think that because he has the same coffee order as us, or liked our photo on Instagram, or maybe there’s a sign that means we were meant to be together, we can marry them in our minds. First, doing so is not necessarily respecting the dignity and free will of man. Second, you could be putting yourself in an unnecessarily vulnerable position to get hurt. We’re not saying we can’t get excited about dating or dream about the future, but we should keep our emotional boundaries in place so it doesn’t cause unnecessary hurt.
Don’t put your crush on a pedestal
We’ve all done it! It’s natural when you like a guy to think he’s the best thing since sliced bread. But unfortunately, if you’re not in a relationship with the guy, you haven’t seen the whole picture. Sometimes we can fill in the gaps of knowledge with what we want to see, not what is actually there. This can lead us to place our hope in a false image of someone, which usually leads to disappointment. Also, it can be hard on the guy if we have expectations of him that he can’t meet.
Tell it like it is
Speaker, author and YouTuber Emily Wilson, in her video “What the hell is emotional chastity?”, says “the language we use is so important to protect our hearts in relationships.” If the guy you like is a friend and you haven’t gone on a date with him, call him a friend. If you’re texting a guy and haven’t established whether you like him or not, he’s still just a guy you’re texting.
It’s easy to get carried away with our crushes, talk about them to our friends, and let our imaginations run wild. A bit of this can be fun, but it can also lead to false hope and disappointment if nothing happens. It might be a good idea to choose just one or three friends whose judgment you trust to share your feelings about your love. If you are an open person, it can be tempting to proclaim your new feelings to many people. However, this can lead to a clouded sense of judgment when there are many people giving you advice, and it can also blur the reality of the situation between you and your crush.
Furthermore, we should respect man’s free will and dignity by understanding that he has a role to play in reciprocating love. How would it feel to call him your boyfriend or future husband if you’re not dating yet?
Limit time spent on dating apps
Dating apps are a great new invention that has helped so many people in this age of technology find love. They can be fun and you can meet people you might not have met otherwise. However, used incorrectly, they can become addictive and tools for self-validation. If this becomes the case, you’ll be in danger of letting your emotional well-being be dictated by whether a man swipes right on you. This can lead to an unhealthy habit of having your emotions determined by what others think of you.
That’s why it’s a good idea to set time limits on your dating apps and choose your dating app wisely. For example, in the free version of Hinge, you can only send up to 8 likes a day, where, as with the free version of Tinder, you can send up to 25 likes per day.
Try not to over chase!
It’s okay to have a little peek at your crush’s social media to get an idea of what they’re like, but when we start checking regularly to constantly check what they’re up to, it can be harmful to our feelings. welfare We can become obsessive about what he does, who he hangs out with, etc. When this happens, our minds are consumed by it, which can make us very unhappy, especially if we don’t know if they reciprocate the feeling. Also, you might like to imagine a role reversal and see how you’d feel if a guy did the same to you… you might feel a little creeped out!
Call the situation
You’ve been texting a guy for a while. Flirt with each other, call, hang out, maybe even have a cheeky kiss. But you don’t know what you are. You’ve found yourself in a situation where there hasn’t been an explicit conversation about commitment. Girl, you gotta shout it! I’m afraid you need to have the “What are we?” conversation This may feel distressing, but it is very important for your emotional well-being.
We give you permission to say to the guy, “So I like him and I think he likes me. We’ve been dating for a while, and I want to be intentional about where I put my time and energy, and safeguard yours. Then I was asking where you see us going and how would you call that? This will likely lead to one of three outcomes:
He might say something like, “Well, I like to date and I’m not ready for a relationship right now.” Your time is precious and so is your heart. I’m afraid this guy can’t have his cake and eat it too, and you’re allowed to want more than just hanging out. It’s time to end the situation and use your time and energy elsewhere.
He could say something like “I see you as a very good friend.” Once again, it’s time to put an end to this situation and protect your heart. Even if you’re really good friends, it won’t end well if you see him as more than that. When you’re both on different pages, it can only lead to heartbreak and confusion. It’s also okay to stop talking to him so much or hang out; it’s actually key to maintaining your healthy emotional well-being.
He could say, “I really like you and would love to officially date you!” This is obviously the ideal outcome and removes any confusion you feel so that you are both on the same page moving forward.
It can take a lot of courage and self-control to set emotional boundaries in dating. We understand that it is very easy to let love take its course and see where you end up. But we suggest the opposite. In his book Limits on appointments, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend say that “many of the struggles people experience in dating…are, at bottom, caused by some issues in the area of freedom and responsibility.” We are actually responsible for our emotional well-being in dating. And you should also come from a place of freedom. We want you to be empowered, free and emotionally healthy. Not confused, heartbroken or outraged. If you put these five ways into practice, we can guarantee a much happier dating life!
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