People sometimes behave in ways which can get in the way of establishing a long-term relationship. Developing a satisfying relationship takes time, effort and patience. Listed below are some suggestions that may help in the dating process.
People in a dating situation sometimes close off their options too soon. They find someone they "sort of like," and stop looking. The message here is – even if you find someone you like, that doesn’t mean you should stop looking or dating other people. Keep your options open!
Don’t expect too much of someone too soon. You may have been dating only a short time, yet in your mind you have built up the idea that this is the "person of your dreams." Your expectations might be more than the person can offer or is willing to fulfill. Don’t make assumptions based on your hopes for the relationship.
You may be the only one sending cards, cooking meals, buying flowers or rearranging your schedule to be with the person. Don’t continue to give when the other person doesn’t give in return. Giving when you are getting nothing back causes pressure and resentment. Do you really want a one-sided relationship?
Don’t be too open in the beginning. Revealing your innermost feelings, dreams, fears, and desires without the other person sharing her/his emotions makes you very vulnerable. If your partner isn’t willing to talk about feelings, chances are he/she is not ready for a relationship.
Don’t become sexually involved too quickly. Just because you are physically attracted to someone doesn’t mean you have to have sex. Few meaningful long-term relationships begin with early sexual involvement. Remember you have the freedom to make your own choice.
Don’t mesh your identity with your partner’s. Be your own person. Having your own interests, hobbies and friends is what makes you unique, and it makes you more interesting to the other person.
If you feel you’re ready for a long-term relationship with a special person, ask for a commitment. If your partner doesn’t want a committed relationship with you, tell your partner you are going to date other people. THEN DO IT. Actions speak louder than words. Your partner may rethink the situation. If not, you then have the option to begin making other plans, which may or may not include that person.
Information found on this flyer was obtained from Rice University Counseling Center.
Last Modified: February 5, 2004