10 things you should know before you start dating

As you start to gain interest in dating, it is important to know what you're getting yourself into before you commit to anyone other than yourself.  Before you patch your heart on your sleeve and launch yourself into the world of dating, here are 10 invaluable things to remember.

1. Be yourself
This is the golden rule in the dating world. Being yourself in a relationship is key to establishing a happy and healthy connection with another person.  If you hide who you truly are to the other person you are committed to, you're creating a string of lies that'll constantly be have to be maintained throughout your relationship. As my dad put it: "If you always tell the truth, you'll never have to remember what you said." 

2. Trust your instincts
You know yourself and your emotions better than anyone else. If you have that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach and feel like something isn't right, something probably isn't right. At the end of the day, you are entering the dating world to better yourself and add happiness to you life, and if something doesn't do those two things, then tell 'em boy bye.

3. Be honest
Honesty is the key to every relationship, and this goes back to our first point. Don't fake how you're feeling or say something just to please your partner. It is important to speak your mind so you both can understand what needs to be done in order to maintain a stable, happy and healthy relationship for the both of you.

4. Getting your heart broken is OK
No one wants to get their heart broken, but it is bound to happen. Getting your heart broken is all a part of the learning experience that stems from dating.  It is a way to learn from any past mistakes and use the experience to better yourself in your next relationship.  When it does happen, it'll feel like the world is ending, but after some time, you'll understand that it's not the end of the world, and eventually you will end up committing to someone who suits you better.

5. Breaking someone else's heart is OK
If you aren't the one getting broken up with, then you're probably the one doing the breaking up, and that's fine, too.  You should never feel like you have to stay in a relationship just because don't want to hurt the other person's feelings. No one likes to be the bad guy in a situation, but it'll be easier to rip the Band-Aid off once rather than trying to fake happy in a relationship you don't want to be in.

6. It's all about balance
No relationship should be one sided, and if you end up in a situation where you're always having to reach out first, make the plans, etc. and it's not reciprocated, you should reevaluate your situation.

7. Go at your own pace 
It can be easy to get caught up and influenced by what others are doing, but it's important to stay true to yourself.  Listen to your head and your heart, and if you don't feel ready for a step in your relationship, don't pressure yourself to do anything you are not 100 percent comfortable with.

8. Listen to your friends and family 
As annoying as it may be to receive input from your friends and family on your own relationship, know that they are coming from a place of love. Sometimes, being in a relationship can blind you from the reality of the situation you're in. It's good to have a reality check from your loved ones, especially if they are voicing a concern.

9. Make your own decisions
At the end of the day, your commitment to someone is your choice. Listening to your heart and your head is more important than listening to the opinions of your loved ones. Entering the dating world means you have to be able to make your own decisions to better yourself.

10. Have fun! 
Dating, at its core, should be nothing but fun and happiness. You will more than likely undergo a few arguments with your significant other, and that's normal. But if you're constantly arguing about the same things week after week, something about your relationship needs to change. At the end of the day, relax, enjoy the time you share with the person you like and have fun!

What else should GL readers know before they start dating? Sound off below!


by Kara Brown | 8/18/2018
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