Relax, you guys are doing great.
So you're in a new relationship.
Congratulations! Please enjoy this medal. No wait, I take it back. We are out of medals. Here, enjoy this celebratory pie instead.
You and your partner have found something truly special. You can tell this relationship is going to last a long while, and you couldn't be more excited.
Except it feels like in a few small silly ways your partner is holding back from jumping into the relationship they way you have.
Don't worry, these niggling fears and insecurities are totally normal, and their behavior actually proves that they are just as serious about the relationship you two are building as you are.
Yes! TOTALLY normal! And maybe even a good sign.
Here are a few of these behaviors that you simply do not need to worry about:
1. Watching what they eat
I'm not talking dieting, I'm talking about them ordering a salad at a spaghetti place because they're terrified you're going to get sauce all over their person. When we first start dating someone we live in fear of looking foolish around them.
Your new significant other is so worried about what you think in the early stages that they are willing to sacrifice delicious, delicious spaghetti just to prove to you that they aren't a total garbage monster person. This worry will fade with time once they learn to feel more comfortable and trusting around you, let them work their way through it.
2. Locking the bathroom door
You guys have been together for a few months but you still hear the click of the bathroom lock every time they can to use the toilet, even if it's just number one or to brush their teeth. Don't worry, they don't think you're some pervy bathroom-bustin' jerk, they're still adjusting to being with someone new.
Some of us have no problem with our bodily functions, but others, even people we've had sex with, can be shy and embarrassed about what goes down in the bathroom. Some people just like their "me" time, even if that time is spent on the crapper. Don't pressure your partner about this, it's something that will either change with time, or something you'll realize is all about them and has nothing to do with you at all.
3. Refusing to dance
If your partner refuses to dance with you it isn't because they are embarrassed to be seen with YOU, it's because they are terrified at the prospect that an entire room full of people will be inflicted with his white boy lip bite and awkward shuffle.
Again, it's the idea that they'll look foolish in front of you that has them holding back, not their feelings about you. When they learn just how much dancing matters to you, they'll be more than willing awkwardly prance around on the dance floor until you release them from their cruel fate.
4. Not letting you see them naked
It can feel contradictory that a partner who couldn't be more eager to whip off their clothes and get down to it in the bedroom could be shy about their naked body during the waking hours. It makes sense, being naked is when we are at our most vulnerable in every sense of the word.
Your partner might be willing to make an exception when their biochemicals scream that it's time for a sweaty sexy bedroom romp, but when it comes to actually feeling comfortable being vulnerable around you, its only natural that it could take some people a little bit more time than others.
5. Keeping their talents hidden
I have been dating my boyfriend for four months. We're very much in love. It's serious and will probably be a long-term deal. That said, I am classically trained soprano with a background in opera and he has never heard me sing.
I'm not doing this out of shyness, the opportunity to demonstrate this talent just hasn't presented itself. If your partner stuns you months in with a hidden talent, don't feel annoyed like they were keeping it a secret from you, be pleased that you've been together long enough for this adorable surprise to present itself.
6. Getting shy around your friends
The only time you need to worry about your partner being shy and quiet around your friends is if it happens after they have all met at least three times. Some people are naturally gregarious, like maybe your ex met your friends and was instantly the life of the party. Not all people are the same, and it could be that your partner is nervous and shy because they want to make it clear they're good enough for this group's close friend.
It's intimidating coming into social scenes that already have their own particular histories after years of knowing each other. It's only normal that your partner takes a back seat in the first few hangs to get a sense of the dynamic.
7. Being careful to always look perfect
In my last relationship I made a concerted effort to always have on makeup around my boyfriend. I would even do that thing where you creep out of bed super early to like, apply a nice light blush and mascara, perhaps a silky clear lip gloss.
Your partner isn't doing this because they don't trust you to appreciate them without their best foot forward, they're doing it because they are deeply smitten! They aren't insecure, they just want their outsides to reflect the way you make them feel inside. Trust me, there will come a time when you both laugh at this kind of behavior.