Do's and don'ts of learning if it’s love or lust.
Ah, young love! It feels so blissful — those first flutterings of peaced-out, head in the sky, heart bursting love.
You love to be in love. Can anyone blame you? When you're in love, everything looks, smells and feels better. Your usual issues that fill your mind and stress you out suddenly don't feel so bad.
Love is fun, and so easy and tempting to fall into quickly because it makes life easier.
Until it makes life harder, which it almost always does when you fall into love too quickly with the wrong guy. Before you realize it, your heart is broken and you have to eat lots of ice cream just to make it through the day.
Wouldn't it be great if there were a way to not fall into love so quickly? Here are some simple practices you can follow to slow that whole falling process down.
1. Don't confuse lust for love.
When your loins respond in a gushing way to your new guy, it's easy to mistake those passionate urges for the big L: love. Just because you can't stop thinking about him and feel all kinds of quivers when you see him, recognize that raging hormones do not equal love (even though your body will try to convince you otherwise).
2. Don't have sex on the first (or second) date.
I know it can be hard (both figuratively and literally) to not jump his bones when you are feeling the aforementioned lusty feelings. But trust me here, and this is coming from a woman who's had a lot of first date sex, it can be a real love-stopper. Taking the sexual activities slowly will help you feel out what is animal lust and what is a genuine like of a person.
3. Keep up your regular habits and activities.
This is obvious, but quickly forgotten in the throes of a new relationship. Don't stop your normal everyday routines because you're so lost in your feelings of New Guy. Keep up your work schedule, fitness routine, and anything else regularly scheduled. Don't let the flurry of emotions throw you off your game and goals.
4. Don't drop everything for him or see him too frequently.
Branching off of what I just mentioned, don't break dates with your girlfriends or family because he asks you out to dinner at the last minute. You want to send him (and yourself) a message from the start that the other people in your life are important. Seeing him too frequently too soon is also a habit to break or there will be more "love pressure" put on you from him, and you.
5. Keep your options open; don't become exclusive too quickly.
Even if you feel like you never want to kiss another guy ever again, don't start calling him your boyfriend after a week. Taking it slowly means keeping the door open to the possibility that there might be someone else out there who would be better for you. Take your time getting to know him before you make him your everything.
6. Look at him with an "on the look-out" eye.
Be on alert for his negative qualities from the start because they are there; everyone has them (even you). I don't mean to look for reasons to not like him, but just be aware that you're looking at him with rose-colored glasses at first and prepare for it. He may seem perfect in week two of dating, but just know you're not seeing clearly quite yet.
7. Wait to introduce him to your friends and family.
Please don't introduce him to all your friends or take him home for Thanksgiving when you don't even know his last name or how he takes his coffee. Without even realizing it, introducing him to your loved ones puts that old "love pressure" on in a real way. If your peeps like him, you unconsciously want them to be happy by you liking him (maybe more than you actually do).
8. Know your weaknesses and watch for them.
Look back on your previous cases of falling in love too fast and see if you can determine where you went wrong. Do you tend to give him too much time, too fast? Then know to watch for that happening in future relationships, and be on alert for your love weak spots.
9. Breathe and reflect on your feelings.
Remember to stay in touch with yourself by breathing deeply and reflecting on all your newfound puppy-dog feelings. Maybe write in a journal where you can make sense of what is your desire to be in love or actual love feelings for the man in your life. Read over what you have written regularly and see what's there to discover.
10. Put yourself first.
Most importantly, remain true to you. Don't forget about yourself in lieu of obsessing over him and what the relationship might be. Remember what is truly important to you in a love relationship, and be alert to signs that this guy might not be able to fulfill what you truly want in the future.
Trust me, taking it slowly might feel like work, but it's work that pays you overtime and a large bonus: the right relationship with the right guy.