New relationships are exciting. We all know that familiar feeling of finally meeting someone great. You feel alive with possibility, with the knowledge that someone awesome likes you and wants to get to know you. In fact, there’s a phrase to describe this exact feeling (“new relationship energy,” as coined by psychologists) because it’s just that powerful.
Alongside the butterflies and excitement, new relationships may also bring forth feelings of insecurity. Feelings of anxiety. It makes sense – when we meet someone that we really like, we naturally want them to like us back. We’re on our best behaviour. And sometimes we fall into the trap of letting this need for control guide our actions. We’re afraid to let our guard down, to be real, to allow this person to see a flaw in our personality, or even our appearance. We show up as what we believe to be a heightened version of ourselves, because we want this new relationship to work out so badly.
We do this because we’re afraid. We’re afraid that this person may see something in us, and change their mind. That we’ll fail to measure up to the person they want or expect us to be. That they’ll suddenly “wake up” and bail. And then we’re trapped in this cycle of anxiety and continue to operate from a place of inauthenticity. We play games, we resort to cheap “dating tactics,” and we try to mould ourselves to fit what we believe to be their ideal vision of a woman or man.
All because we are consumed with the fear of not being enough.
Please know that when you do this, when you doubt yourself, when you fail to show up as your true self, you are undermining your worth. And from that, you are killing your chance to develop a meaningful connection with someone.
New relationships aren’t meant to be overthought. They’re meant to be enjoyed. They’re meant to be savoured.
Here’s what you need to remember when starting a new relationship:
- Focus on them – focus on getting to know them, on making sure that they’re the right fit for you. Remember that you are choosing them as much as they are choosing you. Notice the red flags, and take note of the things you may not like about this person just as much as you notice the things you do like. Take your power back.
- Stop fearing imperfection – you’re a human being. With a past, with individual issues, with unique likes and dislikes, vulnerabilities and opinions. Guaranteed, so is the person you’re dating. You want to see the real them, so allow them to see the real you. You’re a flawed human being, and that is so much better than being perfect. Perfect is boring.
- Allow new relationships to flow – you need to give a new relationship time and space to grow and breathe. Give up your need for control, and let things flow organically. Don’t tamper with something that could be great.
- Understand that you are enough – if someone likes you, they’re going to call. They’re going to plan dates with you. They’re going to make an effort with you. And if they don’t it’s their loss. It means that you can move on and make space for someone who will want to make that effort with you.
Confidence is sexy. So is integrity. Be you, and the rest will follow.