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being true to yourself in the early dating stages

October 1, 2022

The early dating stages can be described in many different ways: exciting, nerve wracking, fun, stressful, joyful, etc. One thing is for certain, and that is that these early dating stages can feel very uncertain. This is especially true when it comes to how much we should reveal about ourselves, how we should set our boundaries and address our relationship needs, and how to know if what we’re asking for is “too much.”

Will They Like Me if I Act Like Me?

It seems like a silly question to ask, but it is a thought that has gone through everyone’s mind at some point in the dating game. The problem is, when we overthink who we are and how we should be acting, we portray ourselves as inauthentic and unsure of who we really are. Not only that, but when we overthink, we get stuck inside our thoughts, and we stop being fully present in the moment. By not being fully present, we may fail to recognize that we may not even have a connection with the person we are dating, because we are so focused on ourselves and how we are coming across to them. Save your energy and worries, and instead, focus on what they are saying and how they are behaving. Is this a person who is worth your time? Is this a person who matches your energy? Is this a person who is going to appreciate who you truly are?

While you may not want to reveal all of your deepest darkest secrets, your biggest pet peeves, and your “fatal” flaws in the early dating stages, it is important to be confident in yourself and to say what comes naturally in the conversation (which is very hard to do if you are overthinking and not fully present). You are who you are, and you are someone’s perfect match. The question is not, “Will they like me if I act like me?” The question is, “Are we compatible?” By focusing on this question instead, you are eliminating any blame and responsibility you may feel after a failed date or two. You are not the problem; the connection is the problem, and that is okay! A failed dating experience just means you are that much closer to meeting the person who is right for you, and most importantly, appreciates you for everything you are. 

Setting Boundaries and Addressing Relationship Needs

When dating someone new, it can feel awkward, uncomfortable, and maybe even unnecessary to set boundaries and discuss expectations. However, having these discussions early on can set your relationship up for success and form a healthy habit of open communication. Below are some topics you might want to consider discussing in the early dating stages to avoid major issues with boundaries and relationship needs later on:

  • Communication styles – How often do you both expect to communicate each day? Do you each prefer phone calls or texts?
  • Personal space – How much time do you both need to yourself? What are your expectations of privacy for one another? Are you more extroverted or introverted?
  • Respected Interests – Are your interests and hobbies respected by one another? Can you both continue to do the things that you love while maintaining a healthy relationship? Do compromises need to be made? Can shared interests lead to future date ideas?
  • Commitment – What are you both looking for in a relationship? Are you both looking for monogamy or non monogamy? Where do you both see yourself in 5 years?
  • Physical intimacy – This is one of those topics that should be discussed as soon as possible, especially if you are someone who is not comfortable with any physical intimacy in the early dating stages. Set these boundaries early on, and if you realize your boundaries are not being respected in this area, take it as a huge red flag.

Am I Asking For Too Much?

As long as you are respecting yourself and the other person, staying true to who you are, and trusting your instincts, you are absolutely not asking for too much by addressing your relationship needs and setting boundaries early on.


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