Beginning A New Relationship
Gosh, it doesn’t get more unstable than this. You feel sick, you can’t eat, you don’t know what you are thinking and feeling, but you are thinking excessively. You feel happy, you feel sad, you feel unsettled, you worry, you are ecstatic. You want to panic and wish you had said no. What’s happening to you? You are in your first four weeks of dating someone.
The first thing that can happen with a date is that you feel trepidation before the event. You may have had lots of dates and expect little but are pleasantly surprised. You may have been building up to the date and its gone really well and you are surprised, pleasantly. You may actually feel unhappy and irritated that a first date went well because now you have to give some thought to the situation. Initially then you need to decide if you are going to take it further or whether last night’s promises and optimism has changed in the cold light of day. For almost everyone, however good or bad you will feel some trepidation, even if you are walking on the moon.
For many, the days after a first date that went really well will make you feel great. You feel desired, attractive and you realize that someone really likes you who you are attracted to. But – until you have secured a second date you will still feel like you have got it all wrong and that you are mistaken. When that second date is finalized you will again feel great and this is a real test because this time you will be analyzing each other more thoroughly and testing each other in verbal interplay and emotional content in your conversation. Your reliability and your wit will be tested as well as many other extremely subtle facets of your character. At this stage you most certainly should not have had sex!
After the second date is where panic can set in. If you really like this person you will panic and worry that you can lose them before anything has even got going. On the other hand you may like them and panic that it could all be too much too soon and wish to run without finding out. So this is where disaster can begin to intervene on a perfect future. You can quickly come across as overbearing and possessive, even though you haven’t got into a relationship yet. So stop calling and stop pondering and ensure you carry on as best u can with a routine. In other words, back off and be cool. Take your time and stop panicking. If you are going to go out, then you will but don’t rush it.
If, on the other hand, you are simply not sure about looming intimacy then again take your time and be cool. The pleasure in the first few weeks of dating is in its turmoil and its passion but also in savoring every moment. In a long term relationship these are days hard to repeat so take in the atmosphere of knowing someone new and enjoy the encounters as they happen. A new relationship doesn’t have to lead to marriage and commitment so stop thinking too much and simply enjoy your dates as they happen.
There will be many dilemmas in the first few weeks such as your first kiss, where you should go on dates, whether you should phone, what happens if they didn’t call when expected, concern things are over already. The you will move on to whether you should invite them in for coffee, what happens if you want to go to bed with them or what happens as your emotions increase. Once again it is about trying to keep the basics in perspective. Your entire day-to-day life can be affected by beginning to like someone and fall in love so the only thing that gives you any structure is your regular daily pattern. Because of this it is crucial to keep as many things regular as possible. Try and sustain your daily regime, including clubs, hobbies and trips to the gym. However one of the beautiful aspects of this initial period is the breaking of that regime to find small intense emotional moments with your new friend.
People often ask me when a date becomes a relationship and I have answered that more fully in a different article but to my own mind the first 4 weeks are crucial in creating a basic foundation on which you can both develop into a relationships. You will have progressed from first date to hopefully the nth time. If you live close by you may have stopped counting by now. I can understand that circumstances may prevent regular dating for some, but I do think that if you are wanting a serious relationship to develop, proximity is helpful. In 4 weeks of dating you should have been dating plenty of times and be getting to know the beginnings of each other.
Where dating is very very slow then there is a danger it will never actually fire the main engines for lift off so I actively encourage people to make the most of the dating opportunities presented. You see, when you really like someone, you want to be with them, you want to spend all your time with them to get to know them and understand them and learn to fall in love with them. For this to happen you have to meet very regularly to build up that level of intimacy otherwise you may be wasting your time.
The first 4 weeks are critical as they are the testing time. If you get through this initial period you have a chance of building into a relationship. In my view it is too soon for sex if you are serious but too long for just a couple of meetings. It is the perfect time frame to know whether you are fairly compatible above and beyond the initial physical attraction. A month of dating is a month of happy events and phone calls and memories. If in that period things aren’t working out, then you can walk away with no harm done.
You may feel sick and you may feel unsteady, but when we all look back and try and describe what being in love is like, most of us tend to remember the first four weeks when we met and use those feelings to describe how beautifully unsettling everything truly is.