If You Give Yourself Away In Relationships Too Quickly You Need To Start Doing This

Photo credit: Annette Sousa (Unsplash)

I’m guilty of it. Jumping the gun and having expectations far too quickly of someone.

It’s only natural to get excited and become hopeful when we meet someone we vibe with. Yes, maybe the market of available people has widened and become more accessible due to dating apps, but finding someone we actually click with is a whole other story.

I acknowledge I’m picky AF. I’ve been hurt or disappointed so many times that every flag I see I can easily make into a red one. When it’s not actually red but maybe just a piece of cotton waving in the breeze. So if I actually connect with someone on a deep level, I can sometimes jump the gun and give my heart away far too quickly.

I’ve had to learn the hard way that my natural inclination toward being loving, trusting, and overly giving with my heart before I really know what someone’s intentions are, is a recipe for disaster. One that usually ends with me swearing off dating for another 10 years.

Of course we want to believe someone’s intentions are in alignment with ours when we first start out. But the truth is, we’re complicated creatures. Even when we say we know what we want, we often don’t.

And in this swipe right on Friday night, swipe right again Saturday night culture where endless options are available to us, exercising a little caution before getting too excited about someone needs to become the norm.

PRACTICING DISCERNMENT IN RELATIONSHIPS

After a particularly heartbreaking relationship a few years ago (one where I consciously worked hard to not get emotionally invested but failed miserably) I chose to take a hiatus from dating or having sex.

Friends scoffed in horror that I would deprive myself so long from carnal pleasures. “You haven’t had sex in over a year? Why would you do that to yourself?” one friend asked.

“I’ve never been happier,” I responded gleefully. “No drama in my life!”

And it was true. There were no unproductive days at work because I was constantly checking my phone for someone’s text message. No hour-long conversations with friends dissecting the behavior of some guy who failed to call me in the expected lot of time after I had slept with him. No keeping my free nights open until the last minute on the off chance said guy would want to see me.

It was honestly the most peace I’d felt in a long time. I was doing me and that felt f*cking great.

I think sometimes we can give our hearts away far too easily. In our quest to find that perfect love or fulfill the unrealistic fantasy we have in our heads of what the ideal relationship is, we can jump into things far too quickly without giving the relationship time to breathe and organically find it’s own way.

I’ve seen many men and women not taking the time to really get to know someone or ignoring the obvious things that won’t work in the relationship simply because they want intimacy and connection so badly.

Then we find ourselves falling in love with the idea of someone or projecting our relationship fantasies onto them instead of seeing who they actually are. We tolerate behaviors that don’t even remotely work for us because we’re too scared to be alone.

But you know what? Being alone is sometimes a whole lot better than being with someone who can’t meet us where we are. It hurts a whole lot less to be honest about what we want than to settle for something we don’t.

I love myself far more than I love the idea of being with another person.

I have become a master at discernment. If I go out on a date with someone, it’s because I’ve taken the time to get to know them as a friend first. I’m honest about what I’m not looking for and what I’m not. I make sure I allow ample time to get a sense of their character and willingness to show up for me before I get emotionally attached or become invested in the relationship.

Discernment is so important.

It’s about trusting your gut. It’s having the ability to judge wisely using your intuition about whether someone is worthy of your time and energy.

Sure, you can be vulnerable. But be vulnerable while practicing discernment. Ask yourself first, “Do I really know this person well enough yet to invest my heart? Can I have an honest conversation with them without fear that they’ll run away? Have they told me what they’re looking for and is it what I actually want?”

If the answer is no, don’t give your heart away.

Give it more time. Reign in your expectations and wait till you’re on the same page. And if you find after giving it the appropriate amount of time that you’re not, don’t be scared to walk away and open yourself up to finding someone who is.

Your heart is precious and sacred. Treat it like you would a small child and only let it out to play with someone you’re sure you can trust to treat it with kindness and respect.

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