Dating and relationships can be wonderful — meeting new people, the exciting first kindling of romance, establishing a deeper connection with someone who knows you intimately. But it can also go wrong. And when it does, the damage to our self-esteem can cause intense emotional suffering, the type of pain that hurts in ways you didn’t imagine before getting involved with someone. To avoid some of that hurt, try these quick mental health tips.
Try Not to Be Jealous
If your significant other goes out and you know they’re with attractive people, it can make you start comparing yourself to others who your partner interacts with. This is an unhealthy mindset to fall into because it can exacerbate insecurities. Try your best to stop comparing yourself.
Manage the Anxiety of Your Partner Cheating
If you are afraid of your partner cheating, try to stop being afraid before you are given a reason to be afraid. Rather than panicking, use the anxiety as an opportunity to explore the reasons why you feel anxious.
What is it about the idea of your partner cheating that distresses you? Is it fear of loss, fear they will leave you for someone else who they are more attracted to and love more? Is it fear that you are only an “in-the-meantime” relationship, not a long-term proposition? It is fear that you will simply feel disgusted by the act and unable to be with him or her in the same way you once were?
Examining what you’re afraid of can be helpful when it comes to examining your anxiety. You cannot address an issue you are unable to clearly identify. Consider working with a licensed therapist to explore these and similar issues.
Try to Apply Logic To Love
We can’t help who we like, but we can help who we choose to date. Before entering into a new relationship or deciding to continue a current one, think about whether your lives make sense together (this article has more on how to do that). Think about whether you “fit” as people.
Be Prepared for Rejection
If you are going to take rejection personally and assume it means something bad about you, the entire concept of dating will be difficult. Rejection is simply part of dating. People can’t help who they are interested in, nor who they aren’t. Try not to take rejection as a judgment of you, but simply as a reflection of another person’s preferences.
Don’t Have Excessive Expectations
Don’t start planning the future too soon, especially in the dating phase. Expectations can set you up for disappointment — and they’re also restrictive. Unreasonable expectations can put too much pressure on a relationship early on. It’s important to be present in each stage of the relationship.
Have Fun, But Don’t Be Afraid to Be Vulnerable
Find a balance between being in the state of mind where you want to have fun and being vulnerable. Falling in love is risky, beautiful, and like nothing else in the world. If you find someone you click with, let yourself have feelings, knowing you might end up hurt. Sometimes you actually learn a lot about yourself and other when relationships don’t work out.
Dating can be a truly enlivening experience — introducing you to new ideas and types of people. Finding a balance that opens you up to the benefits and joys of dating and relationships, without sacrificing your mental health, is the key to happy romantic connections.
Erin is a passionate creative writer, thinker, psychology lover and editor for Vixendaily.com.