Dating can exciting, fun, and quite a journey. It can also be pretty tricky. What do you do? How do you find the “right” person? What kind of person do you date? How much do you share? And what is a “date” anyways? To add to all of the questions, there are usually a lot of people around who have their own ideas that may or may not be helpful.
When it comes to dating and relationships, why not look to some of of the experts? Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend have written books and books and books on dating, relationships, and healthy boundaries. In their book, “Boundaries in Dating: Making Dating Work,” they share a ton of tips. Here’s just a few to get you started:
- Choose to date someone who takes responsibility for his/her own life and choices instead of blaming others.
- Honesty is HUGE in dating. When there’s deception, watch out!
- Take a look at your own dating history. Before you assume that the “other person” is always the problem, get support from trustworthy people (not just those who will tell you what you want to hear) to honestly look at the part that you have played in compromising relationships. Get help to work through those issues.
- While there is no “perfect” relationship, there are some things that are just normal differences between people, and there are other patterns of behavior that are truly destructive. Is the other person just different than you (introvert vs. extrovert, likes different music/movies/tv) or do they consistent do things that are destructive (dominate, refuse to be open to your ideas, deceive, refuse to take responsibility, play mind games, overstep your boundaries, criticize or blame)?
- Remain connected with a good support system (or develop one if you do not have one already). If you get into a dating relationship that isolates you from family or friends, that can be dangerous. Choose to be honest with trustworthy family and friends about what your dating relationship is like.
This is just a start. If you find yourself in a relationship that is not characterized by honesty, responsibility, trust, and freedom to be you, get help. Contact our counselors who are available Monday-Thursday 10:00am-5:00pm to help as you go along your dating journey.