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Starting to date

The beginning is important – what to do when you’re dating someone who’s disappointing you

Starting to date Disappointment  –   © istockphoto

When you’re just starting to date someone new, it’s generally an exciting time. With this excitement, you can often get a bit of nervousness. You may be asking yourself questions like “will this work?” or trying to decide whether or not you’re really interested in this new person. If it’s someone you think you might really like, you may experience some fear, especially if past relationships have ended badly.

Keep your personal boundaries

Such fears may well be misplaced: more to do with your past relationships than your current fledgling one. On the other hand, there are often times when people tend to ignore justified warnings, blaming themselves for being paranoid. That is why it’s so important to keep your personal boundaries in mind at the beginning of a new relationship. Here’s an example: you’ve just started dating a man; he seems keen to see you and when you meet up he’s attentive, affectionate and physical. But when it comes to pinning him down to meet up with, he’s a flake – cancelling dates last minute, not getting in touch for days, even standing you up.

Be respectful and make a good impression

Your times together seem so great, though, that it’s tempting to make excuses for him and expect it to all resolve itself. But here lies the problem. When you’re just starting to date someone, things may move slowly while you decide whether or not you want a relationship with each other, but you should both be wanting to see each other. You should also be respectful of each other’s time and schedule. When you’re serious about someone (or think you might be) you generally tend to want to make a good impression. Standing up and not returning calls is not how you make a good impression.

Therefore it’s important in such a case to know your limits and stand your ground. If someone is being problematic at this early stage, is overstepping their boundaries or treating you as if you do not matter, then it’s better to put your foot down now. Have a simple conversation without giving in to anger. Explain what your problem is, say you would like to stay together but won’t be able to under these circumstances and ask the other person what they want to do about it. This can go either way.

In some cases, setting down the law can make the other person start behaving and the relationship will continue. In others, the relationship will end there and then. Either way, it’s best to do this early when you’re less emotionally invested in the relationship. The longer you stay with the person, the harder it is to leave them when you realise their bad behaviour is here to stay. And if the problem is a matter of a simple misunderstanding, your relationship can carry on happily without you feeling hard done by.

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