Normal Social Etiquettes
Boundaries in dating are subjective. If you want to feel the most comfortable and content in your dating life, understanding what your personal boundaries are and knowing how to vocalize them will help you achieve that. By creating healthy boundaries in your dating life, you are setting the example of what you will and will not accept if someone wishes to date you. Social etiquette helps set the minimum standard of what’s acceptable in social settings for most people.
The following are normal social etiquettes that could be transferred into your dating life: Don’t stand within a couple feet of someone’s personal space, talk with a steady, non-confrontational tone in your voice, smile, keep your eye contact when someone is speaking to you, don’t stand with your arms crossed in front of you, don’t slouch, say please and thank you, excuse yourself when you need to take a phone call, don’t have your phone on the table when you’re out to eat, don’t check your phone constantly and dress for the occasion.
Men Have the Advantage
Sometimes it’s just a gut feeling that the person you’re out with isn’t someone you want to spend any more time with. Psychologists have stated repeatedly that you shouldn’t ignore your gut feelings. Your intuition is almost always right. I truly agree with this in every other scenario except when meeting a date from Seeking. For now, just acknowledge that thought if you feel it. Every date you go on is an opportunity for you be on the path to the romantic life you always dreamed of. On Seeking, there are 2 million men on the site and 8 million women. This means that men have the overall advantage of choosing which person they want to date and women have the disadvantage. The reality is that women, though strong, beautiful, and independent, must be more flexible in choosing a date from Seeking.
What someone else may find acceptable behavior in their dating life, may make you feel uncomfortable. Now it’s time to figure out what behaviors cross the line for you. If you’ve ever gone out on a date with someone and they rubbed you the wrong way, more-than-likely they broke an invisible boundary with you. It could be a conscious thought, or maybe not, but the date was over in your mind just as fast as it started. Slow down. By immediately writing someone off, you are closing yourself off to a potentially amazing relationship due to simple, fixable mistakes. Though we would love for our dates to be able to read our minds, try giving them the benefit of the doubt that they just weren’t aware that something they did or said, made you feel uncomfortable. Vocalize your feelings. This will allow for the opportunity of your communication and relationship to strengthen.
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
Honest communication is always going to be your best solution when setting boundaries. It’s not until you vocalize what your boundary is that you can know if you’re dating the right person, or you should move on. The key is to be specific, non-confrontational, and bring up what boundary was crossed when it happens, or very soon after. If you put off discussing what you didn’t find appropriate, resentment can build and therefore more negative feelings can build.
Whether you decide to talk about it when it happens, or soon after it happens, the way you start the conversation will determine the end result. Keep the conversation about you and off of the other person. Say something like, “ I felt uncomfortable when you grabbed my butt at Starbucks without asking me today.” I statements are a way for someone to take responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings without transferring them onto someone else. They are a way to express what you desire about your feelings, beliefs, and values while coming across as less nagging and argumentative. This is how to start a discussion without it turning into an argument.
You can turn any thought or feeling into an I-statement. Instead of saying “ You hurt my feelings,” say, “ I felt hurt when…” This takes practice, but once you get into the habit of phrasing your statements this way, you will find it easy to ask for whatever you want … and get it. If you’re in front of someone while using I-statements and setting boundaries for yourself, keep in mind that body language should also be accounted for. You can say very powerful words without speaking at all. Creating healthy boundaries will allow you to be more in control of your dating life. If you’re going to date from Seeking, you may as well create the best relationship you can!