If spring has sprung you’re caught in the current of an extended new fling, if your passions have been stirred, emotions are in turmoil, and self-confidence has run amok, this is something you might want to read. I should know: after nearly four years of raising the proud flag of singlehood, I am trepidatiously tip-toeing into the tulips of unfamiliar romantic terrain.
Nothing wreaks havoc on your self-confidence and stirs up insecurities like a new relationship.
Try as I might to ease into an exhilarating affair with yogic detachment, this is far easier said than done. In fact, it’s damn near impossible, and I’m not even sure that’s desirable! I have been known to quote tried-and-true affirmations like, “The only constant is change,” “This too shall pass,” and “If it seems to good to be true, it probably is”; I’ve warned dreamy-eyed friends that “Expectations are a setup for disappointment” and “Soulmates are the sole propriety of Hollywood” –but here I am, smack in the middle of a new love infatuation. So what if it’s an illusion. I’m diving in head first.
Here are four tips for maintaining your sanity (and your pride) while testing the waters of new love.
1. Don’t Request Weekly Updates
It can be tempting to check in with your crush every week (heck, even daily) to make sure they’re still crazy about you. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m guilty of this. At least, I was at first. I’ve since learned that, even when you get the answer you want (“yes, baby, I’m still nuts about you!), the effect is a split-second buzz followed by more questioning. Trust in the process and enjoy the ride.
2. Stay True to You
It can be tempting to drop everything you love (friends and family included) to bask in the sun of a new romance. It’s to be expected and enjoyed to its maximum potential—for a time. But eventually go back to the things that you love, your passions and hobbies and everything that defines who you are. Don’t allow a new romance to become your only source of happiness. Disconnect electronically and invest in yourself. Remember, it’s good to miss someone! You’re less likely to take them for granted and more likely to generate a “reuniting” rush when you meet again.
3. All Aboard the Love Boat
According to a New York University study of newlyweds, the honeymoon phase wears off after about 30 months. Other studies say you’ll enjoy the “do-no-wrong, drunk-with-pheromones phase” for six months to a year. Although I’m convinced I’m a member of the former (as every new crush is), the latter seems more realistic. Does this mean that it’s all gray skies and gloomy routine from there on in? No, but some creativity might be required. We’ll tackle that later.
4. Forget Status
Being christened with the title of “girlfriend,” “fiancé,” or even “wife,” will not deliver the self-confidence or assurance that an insecure person is seeking. That is 100 percent an inside job.
5. Remember That You’re a Damn Good Catch!
When I first started telling people I had a new boyfriend, they all congratulated me, as though I had won the lottery, as though my dazzling personality, charming good looks, contagious humour, and riveting charisma weren’t prizes in themselves. They are. And you are. Don’t forget it.