SHARE When it comes to courting and dating , popular longstanding advice suggests that until the fish is on the hook, it is beneficial to adhere to certain "rules. In my experience treating couples and individuals, many hope that if they "play the game" correctly, their prince or princess will be the prize. But because playing a game necessarily translates into masking your authentic self, these rules cannot deliver the kind of genuine partnership on which true love is built. Instead, following bogus rules when it comes to dating invariably leads to one of two ill-fated consequences: Here are 6 rules to reconsider: No arbitrary amount of time correlates with what truly helps to build enjoyable sexual experiences for men and women.
In order for sex to be enjoyable and safe, most people need to feel a modicum of trust and emotional intimacy. For some, this happens in a short period of time; for others, it takes much longer to develop. Judge each date or new partner as a unique individual. Instead of sticking to a rigid rule with that person, reflect, pause, and notice how you feel while in his or her presence: Is he interested in knowing you on more than one level?
Does she ask questions about you and listen to your responses? Can you talk openly about what it would be like to have a sexual relationship, or does this cause tremendous anxiety and awkwardness? See where things go instead of operating under a three-date deadline.
And wait at least three days after an interaction to initiate contact, etc. This is about self-protection and not exposing yourself to possible rejection. The problem is that partnership and love are built on a foundation of being capable of emotional vulnerability. If you want to call or text after a nice date or meeting with someone new, but you continually stop yourself because it's "too soon," you're not opening a path for spontaneous intimacy.
Boundaries are important, particularly when meeting people of the first time, but if you suppress every urge to reveal your feelings to dates or partners, you'll never learn their capacity for emotional intimacy. If they do meet your genuine expression with rejection, work hard to not take it personally. This can be hard, particularly for some of us, but recognize the primary, inherent value in being yourself. That trumps any gamesmanship and allows you to know where you stand in your relationships.
On the other hand, if you are coming out of a marriage or a long-term relationship, it is almost impossible to not mention this and to also be your true self. It is okay to say what is really going on in your life—just make sure to own your experience of the demise of the relationship, as opposed to endlessly criticizing or name-calling your ex.
In our culture, girls and women are often conditioned to be a bit ditzy, as they learn that this attracts male flirtation. And boys and men still see models in popular media of the ditzy blond as a sex object. All of this tends to dumb down both sexes.
In order for him to want to spend more time with her, she feels she has to act in an easy, breezy manner. If you have to dumb down your personality for companionship, how will you find a true companion for the real you? This adage also discounts how much men do value real women who can be fully and deeply engaged in their lives.
In reality, men report that over the long term they want their partners to have their own opinions, lives and serious thoughts. Some women may find the mysterious male intoxicating, and hope to win him over so he will come to feel so enamored of her that he reveals his true self.
Sadly, this result rarely occurs as the man for his own reasons is uncomfortable being fully open to and known by his romantic interests. All the mystery is superficiality that breeds despair, and the relationship stays stuck in first gear.
Have boundaries while being real. It is important to have boundaries and to not reveal more or do more than you are completely comfortable with. With that in mind, opening up and getting to know someone does take a certain amount of patience.
Assess each new partner as an individual, and stay keenly connected with how you experience yourself while in his or her presence. You need someone with whom you can reveal your authentic self, not just a piece of you—and you are the only one who can bring that full you to the table.