How To Tell If You Like Him or the Idea of Him – 4 Relationship Experts Reveal Exactly How To Differentiate Between the Two
“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”
~ Mandy Hale
Starting a new relationship can be exciting.
It feels good and is validating so it is very easy to get carried away by the potential of a new relationship. Maybe he is the one and you will finally be able to have your dream wedding. He looks like the perfect guy to settle down with and have a family. He checks all the boxes and seems like a great catch.
Remember to be mindful not to ignore the red flags because you are blinded by the ideal of what you want.
He may be a great catch, but you want to make sure he is interested in you the same way that you are interested in him. It takes time to get to know each other and if you are compatible. Chemistry is important and cannot be forced just because he checks all the boxes. Don’t settle because you think he looks good on paper.
Maybe he is a nice guy and you think that you can grow to love him.
If you are not attracted to him, be honest with yourself. It is not fair to mislead him only to leave him later because you were in love with the idea of being in a relationship and not really in love with him. Don’t be in a hurry because you feel your biological clock is ticking or because you are in a race to avoid being the last of your friends to get married. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole so don’t force a relationship when it is not a good fit.
It is okay to be excited by the prospect of a new relationship.
Just be mindful not to set aside your own needs to pursue him. Don’t change your schedule or drop what you are doing to accommodate him. Be mindful of the tone and pace you set with him when you start dating because that is what he will expect in the relationship moving forward.
Maintain healthy boundaries and pay attention to the things that don’t feel right about him or the relationship. Don’t compromise yourself by violating your own boundaries because you are afraid you will lose him.
Don’t be attached to the outcome
When you start dating, don’t be attached to the outcome. Let the relationship develop naturally and do not rush into moving in with him without getting to know him better. Be careful not to impose your will on him and push him into a relationship when he is not ready.
Be honest about whether you are really ready for a relationship or you think that the relationship will “fix” something that you need to work on yourself. In other words, don’t go in to the relationship with the idea that he will rescue you from your problems.
If you tend to idealize relationships or situations, try and be honest with yourself about this. Ask the friends you can trust to give you feedback on what they observe. How do you describe him and the relationship? What are some of the things that you might be overlooking because you are attached to the idea of a relationship?
Some people are so in love with the idea of being in a relationship that they forget that it takes effort to make it work. He has needs just like you and it is not fair to set his aside for your agenda.
Is this a pattern?
If being disappointed because the relationship does not meet your expectations is a pattern, seek some support from a therapist or counselor. What are your attitudes about dating and relationships? What are your beliefs and expectations regarding relationships?
Talk to a couples or marriage therapist to discuss strategies to reframe how you approach relationships. Discuss what healthy expectations might be when starting a relationship.
Don’t be disappointed if a relationship does not work out. Learn from your experience and keep moving forward. Slow down, be patient and keep working on yourself.
Take the time to take care of and nurture yourself. The better you feel about yourself, the more confident and happier you will be. When radiate with joy and confidence, he won’t be able to resist you.