Are you falling in love… or just falling? Sometimes it’s hard to tell during the blissful infatuation stage. Here’s some straight talk to help you figure it out!
Be careful how you fall
If you’re falling for someone, as in falling in love, you are probably in a delirious state. You may be so euphoric, you feel like you’re falling off a cliff — and not sure whether you will hit the ground hard, or sprout wings to help you float. In the love department, there are other ways of “falling” that you want to be alerted to. Though love is an indescribable, immense high, you don’t want to fall into some of the following danger zones:
1. Falling for the picture
When you first meet someone, you are falling for the best version of who he is. He is giving you his best presentation. You may be crazy about his sense of humor and sharp mind, but who knows whether you will be crazy in love months down the road — or, just plain crazy from the nutty things he does. Falling for the picture is often a projection of who you think he is and what you want him to be. If he doesn’t live up to that picture, you will think he’s letting you down. You might be tempted to coach, nudge, or guilt him into being the picture you have in mind. Pictures are laden with your expectations and can’t always be trusted. You have to get to know the r guy before you jump to conclusions.
2. Falling into bed
There are so many reasons you don’t want to do this before you know if you even have a relationship. And if you do have one, is it exclusive, monogamous and committed? If you become intimate on a first or second date, chances are, your date will not trust that you are a sincere person, capable of making good choices, and mature enough to have a lasting relationship. The question of values, reliable judgment and promiscuity arise. Before you ever reach this state, you need to know terribly important matters, like:
- His relationship history.
- His health record.
- What your agreements are with each other, such as exclusivity.
- A background check to know his character, work record, legal responsibilities, or even criminal history.
Do not just follow your emotions here. Falling into bed has serious repercussions. Be wise.
3. Falling for someone who’s taken
Is your new love interest currently seeing someone else? Is he engaged? Or is he married? Falling for someone who is committed to someone else can happen, of course, but your job is to protect yourself. Unless you are seeking drama, heartache, fear, doubt, or distrust, back away. You could waste precious years, waiting for someone who may never be yours. And if he should commit to you—can you count on it? What you can count on is this: behavior patterns are known to repeat themselves. Why choose someone who would start a romance with you when they are in a committed relationship with someone else? It’s called cheating.
4. Falling for the myth, “True love will find you if it’s meant to happen.”
Toss this myth out the window—fast! Getting what you want in life takes focus, intention, preparation, and action. Did your career “just find you?” Probably not. You worked for it. You learned the skills, did the work to become prepared, and went out there to find the job. If you want to meet someone, you will increase your chances by doing the following:
- Fall in love with your life. When you are proud of your accomplishments and can take care of yourself financially, you will be discerning about whom you choose to date.
- Work through the issues that have gotten in the way in your past relationships. When your baggage is unpacked, you are unburdened. You are able to see who you’re meeting and talking to.
- Get your social skills tuned up. If you’re going to the same places, seeing the same people, week after week, you are stuck in a rut. New actions are required. You need a new dating plan, such as: Tell 10 people this week that you’d like to meet someone special; join a paid internet dating site; and go out socially to a new place or event as often as you can.
5. Falling for anything
Are you one of those people who “falls for anything” potential dates might say to you that is flattering? Are you dying for compliments or attention? Are you so lonely or vulnerable, you’ll believe anything a date says? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if your friends would categorize you in this way, then get the help you need to build yourself up from the inside out.
If you’re falling for someone, think about the above. Your life is precious and you deserve to treat it that way. Fall in love with yourself first.