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When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

When Things Get Serious: How to Go from “Single” to “In a Relationship”

Being a member of the singles’ squad is one difficult thing to give up on. People who are fabulously single often fall in love with their independence and they replace that need to be with someone by casually dating several people, each for a month or two tops. This dynamic lifestyle rarely gets boring or dull – each day seems to be another mini adventure you can’t wait to share with the rest of your squad.

Giving this up can be rather difficult, but if you’re thinking about it, this probably means that you have found a person who has the potential to make your “sacrifice” worthy. Chances are that you forgot how to communicate with someone you actually wish to see more of, which is why you should try to switch from a fling to a relationship. No one said serious commitment; you don’t have to become a magician who pulls off an outstanding disappearance act just yet.

Stop Playing Games

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    People who date for fun play all sorts of games – how far you decide to go with this depends on what kind of person you are. The furthest extreme that can serve as an example for what I’m trying to say is Barney from How I Met Your Mother and his Playbook, where he invents some rather creative scenarios to get girls to sleep with him.

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    Personally, I don’t know a person who puts in this much effort, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a real-life version of Barney out there. Well, in case you want to even consider being in a relationship, all those games need to stop and you need to be your real self when you go on dates.

    Make Peace with Vulnerability

    Which brings me to my next point – I know that it’s a lot easier to pretend you’re someone else because, if your date doesn’t like you, it doesn’t matter, because that’s not the real you. This is the point when you need to cut the crap and expose yourself. You’ll have to risk not being liked.

    There’s a lot for you to gain, which makes that risk worthy; finding the right person to be in a relationship with is difficult and sure, you can get hurt, but on the other hand, you can find a partner to share your life with.

    Look for a Partner

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      When I say partner, I mean exactly that; you shouldn’t be searching for a protector to take care of you, nor should you do the opposite and look for a project, a person who you will work on. Neither of those scenarios has a happy ending.

      When considering a relationship, you should make sure that your potential special someone is a mature person who shares your vision of what it means to be a couple. That would be enough, for starters, because you shouldn’t think long-term right away.

      The Talk

      This can be a bit awkward for some people, but it’s a matter of your health and it needs to be done. The talk about previous experiences with STDs, if there were any, about their previous partners and similar talks can be done without you sounding like a controlling maniac and looking like you’re crazy with jealousy.

      Just ask them to be honest with you. Let them share their experiences so that you know where you stand and if there’s a reason for you to be worried. There’s no need to go into unnecessary details, like numbers and specifics, if one of you feels that it’s too early for something like that.

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      Slow Pace

      Beginnings of relationships are the most wonderful and the most exciting thing in the world. I love being blinded by a newfound respect for love and feeling like I’m walking on clouds – there’s nothing like the honeymoon period.

      However, this is also the time when boundaries should be set, which is why you need to steer clear from neediness and unnecessary pressure. You need to give your partner some breathing space. I know it’s difficult not to smother and shower with affection, and you should do that, but in controlled conditions and in reasonable amounts.

      One more thing – you’re probably very excited to share your new special someone with your friends and family, but this isn’t something you should force because it builds unnecessary pressure. If things work out, there will be plenty of time for them to get to know your partner and the other way around, so be patient. In the meantime, enjoy the time you spend with your new partner.

      Avoid Compensating

      It’s impossible for you to be completely objective. Sure, you’ll search for a little piece of your previous love in a new partner, or perhaps you’ll go with the exact opposite and look for someone who has nothing in common with your previous partners. If you truly want to enter a loving relationship, you need to leave the past behind.

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      Therefore, if your previous relationship ended due to a lack of ambition, you’ll probably look for someone who has a successful career. However, this might be a bit of a problem in the future, because people who are obsessed with their work don’t have a lot of free time.

      You should look at a person for what they are, as opposed to what they are not, because that’s exactly what you’ll get.

      Don’t Expect Anything

      Having expectations can really ruin things for you. When you first meet a person, it’s in your human nature to award them with a set of characteristics, based on an impression which may or may not be true. You need to do your best to distance yourself from this because that’s how unrealistic expectations are born.

      Instead of imagining a version of your new partner by idealizing them, you should make an effort to get to know that new person in your life and discover who they really are. Learn about their past. It’s a healthier way to start a relationship than daydreaming, although it’s not too bad to let your imagination go wild from time to time.

      The bottom line is that you never know until you try, but it’s not just a matter of whether you’ll dare to make an actual attempt, but it’s also a matter of how. Healthy relations between people, not just lovers, require consideration and understanding. So, you should do your best to let it grow in a healthy atmosphere, without being concerned about the possible outcome.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/unsplash/ via pexels.com

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      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

      What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

      Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

      You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

      This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

      What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

      According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

      Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

      There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

      How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

      When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

      Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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      1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

      One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

      The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

      Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

      2. Be Honest

      A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

      If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

      On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

      Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

      3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

      Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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      If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

      4. Succeed at Something

      When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

      Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

      5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

      Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

      Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

      If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

      If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

      Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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      6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

      Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

      You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

      On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

      You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

      7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

      Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

      Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

      Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

      When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

      Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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      In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

      Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

      It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

      Final Thoughts

      When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

      The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

      Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

      Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

      Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

      More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

      Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
      [2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
      [3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
      [4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
      [5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
      [6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
      [7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
      [8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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