Falling in love is not for the faint of heart.
Anytime you start dating, you open your heart to someone new and run the risk of getting hurt–or hurting someone else. I’m sure we all wish we could way eliminate the chance of heartbreak, but unfortunately, it’s just par for the course.
Although we may not be able to eliminate the risk that comes with falling in love, we can do our best to date with integrity and lay the foundation for a healthy relationship.
In this episode, I give three tips to make sure you are entering (and leaving) all romantic relationships with the utmost integrity. Check out the video and tips below!
Three Steps to Dating with Integrity:
1. Be honest with yourself
Many people get into romantic relationships before they have taken time to clarify what they are looking for. I get it– our culture is constantly encouraging us to couple up, whether we are ready for it or not. However, entering into a dating experience without being honest with ourselves about what we are really looking for increases the chance of someone getting hurt.
We will not know 100% of what we want until we are in a relationship, but there are some major questions to consider before you get to that point. Some questions to consider are: Am I looking for a committed relationship? Have I healed enough from my past to be able to give my heart again? Are there any deal breakers I need to be aware of?
I highly recommend considering the commitments you are making to yourself before you consider committing to a relationship (for more info on that, check out this episode).
2. Be Honest with Others
Once we have gotten real with ourselves about what we are looking for, it is our responsibility to be honest with the people in our lives about where we stand– especially if the relationship isn’t working. It can be uncomfortable to say we don’t see the relationship going any further, but being direct and honest is the most respectful way to end a dating experience. In recent years, the term “ghosting” has become pretty popular. “Ghosting” is when you’re consistently going out with or talking to someone when suddenly, they vanish with no explanation. Ghosting someone you just started seeing can be tempting because it’s a way to avoid confrontation– it’s also avoiding responsibility for your role in the dating process. If you’re old enough to date, you are old enough to own your feelings and express them honestly.
Another reason people stay in relationships that aren’t working is out of fear of missing the person or being lonely. Here’s the deal: You will miss them… that’s ok. You might be lonely… that’s ok too, but neither of these are reasons to lead someone on when you can’t give them what they need. Have the courage to walk away even if it means being temporarily lonely or single.
3. When you mess up, say “I’m sorry”.
Romantic relationships will always be a process of trial and error. We are all human and from time to time, we will act in ways we are not proud of, unintentionally hurt others and fail to date with integrity. When this happens, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, learn from what happened and when possible, sincerely apologize to the person you wronged. The words, “I’m sorry”, don’t fix it all, but take it from someone who has been on both sides of the phrase, a sincere apology goes a long way in helping someone with their healing process. On the flip side, when someone hurts you, be quick to forgive. We are all doing the best we can, so the quicker we can forgive, the quicker we free ourselves up to move on and find a love that will last.
Love will always come with risk, but by doing our best to date with integrity, we stand a much better chance of protecting our own hearts and others.
Now, I wanna hear from YOU. What are some of your best tips for dating with integrity? Leave your tips in the comments below!