Sometimes, it can feel like your partner is hurrying you into a relationship.
So, how do you assert your boundaries without making your partner feel rejected or needy?
When you’re in a new relationship, emotions can take over.
The rush caused by this new adventure can make you feel like things are progressing naturally.
However, when you take a step back, you’ll realize you’re changing and bending your boundaries to accommodate your new partner.
Setting and asserting boundaries can make you look like a commitment-phobe, but it is an integral part of any relationship.
In the beginning, you might want to hang out all the time, whereas in an established relationship, it’s easier to set boundaries and negotiate a more reasonable amount of time to spend together.
“Hey, let’s go out for drinks tonight!”
“I would love to, but tonight’s no good for me; how about Friday?”
With a new partner, it might feel difficult to negotiate for fear of hurting their feelings.
As a result, you might find yourself compromising your values to accommodate theirs.
Today, we’ll explore some of the reasons you might feel apprehensive about a new relationship.
4 Reasons You Might Be Afraid of Getting Into a Relationship
- The fear of rejection
You want to get closer to your partner, but you are afraid of taking the plunge. This can often be caused by a fear of rejection.
You may feel like putting yourself out there could open you up to harsh judgments.
In this age of ghosting, every bit of silence translates into a myriad of different scenarios.
However, it is essential that you don’t take every rejection personally.
In the beginning, rejection might make you measure your worth through the eyes of someone else. Don’t take it so personally that it keeps you from trying again.
Remember, it is not a reflection of who you are.
- Lack of self-acceptance
Accepting who you are is an integral part of new relationships.
During the dating phase, don’t forget ― rejection doesn’t define you.
Sure, it might hurt, but isn’t it better to break up after the first date than the sixteenth?
Remember, each rejection brings you closer to a partner who is right for you.
Having this kind of growth mindset helps keep you positive and prepared for future relationships, however they may turn out.
- Reluctance to let people in
Don’t get it twisted ― your potential partner is probably just as nervous as you are.
You get out of a relationship what you put into it.
A happy person sending out positive vibes is likely to receive the same from their partner.
But what if your partner is unable to reciprocate? Focus on the people who do reflect that positive energy, whether it’s family or friends.
Seeing you relate positively with your friends and family may be the light they need to get them out from under that negative cloud.
Besides, if a new partner can’t match your energy, they’re probably not right for you.
- Focusing on the relationship as the primary goal
Sometimes, you can get carried away by emotions and focus too much on the relationship.
What if it doesn’t work out?
When you spend all your time and energy on a new relationship, you forget your friends, family, and everyone else in your support system.
This kind of dynamic only spells disaster if the relationship ends.
A relationship should be part of you. It shouldn’t overshadow all other aspects of your life.
Your partner is a new jewel in your crown, not the crown itself.
As the relationship progresses, keep working on yourself and remain open to other possibilities.
How to Resolve Your Fears
You’re a great person, so why do these things never seem to work out?
You’ve put yourself out there and you’re genuinely willing to give it a try. It shouldn’t be so hard to move on to the next stage.
Allowing yourself to get over your fears attracts people who resonate with you.
Let your partner fit in with your routine instead of trying to put on a face.
Notice the red and yellow flags.
Remember, negative traits tend to come around and bite you in the behind.
Pay attention. Talk about your worries and fears at the beginning of the relationship. Don’t wait in the hope your partner will change.
Before you commit to being in a relationship with a new partner, express your wants, needs, and boundaries clearly.
Getting into a new relationship is an emotional decision, but you can be methodical about it.
We know, easier said than done.
Before You Commit…
We’ve worked with many gay couples and singles who feel they’re unable to use what is within their locus of control to take action and move the situation forward.
It might be more comfortable to stick with what feels familiar, but it keeps you from taking risks and being present in your world.
Focusing on what you want or feel entitled to distracts you from a potential partner.
Our program can help you work around your fears and projections. Talk to one of our professionals to find out your communication style and learn how to navigate the dating phase.
ABOUT SAM GARANZINI, LMFT, LPCC, and ALAPAKI YEE, LMFT
Sam Garanzini and Alapaki Yee are Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapists and the co-founders of the Gay Couples Institute – the world’s only gay and lesbian couples counseling clinic. The Gay Couples Institute has locations in Northern California and Manhattan, as well as online counseling services available.
For more information about how the Gay Couples Institute can help you, please visit: www.gaycouplesinstitute.org