Have you ever left the first date with someone and couldn’t stop checking your phone, wondering when they’d text you?
Or what about three dates in; do you tend to imagine wedding bells?
If so, you probably know how it feels to obsess over new people you date quickly. Which I get; I’ve done it plenty of times in the past, too.
But when you obsess over someone, it can keep you from seeing reality. You’re more likely to ignore red flags. You might feel “lucky” to be dating this person and less likely to leave if things aren’t right.
So let’s talk about how to slow. things. down.
Create a "relationship material" list.
You’ve probably never heard of this since I made this term up. When you’re actively dating, it's important to know what qualities you’re looking for in someone with whom you’d be in a relationship.
Most of the time, it’s things like respect, trustworthiness, and knowing they’re a good person. Deciding if someone has those qualities takes time. At least 6-10 consistent dates.
This list can help you realize that falling head over heels for someone you just met isn’t realistic.
Continue hanging with your friends.
When you let your dating life consume you, it literally consumes you. You’ll feel like it’s the most important goal in your life, and stop investing time into things that help you feel like you.
Instead, make time to continue to see your friends. They can also help you see any dates you go on more objectively and less from a place of obsessive feelings.
Remind yourself that no one is perfect.
If you think the person you’re dating is perfect, one of two things is going on.
You don’t know them well enough.
You’re idealizing them.
The second is when you have an idea in your head of who the person is, and you don’t see them for who they are.
Interrupt your obsessive thoughts.
Thoughts only stick around for as long as you let them. When you can’t stop checking your phone or replaying dates in your head, distract yourself.
Read a book. Watch a movie. Do your dishes. Listen to a podcast while you go for a walk.
Don’t allow yourself to stay in those toxic thought spirals.
Keep a journal.
When you write down how you’re feeling, you can sometimes see things more clearly. If that still doesn’t help, try answering some of these questions:
What kind of people/qualities trigger my obsessive thoughts?
Have these kinds of people made me happy?
Are there any red flags I might be ignoring?
It’ll take time and practice to help ease your mind when you date, but these activities can be invaluable when it comes to dating more slowly.
Hopefully, they’re the change you need to find a more fulfilling love life.
Check out my free dating anxiety journal prompts to help you understand yourself more and the changes you want. to make in dating.
If you want to move towards feeling confident and secure when looking for love, grab your copy of my 30-day dating guide "From Anxious to Secure."