When it comes to courting and dating, popular longstanding advice suggests that until the fish is on the hook, it is beneficial to adhere to certain "rules."
These rules seem to offer a recipe for finding commitment and true romantic partnership, but what they invariably deliver is lopsided loving. In my experience treating couples and individuals, many hope that if they "play the game" correctly, their prince or princess will be the prize. But because playing a game necessarily translates into masking your authentic self, these rules cannot deliver the kind of genuine partnership on which true love is built.
Instead, following bogus rules when it comes to dating invariably leads to one of two ill-fated consequences: Playing the game culminates in a kind of bait-and-switch in which one member of the new couple tends to feel duped; or one person continues to operate behind a façade so that he or she never becomes fully known by a partner and ends up locked in a one-sided relationship.
Here are 6 rules to reconsider:
Have boundaries while being real.
It is important to have boundaries and to not reveal more or do more than you are completely comfortable with. With that in mind, opening up and getting to know someone does take a certain amount of patience. Assess each new partner as an individual, and stay keenly connected with how you experience yourself while in his or her presence. You need someone with whom you can reveal your authentic self, not just a piece of you—and you are the only one who can bring that full you to the table.
Click here to follow Jill on Facebook or here to follow Jill on Twitter @DrJillWeber. Jill P. Weber, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and author of Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy—Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships.
copyright Jill Weber, Ph.D.