Dating is sometimes messy and painful. That should never stop you from putting yourself out there, however, because by totally avoiding the possibility of getting hurt, you also avoid the possibility of meeting great people and developing amazing relationships. By refusing to be vulnerable, you could also prevent yourself from meeting The One.
Still, there’s nothing fun about getting your heart broken. While you can’t stop yourself from ever getting emotionally hurt (you’re not a robot!), there are some things you can do to minimize potential emotional distress until you know it’s safe to give your heart in a relationship.
Here are six tips for avoiding a broken heart (disclaimer: these aren’t foolproof, but they’ll help):
Tip #1: Only Fools Rush In
One of the best ways to get your heart broken is to rush into a new relationship with all your emotions on your sleeve. If you’ve ever dated someone who freaks you out by starting the wedding plans after a mediocre first date, you know what it feels like to be on the business end of someone only too willing to rush in: alarming and off-putting. Be open to new experiences and ready to get to know someone new, but keep your deepest and most tender emotions sheltered until you suspect your love interest is willing and ready to accept them and respond with similar feelings. Even if you must confess your love without knowing for sure how your crush feels about you, never do it on a first date.
Tip #2: Don’t Date Players
You know the type: good-looking, callous, and totally self-assured, both male and female players move from one partner to the next with predictable regularity. They keep things shallow in the emotional department, never getting too attached to any one person. Falling in love with a player is a pretty sure way to get your heart broken if you leap in heart first, so learn to recognize the signs and stay away or at least go into it with your eyes wide open. If you’ve accidentally dated a player and been dumped, refer to Tip #5.
Tip #3: Don’t Hook Up on the First Date (or Even the Second)
Physical intimacy can spur emotional bonding, but if one of you isn’t on the same page, it creates a very unequal situation. This is especially true for women, whose bodies release hormones such as oxytocin during sex, which is a chemical that strengthens emotional bonds. If you get attached after hooking up but your partner doesn’t, you could be heading for Heartbreak City. Read more about hooking up here.
Tip #4: Don’t Assume Perfection, but Be Forgiving
The higher up you place someone on a pedestal, the harder they’ll fall. No one is perfect, so basing your emotions on his or her apparent perfection is foolhardy. At some point, your crush is going to do or say something that gives you pause or makes you angry or totally stomps on all your expectations. It could be anything from a weird quirk to a political view you just can’t abide by the fact that he or she is a total slob. Never go into a new relationship without reminding yourself that when the bloom is off the rose, you’ll probably have to spend some time forgiving your partner for quirks and faults that totally irritate you even if you love him or her. If you’re prepared, you won’t be so surprised by this revelation that your heart gets broken by having to give up the fantasy you had of your crush’s near-godhood. (Of course, if he or she is abusing you or cheating on you, get out now and work on forgiveness from a distance!)
Tip #5: Build a Support System
Your long-time friends and a supportive family are looking out for your best interests. That kind of support system is invaluable when you need advice, want a second opinion about your crush, or need a shoulder or two to cry on if things go wrong. A support system helps you find emotional stability when dating gets dramatic, so take care of your friends and be grateful for those who stick by you through thick and thin.
Be open to meeting people, but by taking these five tips to heart, you’ll suffer from fewer broken hearts. It’s time to up your game by creating a totally free profile at Mingle2, the place to meet the most fun, hot singles in your area. Visit our Homepage to start meeting and chatting with other singles today!