Setting boundaries can be difficult, it can be a bit of a struggle to know where to start or even what classes as a ‘boundary’. Often, we think if we say “no” then we risk losing part of the relationship or even friendship. But putting boundaries into place is a way normal and healthy way of protecting ourselves mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Having that discussion about boundaries can feel awkward or you may not know what to say, particularly if the relationship game is new to you, here are a few pointers to think about when starting a new relationship.
Be honest about what you need
In a new relationship everything is rosy, and you probably think you don’t need much from your partner because you just enjoy the time you spend with them. But you need to think further down the line, if this relationship has the potential to be serious then you need to think about what you want from your partner. From being open about their feelings to not leaving towels on the bathroom floor.
You need to get clear with yourself what you’re comfortable and not comfortable with, and then be able to communicate that to your partner, so they know exactly what to expect and how to meet your needs and expectations.
Listen to what your partner needs
After you’ve had your say about what you want from the relationship, listen to what your partner needs and we don’t mean just listen to respond, or to shake it off. But really listen. Listen and then think what you can do to meet those needs.
Designate when you need space
In the beginning of a relationship, you may want to be around your person as much as you can. Even trips to Tesco are fun when your partner is coming along. But if you’re finding that spending a lot of time together is getting a bit too much for you, then ask for space. The last thing you want to happen is you getting irritated because you feel like you see no one but your partner, so be honest and take time away from each other.
Communicate what you can tolerate
Knowing what you can tolerate is particularly important to prevent those arguments which can crop up. When talking about what you can tolerate, we mean not just those times your partner walks past the dirty plates and doesn’t wash them up. But particularly emotionally, we all get affected differently by actions and as a result how we react may differ. So, it’s important to let your partner know if you’re sensitive to being lied to, shouted at, silenced etc.
You should be able to communicate anything in your relationship but it’s also the way it’s communicated which is important. Try to remember to not expect a person to simply know what you need or can tolerate, it’s always best to be up front.
Communication is vital in a relationship and for it to work you need to remember that, however much we’d like them to read our minds, they just can’t.
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We’ve all experienced the grey area of a relationship one way or another. Your date isn’t being totally communicative about what page they’re on, or maybe they have, and they’ve made it pretty clear they’re not ready for commitment but are still putting dates in the diary for dinners at your favourite restaurant. It can be confusing; do you stay in hopes they’ll change their mind a few more months down the line? Or do you hop off that train to find someone who is heading in towards the same destination as you – commitment.
What do you want from this situation?
Commitment is a big deal. It shouldn’t be something you just settle for because it’s the easiest option or because you feel better having someone in your life. By choosing that one person, the other opportunities to bump into someone at bars or whilst you’re commuting to work disappear. No, it’s not a commitment to walk down the aisle but you should take the time to figure out what you’re committing to before making the jump.
If you only want to date one person at a time, then be clear with yourself (and the other person) and establish that boundary before you step into the dating world. Don’t feel pressured to extend your dating circle because your date’s style includes a few more people than you’re used to. Compromising on the type of relationship you want is the last thing you want to be doing, inevitably it will bring up feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and instability within the relationship.
If you want more, don’t assume you can change what they want and can convince them that commitment is the way forward. Take their word for it, and don’t believe they just need a ‘gentle push’. Same goes for those that avoid the ‘what are we?’ questions after a few months of dating, their inability to communicate is probably a sign the relationship status isn’t going to level up.
From here, you need to switch the focus to you. Decide what is right for you and will make you happy. Whether that’s taking a complete step back to honour what you want and to find one person who wants the same things and give it your all. Or you could give your date 50% instead of 100%. This means the focus switches from them and onto to other factors in your life that make you feel fulfilled and happy, and most importantly give you value. It could be as simple as going out with friends, doing activities you enjoy, gaining some independence or even venturing out into the world of dating some more and increasing your dating circle.
The real answer to the question ‘What do I do?’ is that no one can tell you, there’s no rule book or guide to dating. It’s about being honest with yourself and your feelings. You can still date and have a bit of fun without commitment, just make sure you’re both on the same page first.
If you’re wanting to explore the world of dating, then join Plentymorefish and get connecting with like-minded singles looking for love.
Rejection. We’ve all felt it, whether that’s from a relationship, a job or a friend. We’ve all been there. But rejection in love hurts, it can be ruthless in destroying self-confidence and sometimes hard to bounce back from. Even the likes of Brad Pitt and Zac Efron have probably felt rejection in their life. Some people get up and bounce back and some it consumes. So to help you bounce back, we’ve put together 4 ways of getting over rejection.
First, let’s scratch the word ‘rejection’
It’s important to remember that the person who rejected made a choice against you and not because of you. 90% of the time, it’s actually because of their own state of mind and desires rather than you personally. When you think of it as them and not you, you realise it’s not your burden to deal with and you shouldn’t have to cope with it. Essentially, view it as happening for you, not to you. As many people say, ‘It’s a blessing in disguise’.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel valued
Being rejected can be a bit of a dampener on the ego and may have us doubting our own self-worth. Rejection ultimately unsettles our need to belong. That’s why it’s important to spend time with people who make you feel loved and valued, whether that’s simply going for a walk or grabbing a bite to eat. Hanging out with a friend who accepts and values you will remind you that you’re valued. Opening up actually really helps with coping with rejection and can be a saving grace, whether that’s simply to vent about the situation or having a reassuring pep talk.
As Ariana Grande once said, “Thank You, Next” and this is exactly the attitude you want to have. Those that reject you are helping you figure out more information about what you want and don’t want from a partner and are even helping you learn more about yourself, whether that’s how to be more resilient or develop the sensitive side of yourself, every partner is there to teach you a lesson.
A good way to look at it is that every rejection is just you being freed up for the right person. It’s true when they say, ‘you have to kiss some frogs before finding your person’.
Make a list of everything that makes you great
For those that struggle, try giving yourself a compliment. If this is too hard for you to do right now, ask a friend to tell you what they love about you so they can remind you how great you are. By making a list of things that make you a great person, you’re helping to boost your self-esteem and in turn curb any negative self-talk. It’s essentially a way of affirming our own worth and not letting rejection dampen our confidence.
If you’re finding yourself wanting to get back out there and delve into the world of dating, check out Plentymorefish to find your match.
The past 18 months have been tough, we’ve been through some confusing times and it’s no surprise that many of us have struggled throughout it. Some of us have been lucky, having family and housemates to keep us company through the madness, but some of us have been on our own making it difficult to re-emerge into this new world trying to navigate the world of dating at the same time.
Take things slow
You should know that it’s completely normal to feel nervous about dating again, we all only just got used to getting half dressed for a date over a Zoom call, but now we actually have to match the bottoms to the top we’re wearing! But before this, you need to ask yourself whether you’re ready to step back into the dating world again. Is it important for you to be dating or are you putting too much pressure on yourself?
Don’t be tricked into thinking that time is “running out” and start rushing into relationships in the hope that they’re the ‘one’. Yes, time has passed whilst we’ve been lockdown, but your priorities may have changed, you may want to do different things with your life after experiencing so little in so long. So, now might be a good time to re-evaluate what you want from a relationship before searching for your dream man/woman.
Prepare for dating
Whilst the dating world is not the hunger games, it’s still best to prepare before joining the arena again. Remember, you’re not the only one who is hesitant about getting back out there. You might be eager and anxious all at once – worrying not only about the date itself but also about any restrictions that are in place. Do I need my mask? Has my date taken a test?
To stop these nerves, it’s best to establish boundaries as much as you can with your date and with yourself. If you’re worried about testing and masks, research the date location to check out any restrictions which they may still have in place (it’s always handy to keep a mask with you anyway), discuss any concerns with your date before the date. Getting these worries out of the way will ease your mind and will only leave room for the ‘normal’ pre-date jitters we all get.
Make sure you feel like your best self
Why not treat yourself to a new outfit or a new fragrance you’ve been wanting to try? Dating is all about finding someone who matches your best self, so be the best version of you by being comfortable and confident. We’re not saying you have to change your appearance or become a whole different person but do what makes you feel good. Whether that’s a new outfit or a self-care ritual.
Above all, it’s important you feel comfortable going back into the world of dating, so if, for now, meeting up with a date seems a little daunting for you then try something a bit more laid back and more your style. Virtual dating worked for a while during lockdown, there’s no harm in it sticking round a while longer.
If you’re ready to venture into the world of dating Plentymorefish to help you along the way. Join now to find fellow singles looking for love.
There may come a time in a relationship where you question whether carrying on with the relationship is the best thing to do. You may have a gut feeling something isn’t working or maybe you’re going through a rough patch where you and your partner are arguing more frequently. You may find yourself wondering whether you should stay in the relationship or move on, protecting yourself. Here are some tell-tale signs that the relationship may be coming to an end:
You’re doubting everything
It’s normal to be worrying about whether your relationship is going to work when you’re going through a rough patch. But if something is niggling at you, and you keep thinking that this person is the wrong person, you should not ignore it. Generally, listen to your instinct if it’s telling you something isn’t right.
You have a feeling you won’t regret making the decision
You may get a feeling of relief when initially ending a relationship, whether that’s because you don’t have to put up with their old habits anymore or because you get your freedom back. But it’s not that moment of time you want to think about when you’re considering breaking up. You want to think about the months to come. Are you going to start missing them again? Will you be texting them asking to take you back now you’ve had your bit of freedom? Or will you still be relieved that you’re not stuck in that relationship? You need to be honest with yourself at this point and you know whether you’re trying to convince yourself that you won’t regret it. But if you genuinely feel that way, it may be time to call it quits.
Life prospects and values start to become an issue
When you first started dating, you both had the same life goals. You wanted to have kids or travel to Australia to sky dive over the beach or maybe you both just wanted to start your own business or had similar career prospects. As a relationship blossoms, sometimes we find ourselves on different pages and for some this may become an issue. Some things are less significant and can be resolve with communication. But when perspective on lives change and what each person wants from them, this is where issues can form. Same goes for values, if you and your partner differ on a major value – maybe generosity – it can cause conflict.
You’re convincing yourself to stay
When you’re in denial about an ending relationship, you may try to ignore any negatives you feel towards your partner or ignore the fact you’re always arguing when you’re together. You ignore these things because you don’t want to acknowledge the truth, maybe it’s out of fear of the relationship ending or you don’t want to be on your own. When you’re noticing yourself going against your instincts, it may a sign that this relationship won’t last.
You’re not feeling good about yourself
Insecurities are normal, everybody has them in some way. But if you’re finding that, when you’re around your partner you have little to no self-confidence ,,then this a red flag in a relationship. Being around the right partner is meant to make you feel good about yourself. You want someone that celebrates the amazing things about you, not find ways of ruining your self-confidence.
Making the decision to end a relationship is something that requires honesty with yourself and your partner. Communication should always be the top priority, so make sure you and your partner know where you both stand.
If you’re ready to move on and find your person, then head over to Plentymorefish.com.
Turn offs are a typical question we get asked when we start dating someone, but the trouble is for some it’s difficult to answer until they experience something that gives them ‘the ick’. Sometimes things happen that makes our nose scrunch or just send a signal to our body which makes us want to run. Here’s a list of some turn offs that we can think of.
Have you ever been out on a date with someone who is rude to the waiter or bartender? There’s something about the lack of manners that screams red flag to me and makes me want to run out of the first door I see. Someone who tries to belittle another in an attempt to make someone else laugh. It does not play out in your favour and it’s just embarrassing for your date.
Lack of ambition.
At the start of dating, women want to be wrapped up in deep conversation to connect on an intellectual level. They want to hear about your passions and ambitions, and where you want to go in life. You’re dating to look for a partner, someone to grow with and celebrate your successes with.
A few as a joke is fine, but if you’re using pick-up lines proudly, I’ve got to tell you they will not work and more than likely will cringe out your date. Not what you want, is it? She will roll her eyes and ultimately find you a bit cringey.
Insulting your exes.
No, we don’t want to hear about your ex and how great the relationship was and how you’re so sad it’s over. But we also don’t want to hear how every ex you’ve been with is crazy; there’s a common denominator in that equation and it most certainly is not the women you’re dating.
Putting all women in the same box.
There’s nothing worse than someone being surprised because you’re not like the conceptual idea of a woman they have in their head. Men who don’t see women as individual’s and put every woman in the same box can be a serious turn off.
Eyeing up another woman.
Trust me when I tell you women see EVERYTHING. So, that woman that just walked past that you were giving the side eyes to? Yes, we saw that. We get it, you’re single and free and you can do as you please, but when on a date with a woman, she wants to feel special. Eyeing up every woman that walks into the restaurant makes her feel like she’s already in competition for your attention which is not the way a relationship should start.
Talking about yourself.
If the topic of conversation always resorts back to you and your date can’t get a word in edgeways, then I wouldn’t bet on a second date. A conversation works two ways and if it appears to be one person talking and another listening the whole time, then it can become frustrating.
Are you ready to find someone who ticks all your boxes? Head over to plentymorefish.com.
The million-dollar question when you’re in the early stages of a relationship; ‘Does he love me’. To help you solve the mystery behind men, we’ve compiled a list of indicators that he’s in it for the long run.
He’s always in communication with you
Even when you’re not together he wants to talk to you. Whether that’s simply sending you a message settling the previous night’s debate on whether chocolate belongs in the fridge or not, or whether they’re simply updating you on their day.
He compromises for you
Maybe he hates that TV series you’re begging him to watch, but he’ll say yes to make you happy. Or maybe you want to order in a Chinese, but he can’t stand it. Either way he’s compromising which is a big sign he’s falling for you. Love softens the heart and selflessness is an important sign of healthy relationship.
‘We’ or ‘Us’ replaces ‘I’
When you become part of his plans it’s a very good indicator that he’s feeling the love. Does he talk about taking you to his friend’s wedding? Or maybe even jokes about how good looking your future children together will be? He’s no longer thinking of himself as a bachelor, you’re now a big part of his life.
He leans on you for support
You’re his best friend. You listen to him and give him a shoulder to lean on when he needs it. If you’re his go-to for advice or to vent, then it’s a good chance he trusts you the most.
You both laugh together
If you find that you’re both typically in fits of giggles when you’re around each other, it’s undeniable you have fun and act silly together, which is a solid foundation for a relationship. A study completed by college students found that the more a couple laughed together, the stronger the chemistry between them both.
He’s being more optimistic lately
If you find that your guy is seeing more of the brighter side of life, it’s probably because he’s felling more comfortable and confident in a future with you.
He treats you like you’re the only person in the room
Maybe you’re at a party with other people but he can’t take his eyes off you or he’s trying to get you involved in conversations. It’s a good sign that he’s in love with you. His attentive side has started to show.
He cares about your friends and family
The most important people in your life suddenly also become his most important people. If he loves you, he’ll make the effort with these people in your life. He takes notes of group dynamics and pays attention to what your parents say.
Not found Mr Right yet? Sign up to Plentymorefish.com and start flirting with singles looking for love.
Love languages were a foreign concept until the 90’s. We all had an idea of what made us look at our partner with puppy dog eyes or made our stomach flutter. But understanding these aspects in order to make a relationship work didn’t occur until Gary Chapman wrote a book on the five love languages in 1992.
So, what are they?
The five love languages are as follows:
1. Acts of Service
This is a non-verbal form of love. It is the idea that you complete a task for your partner that you know they would like. Maybe your partner needs their car cleaned or you cook their favourite food. The acts are often selfless and encourage you to listen to your partner’s needs.
It’s the most common amongst all of the other love languages. It is often mis-construed however, as people mistake it for being about the items you give, and the price attached to it. Whereas those whose love language is gift-giving focus more on the thought behind the gift, which shows your partner that you’re thinking about them and that you actively listen to them. The true meaning behind gift-gifting is the sentimentality of the gift itself.
3. Physical Touch
As it says on the tin, it’s a physical form of love. It communicates compassion, joy and sympathy towards your partner, it’s more about desiring the physical touch like holding hands and feeling close to them through affectionate acts, rather than desiring sex and fulfilling your sensual needs.
4. Quality Time
Connections built around this love language are often strong relationships. For people who thrive from this love language, their priority is spending meaningful time with their partner. This means no distractions, just one-to-one undivided attention. For example, watching a film together on the sofa is not an example of quality time. But if you were to turn the TV off and start a conversation, it can become a significant act to those who enjoy quality time.
5. Words of Affirmation
You might find some people are naturally more inclined to be open about their feelings whilst dating, this could be because their love language is words of affirmation. Verbal expression of love is what is important to them. Supportive and appreciative words are an expression of their love and gratitude. It doesn’t always have to be verbal; it could be written notes on the fridge or love letters left on your bedside table.
Why are love languages actually important?
Although we may think that most of the love languages appeal to us, some stand out without us realising. This is why it’s important to understand which love language we hold at a higher value in a relationship. You and your partner may not always share the same love language and that’s perfectly fine but knowing what makes your partner swoon can be really important for preserving that romance you had to begin with. Once we begin to understand how each of us work in a relationship, you notice that it begins to blossom and grows stronger.
Communication plays a significant role in this. It allows you to explain what is most important to you and how you can both meet each other’s emotional needs. No person is the same in a relationship, everyone expresses their love differently and by communicating between each other you’re avoiding that risk of disappointment.
If these things aren’t communicated, a relationship can become difficult as you may find yourself trying to give love in different ways as to what your partner may desire. The conversation shouldn’t stop, it should be on-going throughout the relationship. As people grow and change, their love languages may also shift with it so communication should be easy and comfortable. Saying this, if you find yourself drained trying to put effort into a relationship where your partner is critical or isn’t satisfied, it could be a red flag.
Essentially, understanding each other’s love language is how relationships become stronger and play a fundamental part in making a relationship a success. Are you ready to find someone to talk your language in love? Head over to Plentymorefish.com.
A new relationship is exciting and it’s so easy to get wrapped up in your little bubble of love you and your partner have created. Whilst this is lovely and the feeling of contentment washes over you over time some people struggle with losing their sense of self. Most of the time, it’s innocent and we don’t even realise that it’s happening to us. So, what does losing yourself look like?
You probably aren’t changing into an entirely different person (although this can happen), losing yourself is more subtle than that. It’s the small things that were once so important to you that you couldn’t live without, like doing the pub quiz with your best friends, that you no longer care about doing. Or you suddenly put your personal or career goals aside in favour of your other half’s. Those small details are what make up your identity, which set you apart from others and which made your partner fall for you in the first place.
If you’ve noticed these things creeping into your relationship, then you have a few things you need to figure out. Boundaries and balance are vital in a healthy relationship. A true partnership is the sum of two halves, having your own identity and life outside your relationship will ultimately make you more attractive and a happier human being.
Learning to say no when your partner dominates every decision or demands your complete attention and devotion, will prevent you from losing yourself. By taking a respectful stand against a decision your partner has made or simply saying no to doing something you don’t want to do sets healthy boundaries.
So how do you not lose yourself in a relationship?
See loved ones regularly on your own
Immersing your partner into your social circle and introducing them to the important people in your life is an exciting time, but make sure that you’re still having time on your own with them too. These people are important in keeping you in touch with yourself.
Stop replacing ‘I’ with ‘We’
Whilst becoming a ‘we’ in a new relationship seems tempting for every scenario, it’s easy to fall into unhealthy relationship terrain by doing so. You need to remind yourself you are your own person, so stop saying ‘we’ when you really mean I.
Don’t compromise on the things that make you
It’s okay to compromise on what you’re having for dinner tonight, or what film you’re going to watch on date night. But don’t compromise on the things that make you, well, you. These could be career development opportunities, going to see family/friends, time you spend at gym or yoga, the list is endless.
Maintain your interests
Remember it was your individuality that bagged you your partner in the first place, so maintain those interests you’re passionate about. It’s not just about what you do, it’s who you do it with which is also important. If you and your friends have a monthly quiz session down your local pub, don’t replace them and go with your partner instead. Remember that you both should be supportive of the things which are important to each other prior to even knowing each other. Make sure you continue having ‘me’ time, as it is those things that make you a more interesting and rounded person.
Learn to embrace healthy conflict
Get better at having healthy disagreements. It doesn’t mean you have to be harsh or mean about it, or intentionally start arguments or disagree for the fun of it. But if you have a differing view, then it’s important to speak up about it. Not only will this help build the relationship it also teaches you how to not people-please and develop the courage to stand up and respectfully voice your opinion. There should never be issues about what is said in the relationship, it’s only the way things are said. So, be careful with your tone and make sure you also take the time to listen to your partner.
If you’re looking for love, head over to Plentymorefish. Find fellow singles who are ready for healthy commitment.
We’ve all been there, sat wondering why we’re finding ourselves on the search for our Mr/Mrs Right, once again. There’s only so many times we can convince ourselves that it’s our date who isn’t ready for the world of romance. If you still find yourself single and wonder why your dates never take the next step, then it might be time to start looking inward. Could you be in your own way to finding love? We’ve given you a head start with a few reasons why your mindset might be failing you.
You Have Low Self Esteem…
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before “love yourself before you love anyone else”. If you lack appreciation for yourself and you don’t learn to love your flaws, looking for someone else’s love to fill the void is not a healthy position to be in. The feelings of not being good enough for other people can lead to issues like jealousy and neediness in relationships.
Next time you find yourself blaming your low self-esteem for your failed dating life, try writing a list of all your positives – the things you like about yourself – and then read them aloud. Make it a part of your daily routine to learn to love yourself, reminding yourself you deserve to have a healthy love life. You will find yourself in a much more positive mindset.
You Have High Expectations…
Now we’re not saying you should settle by any means. But when you start dating adjust your mindset so that your high expectations don’t come in between you and your date. Chivalry is a big green tick, and we all want it, but don’t get used to it. A few dates down when people start to get comfortable, bringing you flowers may become a thing of the past. But by showing appreciation for the things your partner does, it can work in your favour. Just saying ‘thank you’ can be a form of encouragement for many people who seek that gratification, it could be a win-win for both parties. You get the flowers, and they get the appreciation. Every now and again, surprise them. Try and plan a fun date to treat them. Show them that dating you isn’t a one-sided experience but that you can also be fun and romantic.
You Are Too Independent…
In this new generation, we are all force-fed the idea that we (particularly women) should all be self-sufficient and independent. However, true this may be, it can also hinder our dating experiences. Being too independent means, you become too engrossed in your own needs and happiness – and whilst this is important to do – it means you stop focusing on others.
The truth is, is that no matter how much you crave independence, we need other people. Forming a connection with someone is healthy, we can learn from others and they can love us and as a result we grow as individuals. So next time you’re thinking of not going out on that date because the thought of forming a connection gives you the shivers, listen to your heart and give it a go. It’s craving love.
You’re Coming on Too Strong…
Do you find yourself buckling at the knees to anyone who looks your way? You crave that attention a partner can give you and when someone gives you the slightest hint of that, you hold onto it too tightly. You’re coming on too strong. As we get older, a natural reaction is to panic that we’re running out of time in the world of dating. So, you settle for the person who buys you a drink at the bar, or calls you beautiful, even if your gut is telling you they’re not the one. The fears and doubts of never finding someone can manifest into desperation. In some cases, it convinces you to settle for way less than you deserve. To overcome this, we need to believe that someone better awaits us. That all these dates we go on with hopeless men/women are merely just setting us up for what is yet to come.
You Have Trust Issues…
Toxic situations from the past can leave a lasting mark on you. It tends to project past issues into the present, making you think you’re stuck in the same situation as before. Mistrust can manifest itself into jealousy and anxiety and most often, it can be the reason why making it past the dating stage is so difficult. For some, it can even grow into developing toxic controlling behaviours. Before you launch yourself back into the world of dating, it’s so important to address and deal with past baggage. Start by finding the root of the mistrust and ask yourself whether the associations you make between dating and trust, are actually facts or just an opinion you have formed based on past experiences.
Whatever you do, don’t lose hope or give up on finding love! Sometimes it takes a little longer to find the person that’s just right for you.
Find likeminded singles over on Plentymorefish.com.