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The “getting to know someone” stage is a daunting one. There’s the potentially awkward first dates, the pressure to be the perfect version of yourself, the anxiety about getting hurt. It can be messy. The advice I’m about to give you is advice I need to take to heart myself. These approaches are a good way to start a relationship off on a good foot or to make sure you don’t get your heart broken if things don’t work out.

1. Don’t hype up the person in your mind

I think we all have a tendency to create an idea of a person in our heads before we get to know them. This can be hugely detrimental to a relationship because we can find ourselves being disappointed or feeling resentment when they don’t meet up to our expectations. It’s important to be genuinely curious about the person and try to see them for who they really are rather than who we want them to be. This will also help you better assess if they are a good fit for you. 

2. Go in with no expectations

This part is so hard but so important. I think it is too much pressure to put on the first few dates to expect that things will turn into a relationship. I know that’s kind of the point of the whole dating thing, but it doesn’t have to be early on. Once I started looking at dates as simply an opportunity to meet someone new and have some fun, it started being a lot easier to accept when things didn’t work out. We’re young and there’s no pressure to find your soulmate or anything drastic like that! Just try to enjoy the opportunity to build a connection with someone, even if it doesn’t last. I saw a TikTok that suggested having no expectations for the first two months. This can seem pretty extreme, but I think it could be a good approach!

3. Don’t be too critical on the first date

It can be a bummer when your first date with someone doesn’t blow your socks off. Trust your gut with this one, but if you’re on the fence, I say give it another chance! A lot of times, people are nervous on the first date. They may be uncomfortable around you and act differently. There have been situations where I was on the fence and gave a guy another shot, and the second date went way better than the first. If you truly don’t see things going anywhere though, just cut it off.

4. Try to be yourself

I know that’s the most generic advice I could ever give you, but it’s so important! Don’t make things up just to impress them or try to adopt a different personality. If you give the person a false idea of who you are, it will only lead to issues down the road. I’m speaking from personal experience here!

Elizabeth Mertz

U Wyoming '21

Liz is a junior at the University of Wyoming studying English Education. She's a book enthusiast, Spotify playlist creator, and movie buff. Her life goals include traveling as much as she can afford to and being an awesome teacher.
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