"So how do you control yourself when you want nothing to do but to rip the clothes off of your new guy even though you know it’s best to wait? How do you handle these powerful feelings of attachment without losing your sense of self and without becoming too intertwined?"
Here are some action challenges to help keep you on the right track toward promoting a healthy relationship progression with your new dating prospect:
1. Be proactive, not reactive
This means to avoid acting on every impulse you have when it comes to your dating partner. Do you really need to call him for the fifth time today? Is it wise to send him one email after the other on the same day? Do you have to see him every day this week? By thinking about the consequences of your actions, you’ll be in a better position to guide the relationship along. If you need to, snap yourself with a rubber band to break out of an “impulse trance” to avoid making impulsive moves.
2. Balance togetherness with separateness
Beware of spending every waking hour with each other. You need breathing room and you don’t want the relationship to become suffocated by becoming too enmeshed. By having your own independent life separate from the relationship, you’ll be bringing fresh air into it that will help vitalize it and keep it exciting. Don’t forget you have other roles, responsibilities, and relationships that deserve and need your attention as well!
So now you’ve met a new guy who you really like and you both are eager to begin exploring the potential that exists in your new dating relationship. This is commonly called “the honeymoon phase” of a relationship and is definitely an exciting and invigorating time.
It’s a time of aliveness where the attraction you have for your new boyfriend prospect bubbles over, causing you to think about him and wanting to be with him every waking second. The separation pangs when you are apart nag at you and distract you from your daily tasks. You ache to be with him and find yourself preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of what “could be” that fuel your desire even further.
There’s actually a clinical term used to describe this phenomenon that exists at the beginning of every romantic relationship. Coined by psychologist Dorothy Tennov, limerence is an involuntary state of intense desire and attachment toward another person whom you become attracted. You begin to idealize him and magnify all his good qualities. It’s intrusive and provokes feelings of deep longing and passion to be with that person and these feelings can be blindingly strong. In fact, our bodies naturally produce an abundance of chemicals and amphetamines during the romantic love stage, including dopamine and the “love drug” phenylethylamine (PEA), that account for this state of euphoria and ultimate bliss.