We all love the feeling: the electric and often nauseating feeling of liking and meeting someone new.
It’s those early stages of an early relationship when you get nervous before dates, carefully ask new questions, and strategically plan your next moves (like when to send the dreaded first message).
What might be the most fascinating part of it all, however, is what you learn about yourself in the process.
Meeting someone else forces you to take a closer look at yourself – perhaps a closer look than you haven’t in a long time.
This can be invigorating, but it can also be a shocking wake-up call.
Here are 8 things dating new people teach about you:
1. Your Deciding Factors
We all have a list – long or short – of deciding factors: habits, quirks, behaviors, or tendencies that automatically put the brakes on a potential relationship.
Maybe it has to do with political affiliations, religion, or whether he agrees with you eating peanut butter straight from the jar or not.
You will quickly learn what is most important to you and what you can afford.
2. What Do You Like About Yourself?
There’s nothing like those awkward first-date conversations to boost your confidence.
As tedious as it may seem to explain essentially all of the highlights of your life to someone new, it often helps to remind them that in the grand scheme of things, you’re doing well.
Whether it’s your record collection, your looks in high-waisted jeans, or your fast-paced advertising career, dating brings what you deserve to be proud of to the forefront.
3. What Have You Been Hiding?
On the other end of the spectrum, dating also tends to reveal some things about you that you may not be proud of.
Everyone has thoughts and secrets that are best kept to themselves, but when you’re dating someone new, it’s like a reset button.
You realize how silly some things you keep are and the importance of keeping other things safe.
4. Quirks You’ve Never Noticed Before
Sometimes it takes a new person to enter your life for you to notice that they curl their hair when they are talking or that they blow bubbles with their gums during awkward silences.
Quirks are cute and generally harmless.
Make sure you’re dating someone who’s okay with your need to kick a stone on the sidewalk or have all your bills facing in the same direction.
5. How You Spend Your Time
When someone new enters your life, it can affect your daily routine and schedule (in a good or a bad way).
This will force you to stop and consider how you spend this priceless free time.
Maybe the person you’re dating integrates seamlessly into your lifestyle, or maybe you need to change a few things; either way, you’ll have to prioritize.
6. Sacrifices You Want And Don’t Want To Make
Speaking of priorities, spending time with another person will force you to examine what is really important to you.
If you like the person, you’re likely to give up watching every episode of “The Bachelor” to be with them.
Recognize the things and elements that were present in your single life that you are not willing to give up during dating.
Stand by their side and don’t loosen your grip; anyone who doesn’t respect that isn’t worth your time, after all.
7. Trends In Your Love Life
Maybe you always fall in love with a sleeve full of tattoos.
No matter what floats on your boat, once you’re back in the dating world, you start to notice the types of people you attract and are attracted to.
Own it, accept it, learn from your past, and use that knowledge to improve someone who fits you, not your type.
8. What Is Important For Your Future
Talking about individual goals, plans, and ideas with someone new reaffirms or makes you question what you want for yourself in the future.
Don’t be afraid to let someone else challenge or question your ideas for the future; just make sure you don’t compromise your goals for someone who doesn’t see the value in them.