Today, we’re going to talk about how to set boundaries.
No, I’m not talking about political boundaries between countries.
I’m talking about the boundaries you need to set with a man on a date. I’m going to show you how to set boundaries without scaring him off.
First dates are pretty vulnerable for women.
You’re dealing with a guy that could at his best be your next Romeo in shining armor and at his worst possibly be your worst college frat-boy, douchebag, a nightmare.
Again, I’m going to emphasize that most men fall into a very nice bell curve.
On one end, we’ve got the jerks.
On the other hand, we’ve got the wimps.
Right there in the middle is a nice big, hefty population of genuinely decent guys.
There are far more good guys out there than crappy guys. You just don’t hear from them as much because most men were a little intimidated to make a move in our current political climate.
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Guys are genuinely confused and scared of doing the wrong thing when it comes to taking initiative with women.
And with so many mixed messages in the media, can you blame them?
It’s about time people like Harvey Weinstein and all the other creepy guys in the world were held accountable. I’m all for that.
The unfortunate side effect is that now it’s pretty scary for a guy to even consider asking a woman on a date when he doesn’t know what’s acceptable and what might actually get them labeled as another pervy dude.
So let me say this.
You can set boundaries on a date with him and avoid scaring him off in the process. And it’s essential as you do this you have to set those boundaries because you’re going to be setting the playing field for your relationship with him, your entire future— all the way to marriage and beyond.
So before we get to the rest of how to set boundaries on a date, here are three quick tips about how to deal with men when setting boundaries.
Don’t say yes when you really mean no.
Not only is this incredibly confusing to a guy, it’s also leading him on.
Now I understand that it can be hard to be so plainspoken with a guy because you want to be nice. You want to be liked and you don’t want to be a bitch.
But if there’s something you probably know by now it’s guys don’t get hints.
If you pull punches and you don’t speak very clearly and plainly with him, he won’t get it. He’ll misunderstand and he’ll keep doing whatever it is you don’t want him to do.
Speak your truth.
Many women are afraid to tell a guy what she’s really thinking and feeling on the inside.
When you don’t tell the truth because you’re afraid he’s going to reject you or you’re afraid of any reaction he might have, you’re disrespecting yourself and you’re underestimating him.
And tip number three, which I’m going to be doing at the risk of sounding like cheerleading here but…
Don’t let a man run your life.
It can be easy to go along for the ride where a guy’s assertiveness and his will, his strong willpower. Sometimes it’s just plain easier to go along to get along.
Now this happens on the first date or usually happens when he picks everything out, right? Like the wine, where you go to eat, he’ll pick the appetizer. Just make sure you get your vote on these things and don’t start out with a bad pattern.
There’s something I want you to always remember.
The CEO of your life is you.
Don’t ever forget that.
There are a few places you want to set some boundaries to make sure that you don’t lose your way in your relationship.
1. Where’s his end zone?
The end zone in football is where each team is trying to take the football to score, right? And eventually, they want to win the game.
Well, you have to know up front that if he’s a guy who is just looking for a good time.
Is that his end zone?
Or is he looking for a relationship?
On the first date, you want to listen to the hints he drops in conversation.
If he starts talking sexually with you on the first date, well he’s probably testing you to see how far he can get on this date.
In this case, his end zone would be the bedroom at first.
Here’s another secret about guys that you won’t find anywhere else.
Men are always looking for a good time first and then a relationship if you turn out to be cool, fun and compatible with him.
Now, that doesn’t mean that’s how he wants the date to actually go.
He’s just testing you, remember?
You may think that all guys out there are commitment phobic. The way they act up front and then they kind of grow distant later on, you’ve had that happen maybe?
Well… you ask me, “Carlos, he’s just scared to commit, right?”
Sorry, I’m going to bust our game wide open for the ladies today.
It’s the one trick that guys use that works every single time. Women have been fed this lie for long enough.
Men actually like that women think that they are commitment-phobic because it gives him the excuse he needs to leave when the time is right when he realizes this might not be for him.
Remember this, guys are wired to commit to the woman that will unlock his heart by simply – all right, wait a minute, I’m going to get to more about this in a bit.
For now, just know that guys do commit but we do it differently than women do.
2. Keep it real.
One of the big mistakes that people make when they’re dating is they try to make the first few dates a romantic fantasy come true.
They make dates that just simply don’t resemble real life at all for those first few months. It’s like a romantic playground.
Now, guys are mostly guilty of this because they’re the ones who are planning.
But you should be the one who is watching out and setting this particular boundary because the woman gets attached to this first date fantasyland because it feels wonderfully romantic.
I mean who wouldn’t?
Romantic dinners, thrilling events, going out to shows, the first date is often a little bit too much. So just go to coffee instead of dinner.
It’s not realistic for the man to keep up that level of expectation.
And what it does is it avoids the fact that you need to bond on a real-world level first.
You have to know if this guy is for real.
Crazy all-nighters where he ends up sleeping over or flying off to Mexico for the weekend with you on a whim, is just not sustainable by either of you.
Novelty also amplifies the attraction hormones in your system to a level where you’re going to be tricking yourselves about the level of desire and commitment you actually do have for each other.
You have to see, know and experience how you interact in the real world to know if a relationship with him is going to work.
3. Know your expectations and requirements for personal time and space.
Personal time and space can be tricky. I’m really surprised more couples don’t actually talk about space more often.
After all, if you don’t know what your expectations are here, you could find yourself in a lot of awkward arguments.
How much space you need and how much “me time” do you need?
You’ve got to know what each one of you thinks is the ideal amount of time to spend together as well as the time you need apart.
Back when you were in high school, yeah, sure you can ditch school and make out on a couch all day long. OK, maybe I might have done that one once or twice too. But as grownups, we know what our limits are.
You know when you need that ‘me time’ to get the grocery shopping done and hang out with your kids or head to the gym and you’ve got a real life to manage?
Your guy might not have the same obligations or needs that you do or vice versa.
Be upfront about your needs so that you both know what time you have together and what time you need apart.
Misunderstandings are usually caused by one person not wanting to rock the boat so they stay silent. They don’t want to chance messing up this new romance.
Here’s a really important fact for you.
People don’t usually walk away from a relationship because the other person has healthy boundaries.
They walk away because the communication of the boundaries wasn’t done well and now there’s conflict, misunderstandings, and confusion. And most of the time, it’s because those relationship boundaries were set too late.
Communication. Did that word just trigger a whole bunch of stuff for you?
Communication is the trickiest part of dating with men and for guys, that are dating women.
Hands down, it’s the most complicated part. And it’s not because guys are particularly complicated in how they talk about things, we just communicate it in a much different way than women do which feels very confusing because it seems to be coming from a completely different way of thinking.
I used to feel the same way about women until I wrote a few good books on the topic of communication and how women think versus how men think and so on.
And you know what? I rarely find myself confused about it now. But this doesn’t mean I haven’t had my moments but for the most part, I get how men and women go wrong when they’re communicating. That’s why I got into this whole dating advice gig.
Remember that boundaries are not meant to be empty threats or harsh limits that you set that make you feel uncomfortable.
Boundaries are clear, loving, firm words we say to assert our needs.
Your boundaries tell him how you want to be treated in life and in love.
On the first date, be willing to establish any boundaries around conversation topics, like sex, previous relationships or anything that’s too intimate too soon. That’s how you set that particular boundary right off the bat.
5. Getting physical.
The physical part of your relationship is probably the toughest part to set a boundary around but it has to be done as soon as you can.
The first date is not too soon to talk about it, and this is the place you have to. Especially when physical intimacy comes up on the first date, it needs to be addressed right away.
The simple fact is that you might actually feel that this guy is incredible on that first date. Maybe it’s going awesome and you don’t want to lose this chance with him.
You might be really tempted to jump in there with him on the first date because the chemistry is so fantastic.
But the truth is you can’t do it. Here’s why:
- If you need to sleep with him to lock him down, you never really had the connection you thought you did.
- If you sleep with him too soon, you’ll ruin the challenge for him. He will lose interest if he doesn’t have to work for your affection.
- It breaks the emotional connection with the guy. If he gets to home base too soon, he won’t feel the right level of comfort with you…and finally…
- If you sleep with a guy too soon, you won’t seem valuable to him. You are basically “giving him the milk for free” as the old saying goes.
Remember my particularly astute quote about this? That is:
“Easy never really turns into love anywhere else but in the movies.”
I could probably go on for hours with more reasons why you should not sleep with him on the first date.
I realize it’s tough when everything you see in the movies, everything you see and hear in music and everything you read about romance books tell you that you should just throw caution to the wind and be as sexual as you want but it’s all a lie.
Now at the risk of being politically incorrect, let me be really clear about this.
You will find that the man who you make wait a little bit will be more emotionally involved and connected with you that if you jump right into bed with him.
You can take that right from Carlos. I know it’s considered sexist to say it but it’s the truth and most women know it deep down, deep inside them.
If you want a long-term relationship with a guy, it’s not a good idea to pull the bait and switch where you get him sexually connected first and then try to rope him into something else in the long term.
Women who manage to find quality men and keep them don’t use that strategy.
In fact, these women have always been successful with men throughout history.
What do they do differently?
These women understand that they can use something far more powerful to make a guy fall for them and lock him down into a commitment.
In fact, he’ll be the one wanting the commitment from YOU.
You don’t have to use any shiny prizes to lure him.
Instead, you use the power of promise with him.
It’s called The Cupid Effect.
If you want him to stop running away from you and commit to you forever, you’ve got to know how to use The Cupid Effect to make him love you in one easy step.
See what I mean here.