When you start dating someone new, of course you want to make the best impression possible. More than anything, you want this amazing man to like you and think you’re, likewise, a wonderful person.
When you’re swept up and excited about a new romance, you may unknowingly change who you are to impress him. You may let your healthy boundaries slip (or forget them all together). But, if you don’t keep to your standards at the start of your relationship, you won’t be able to get them back down the line.
Here are 5 things you NEVER owe a man when you’re first getting to know each other. (In fact, you never owe a man these things at ANY point in your relationship.)
1. You don’t owe him an explanation about why you’re not married
Being cross-examined about why you’re “still” single puts you on the defensive. It makes you feel judged and vulnerable. There are damn good reasons why you’re single. Stop telling yourself that being married is OK and being single is not. Whether single by choice or by chance, there’s nothing wrong with you. And you don’t need to justify where you are in life.
2. You definitely don’t owe him sex before you’re ready
Just because he wants to have sex with you doesn’t mean you have to go through with it. If you feel pressure, either real or imagined, don’t do it just to make him happy (or to make him like you). Taking you out and spending his money on you does not equate to purchasing access to your body! Remember, once given, it can’t be taken back.
3. You don’t owe him monogamy (until it’s mutually agreed upon)
If a man wants exclusivity from you, even if he’s not exclusive with you, the answer is no! It’s a simple concept really: don’t commit to him more than he’s committed to you. When he’s truly serious about you he’ll agree to monogamy, and if he doesn’t, well, he’s just not ready.
4. You don’t have to drink or do drugs with him
Men who do drugs and drink usually like company, so he’ll want you to join him. Know what’s right for you and don’t change your habits or boundaries to please him. If he says you’re ruining his fun or being a prude, it’s OK; you’re not required to prove your coolness. If his drinking or drugs are an issue for you, take it seriously, otherwise you’re playing with fire.
5. You never owe him an apology for being authentically you
If he judges what you eat, what you wear, or how you look … beware. If he labels your beliefs wrong or silly, think twice. Don’t make excuses or justify your choices to a man who doesn’t “get you.” Be who you are and be proud.
Knowing what you don’t owe a man hopefully reminds you of what you DO owe yourself. Honor your own boundaries, trust that you know what is right for you, and most importantly, don’t change who you are for ANYONE (a man you’re dating or otherwise).