9 Things to Look for Before Opening Your Heart

The best way to find love is dating with an open heart.

You’ve been through a lot, I know. You’re tired of investing time in the wrong guys, you just end up feeling frustrated and hurt at the end. You’ve work hard to finally have peace and a sense of happiness, and you don’t want to start dating some guy just to mess it up all over again.

But you still don’t want to give up on love. You want to meet the right guy. Someone who makes you feel challenged, inspired, and adored. You’re also scared.

After everything, you’re not sure how to date without being played and wasting more time.

So how do you put yourself out there and be open to love, but also protect your heart?

The answer? Openness coupled with boundaries. Yes, it’s possible!

Here are nine tips you can use to make sure it’s safe to open your heart while you’re dating:

1. Avoid a guy with obviously low self-esteem.

If he’s not going to love and value himself, he probably won’t love and value you in any significant way.

If you wind up dating a guy like this and find he has other qualities that make it worth sticking around, like he DOES treat you the way you deserve to be treated, then help him work on that self-esteem. Challenge him to be the best he can be.

2. Find out whether his values regarding family and relationships match your own.

Don’t just discuss it with him. Take a close look at his life. Does he have healthy relationships with friends and family? Does he have his finances in order?

While drama tends to happen, make sure he doesn’t have drama that’s going to interfere significantly with your life.

3. Don’t just accept his bad behavior.

If your current beau is repeating some of the same bad behaviors that you’ve experienced in past relationships, ask him up front to stop. If he can’t, or won’t move on. You deserve to be treated better.

4. He does what he says.

His actions will show how much he cares about you, not just his words. Make sure he’s actually treating you the way he claims that he cares about you.

A boyfriend who’s thoughtful, caring, generous, consistent and kind will someday be a husband who’s thoughtful, caring, generous, consistent, and kind.

5. Figure out if he includes you in all aspects of his life

Over time, he needs to be including you in more aspects of his life. He needs to welcome you in his home and office. He invites you to spend time with family and friends. He’s proud to show you off. If so, then he’s a keeper.

6. Be sure he’s as into you as you are in him. If not more.

If he’s into you, you become a priority. He wants to spend time with you regularly, and he’ll tell you what he likes about you. He doesn’t leave you wondering or anxiously waiting.

7. Be your own advocate.

If anything is bothering you, tell him. If he gets defensive, then it’s a red flag.

If he’s not able to assess his behavior in a mature fashion, he won’t make the necessary changes. Remember, YOU can’t change someone, they have to want to change for themselves. Date a man who can own up to his mistakes.

8. Wait to have sex.

Sex is awesome, and it’s perfectly healthy to want it right away, but the right guy will respect your feelings and won’t push you if you want to wait. He’ll wait because you’ll want to wait. If he can’t do that, then he’s not going to respect you the rest of the time, either.

9. You feel relaxed and happy when you’re with him.

If you feel like you’re walking on eggshells with the guy you’re dating, something is WRONG. In the right relationship, you’ll feel happy, relaxed, and comfortable all the time.

With strong boundaries and high expectations, you’ll know when it’s safe to open your heart. And when you’re all in — when you’re authentic, generous, warm and loving — that’s when LOVE will show up. That’s when the magic will happen. -C. Sky