Art by Amy Shamblen.
In this worksheet, you will reflect on your past patterns of behavior, and divide your relationship journey into four distinct stages. You will determine your own dating boundaries on a specific timeline that feels healthy and safe for you. You know yourself. YOU determine your boundaries. You can take a relationship at YOUR pace.
This worksheet helped me define what I’m looking for in a relationship, how slowly I want to take it, and to help keep myself accountable as I move forward in finding and experiencing healthy connections.
Get Intentional About Your Love Life
In this six page PDF worksheet, you will reflect on your past patterns of behavior and determine your own dating boundaries on a specific timeline that feels healthy and safe for you. By creating and sticking to your personalized plan it will become easier to protect your serenity and safety when dating, build a realistic view of potential partners without slipping into fantasy, determine if someone is or isn’t a good match for you, and to walk away with less chaos and heartbreak if appropriate.
It’s normal to get excited about new relationships. Actually, it’s part of it! Getting to know someone is intoxicating. Literally – our brains release dopamine when we fall in love. But unfortunately, rushing to commit to a new crush like a bull in a china shop usually ends badly.
In the past, I became obsessive over new crushes and moved incredibly quickly into new relationships. I got addicted to the fantasy of someone that I created in my mind. I would relish in the imaginary life that we could build together. They were “the one!” I would obsessively check my texts. Their social media. Their Spotify. Their exes Instagram. I wondered, “When will we see each other again???” This obsession didn’t feel good – it felt stressful and compulsive.
By sticking to my personalized dating plan it became easier to protect my serenity and safety, to see realistically if someone wasn’t a good match for me, and to walk away with less chaos and heartbreak when appropriate.
Inevitably, we’d become entangled, emotionally and/or sexually, and then in a matter of weeks or months, the crushing reality would set in: this person is human, and entirely different to the expectations I had built in my head. With so much of my self worth caught up in the approval and attention of others, when it was gone, I was left devastated and empty. I couldn’t continue to live like that.
Turns out, building healthy relationships is about maintaining balance and perspective in all facets of your life. We need hobbies, friendships, activities that enhance our self esteem, and most importantly, we must have boundaries that we define and enforce.
You can create a dating plan on a specific timeline that feels healthy and safe for you. You know yourself. You determine your boundaries. You can take a relationship at your pace. Download the PDF.
*This worksheet is inspired by a Sober Dating Plan outlined by SLAA – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, however, you don’t need to identify as an addict to utilize this tool. If you’d like to learn more about SLAA and their 12 Step program see here.