It's been about a year and you are FINALLY over your stupid jerk of an ex.
You went through the whole dating around phase, but all those prospects sort of fizzled out and now you're just sort of, well, bored.
There isn't much excitement going on in your love life, but there is this one guy in your office who you've been hanging out with quite a bit. You never really noticed him until now, but he's sort of growing on you.
The only problem is... you can't tell if you actually like him, or you're just building him up in your head because you're bored of your love life.
We've all been there before, right? I know I have. It happens when I hit that next level of singleness. You know what I'm talking about. There's regular singleness, then there's the level of singleness where I make nuns seem sort of slutty. The one where I haven't even had the prospect of a man in my life in months.
There's regular singleness, then there's the level of singleness where I make nuns seem sort of slutty.
Then, a guy comes along and, OF COURSE, I get excited... but I have a hard time telling why. Is it because I'm bored and he's offering me some sort of excitement, or because I actually really do like him?
Well, I talked to Dr. Niloo Dardashti, a psychologist and relationship expert in New York City, to learn how to answer that question once and for all.
First, you have to ask yourself a question.
Dr. Dardashti gave me a pretty simple solution. She says, "Do a gauge with yourself. On a scale of one to 10, how different would you feel if that person was suddenly not in your life?"
She encourages us to "really imagine them not being there." Then, ask yourself, "Does it feel almost the same as them being there?"
If your answer is no...
Best case scenario: This person is bringing something unique to your life. There's a special quality about their presence that would you would genuinely miss if they were to not be around.
Congrats, you're not bored! You actually like this LUCKY dude.
If your answer is yes...
Then odds are you're bored.
According to Dr. Dardashti, this opens a whole new can of worms. She says, "When you're bored, it's not about them; it's about the companionship. It's about having someone with you so you're not alone."
If this is the case, it's so important that you take some time to really reflect and ask yourself what it is, exactly, about being alone that scares you so much.
Dr. Dardashti suggests some follow-up questions to ask yourself: Am I avoiding something? Is stuff coming up for me that I need to work through? Where am I in my life? Am I in a transition? Do I need to take some time to reconnect with myself?
Maybe now is perhaps a good time to try out therapy or do some meditation to really get back in touch with yourself.
If you're not sure...
Maybe you don't know right off the bat how you would feel if this person were to suddenly disappear. And that's OK.
In that case, Dr. Dardashti warns not to do something extreme and break up with him on the spot. Instead, you should continue spending time with him while still making time in your schedule for self-reflection and figuring out what's going on with you internally.
No matter what your answer is...
The overarching message here is to always stay connected with yourself, no matter your relationship status.
Dr. Dardashti warns that trying to fill a void by spending time with someone you don't really like is just selling yourself short by denying yourself the opportunity to meet someone you actually connect with.
Take the time to make sure you really, REALLY actually like the person you're with. They're lucky to have you. Make sure they're worth it.