Whether he's your first boyfriend or you're just getting into a new relationship, knowing how to act around your guy can up the comfort factor for both of you. Although feeling anxious or unsure is normal for a new situation, understanding appropriate ways to show affection, what to talk about and how to act when you're with him in a social situation can ease tensions and making the "getting to know you" stage more enjoyable.
To Disclose or Not to Disclose
Sharing your deepest hopes, dreams and fears is an essential part of developing the closeness that is necessary to build a committed relationship. That said, spilling your secrets right away -- or going overboard with what you tell him -- may push him away or make him think that you're needy, according to professor of psychology Susan Krauss Whitbourne in her article "The Secret to Revealing Your Secrets" on the website Psychology Today. Go slowly and tame the temptation to overshare. For example, instead of acting like a chatterbox or talking nonstop about your past relationships and hopes for a family in the future, wait until he asks or the topic comes up naturally during conversation.
Public Displays of Affection
While the electric spark that you feel when he comes near may make you want to put your hands all over him, make sure that your guy finds public displays of affection acceptable before you give yourself the go-ahead. Before you kiss, hug or act affectionately in public, ask him what his beliefs are on this issue. If he has a different idea of what is -- and isn't -- acceptable, respect it. Avoid crossing boundaries or acting in a way that makes him feel uncomfortable. If the tables are turned and he expects you to do something that you don't find appropriate, you don't need to follow his lead. Stand up for yourself and explain that he needs to respect your limits when it comes to public affection.
Clingy Isn't Cute
A new relationship may trigger a chemical cascade in your brain that makes you feel as though you're addicted to your new boyfriend, according to licensed social worker Debra Manchester MacMannis on the website PsychCentral. That said, constant calling and generally clinging to your guy may push him away. Instead of acting needy, show your independence and be your own person. If you feel like you're showing some neediness, take a step back and put some distance between yourself and your boyfriend. This may mean waiting for him to call you -- instead of you calling him -- stopping the slew of texts or acting somewhat aloof around him.
Aside from public displays of affection, you'll also need to know how to act around your guy in social situations with family or friends. This may include how you talk to him in front of his -- or your -- pals and how you interact with other people who may have a romantic interest in you. For example, your boyfriend may not like your friends. This may make it difficult to hang out in a group situation. Help him to feel comfortable and ask him to pick and choose which friends you spend time with together. Even though you'll devote some of your social time to your friends, pay attention to your guy as well. If he doesn't know your friends -- or family -- introduce him to everyone and include him in the conversation.
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Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.
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