Off Limits Dating
By Frank Kermit
Mastering the art of dating requires a number of skills such as being socially calibrated, effective communication and knowing what you want. One of the areas that comes up for many people who are trying to figure out why they are still single when they would rather be in a relationship is that they need to build up their skills in being able to identify who is considered off limits in their dating lives.
In the hierarchy of relationships, the category for off limits people is where you identify someone as a potential dating partner that, for whatever reason, you are unable to pursue a romantic encounter with at this time, but that you would be open to trying to connect with that person in the future, if circumstances were too change.
For example, you are interested in dating someone that is currently in a committed relationship, and instead of trying to break up that relationship, you choose to wait and see if that relationship will run its course and end on its own without any interference from you. It is your decision that when that person becomes available at a later time (if ever), you will make your move and intentions known to try and make a date happen, but in the meanwhile, you will go about your life and date others to find a potential soul mate.
It is very important to note that it is rarely a good idea to close yourself off from dating other people when you would be interested in dating someone that you current deem as Off Limits. That is a critical mistake singles make that keep them single and trapped in the realm of Singledom. Deeming someone Off Limits, does not mean you wait for that person to be single. It means that you keep an open mind if and when that person ever becomes single in the future.
Time plays a very important role in how you manage to decide if and when you will date someone that used to be off limits, but has now become available to date. It is up to you to set those boundaries as to when you will and will not take the chance to date someone. For example, you would be interested in dating the partner of someone you currently consider a friend? They date for 6 months, and then break up.
The question is: how long do you wait to try to date the ex of your friend? Do you wait six months? Do you wait a year? Do you move in right away before your friend and your friend’s ex have a chance to reconcile? These are not easy questions to answer, but it is better to set your own rules ahead of time, because when the situation happens, how you feel you want to handle it, and what is in your best interests on how to handle it, may be very different decisions.
Another example is when you are interested in dating someone you met through your work environment. With so many potential issues that come with getting involved with a co-worker, many people see all work related contacts as Off Limits. However, what if someone leaves the company or changes profession such that they are no longer a work related contact? Once again, do you make your move right away, or do you wait until a certain time period has past? And if you do wait, how long do you wait before you make a move? Only you can decide for yourself.
Knowing how long you wait, or if you should deem someone Off Limits, is based on whether or not you are prepared for the consequences of dating that person. Willing to risk your job by trying to date a co-worker? Not Off Limits for you. Willing to risk losing your friend by trying to date your friend’s ex? Not Off Limits for you. Willing to date someone that your family dislikes and get cut out of the inheritance? Not Off Limits for you.
However, if you are not willing to take a risk and suffer the consequences of trying to date someone, keep that person Off Limits. Keep in mind, that the consequences do not just come from actually dating someone. You may get rejected right from the get go, and never even make it to a first date, but you could still suffer some of those consequences just for trying to make something happen.
If you deem someone Off Limits, make it for a good reason, and when in doubt, stick to it as best you can.
FRANK KERMIT MA
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