1. You don’t know anything about their past. Unless you grew up with them or knew this person for at least a few years, you’ll have no idea who they were or what they did before meeting you. And that is absolutely terrifying.
2. You don’t know anything about their exes or their past romantic history. Unless it’s evident somewhere on social media, or someone clearly stated the name of who they have dated in the past, there’s just no way of knowing. You won’t know if you’re the prettiest girlfriend they had or the ugliest. They could’ve dated someone for five years or not have been in a serious relationship at all. Maybe they cheated on everyone they dated; maybe they got cheated on and now have trust issues. Over time, you’ll learn a bit more about their past and who they were involved with, but you’ll never know as much as you want to (even though you’re secretly glad you don’t).
3. You never know if you’re coming on too strong. Texting and calling is an endless mind game. You don’t want to appear too available or eager. You don’t want to scare them away by asking to hang out too soon. You don’t want to weird them out by expressing how you feel about them too early on. You end up questioning your every move which is not only scary, but exhausting.
4. You’re not sure how comfortable you can really get. Can I burp in front of him? Take my makeup off in front of him? Tell my gross dead baby jokes to him? You are constantly unsure of what your limits should be. In the beginning stages of a relationship, it’s so easy to turn your potential partner off or send them running that you feel the pressure to present a more polished version of yourself.
5. You have no idea if they can see a future with you. While you may be picturing a wedding and children early on, this relationship might just be another fling for them. Unless they are very clear that they want you to stick around for a while, you’ll always be unsure. And this only leads to insecurity.
6. You don’t know if there are things about you that bother them. You’re comfortable with who you are. Your family and friends have accepted you 100%. But now there’s a new person who has to get to know every facet of your personality, and you’re not positive if they’ll like all of it. While your friends may think it’s hilarious that you can finish an 18-pack to the face, your new boyfriend may get turned off and question why they’re with you. There’s just no telling what will hit a nerve this early on. Things that you once felt natural doing are now things that you’re second guessing.
7. You don’t know how honest you can be. Can I tell him that I go to therapy? That I just got out of a long relationship? That my brother has a drug problem? You just aren’t sure how much information is too much, too soon. Some people might appreciate getting to know who you are up front; others might want to wait a few months until they hear the intense details of your life. It’s nerve-wracking to know that sharing one detail of who you are can possibly send someone running in the opposite direction.
8. There’s no way to know if they’re hiding something. For all you know, they could be talking to five other girls. They might still be hung up on their ex and are only using you as a rebound. Maybe they are abusive. Maybe they have a super freaky fetish and enjoy abnormal things in the bedroom. All you can do is wait and see.
9. You don’t know if their friends and family really like you. Although you will get a better idea down the line in your relationship, in the beginning when you’re first meeting friends and family, it’s hard to tell who really likes you and who thinks you’ll be gone in due time. While his mother might be polite at dinner, she could secretly be whispering to your new beau that she misses his old girlfriend and doesn’t think you’ll last. Her friends might be sweet out at happy hour, but afterwards could be advising your girlfriend to run next chance she gets. It’s terrifying to know that in the beginning, you’re not only trying to win this new person over, but all their family and friends as well.
10. You’re not yet sure if your lives will realistically work together. You both had your own lives before meeting each other: friends, families, jobs, schedules, activities. The only person you ever really had to consider was yourself. But when you start a new relationship with someone, your two lives slowly begin to merge. You suddenly have this person you have to make time for after work, on the weekends, during holidays. Something that wasn’t a big deal when you first got to know him might look like a serious problem once it’s directly involved in your life. All relationships require compromise and flexibility, but how can you tell if that person is worth it from the very beginning?
11. You don’t know if this is for real or if it’ll be over before you know it. Yeah, they are great now. They shower you with compliments and are incredibly attentive, but when will it end? How long will it last until they become disinterested? When will they discover they really don’t like every aspect of your personality? Especially with social media today, there are thousands of other people for them to look at/talk to regularly. Millennials plus technology, plus dating is a terrifying combination.