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TaraRichterDatingCoach7The 6th rule of the Dating Jungle is one you should carry with you in all aspects of life, and that is to Respect Yourself & Your Boundaries. You train people how to treat you, and this concept begins and ends with yourself. There is a reason the first and most important rule of the Dating Jungle is to Heal All Wounds before Loving Another; the love you have for yourself will precedent the love you are willing to accept from others. Sometimes it can be easy to get carried away in a relationship, especially in the beginning stages. That is why you need to know your comfort levels beforehand, set boundaries, and stick to them.

People are always going to test your limits—whether they are a boyfriend, family member, child, or friend. It is up to you to decide where you choose to draw the line and stand up for yourself. This rule of setting boundaries is especially important when it comes to being intimate with someone. While there are always exceptions, often time men are typically quicker to make the move for sex than women are. If you do not feel you are ready until after you have established a relationship or have a conversation where you mutually agree on the type of relationship you two are going to have, it is perfectly acceptable to decline. It’s unfortunate when women feel they have to have sex with a man to keep their interest. If a man truly respects you and is interested in maintaining a long term relationship with you, he will wait. No exceptions. (By no means am I saying sex before marriage or casual sex of any kind is unacceptable. What I mean is that if you are looking for a lasting relationship, it is important to get to know each other on other levels other than just sexually. Also, the sexual experiences are probably not going to be enjoyable if you are not comfortable and ready).

It’s obvious that we now live in an age where there are many different types of relationships. The key is finding one that you feel comfortable in—may that be a monogamous and exclusive one, or a casual, open relationship. People have different needs and it is essential to find a match who fulfills those needs.

Always be wary of people who try to change you or any aspect of your life. Your wants and needs—your life in general— is important and when they try to change or dismiss that, they are not accepting you for who you truly are.

At the end of the day, when you give yourself the love and respect you deserve, the only people the universe will allow into your life are those that are willing to do the same.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.