If real life was a rom-com, your relationship would go something like this: the ultimate meet-cute would have you locking eyes and knowing in your soul that they’re The One from the first “hello.” Cut to a montage of baking together (with spilled flour all over the kitchen, obviously), sunset strolls holding hands, and maybe a tandem bicycle ride or two. To no one’s surprise, relationships tend to develop a little less cinematically in real life. The beginning of relationships are tough to navigate, but can also make or break the longevity of your romance. Realone.data.blog
1. Focus on the present, not the past
It’s natural to bring your fears and negative experiences to a new relationship; after all, it’s a survival mechanism to prevent getting your heart broken again. But even if old fears and insecurities may prevent heartbreak, they can also prevent you from truly being happy in a new relationship. For example, if a past partner was unfaithful, don’t distrust your new partner just because of what an ex-relationship was like. Focus on the qualities that make your new partner different. If they’re trustworthy enough to date, that means you should trust them.
Likewise, while the “dating history” conversation will be an important one eventually, don’t rush into it. Spend the first few dates getting to know your partner’s likes, dislikes, dreams, and personality traits, while they’re getting to know yours. There’s no need to explain what went wrong in your last relationship on the first date or find out about their dating past before you know the names of their siblings and where they grew up.
2. Talk about the future early on
While you shouldn’t focus on the past, you should focus on the future, at least somewhat. Of course, you don’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) ask how many kids they want before the salad course arrives on date #1, but you don’t want to wait until after one year of dating to find out that they never want to get married if marriage is a non-negotiable for you. It’s not always fun to talk about things like life goals, religion, marriage, politics, etc., but naturally work your deal-breakers into the conversation to make sure you’re at least on the same page, as soon as you start to see a future together. Also, whether you’re looking for a long-term relationship or are looking for more of a casual fling, tell them.
3. Make sure you’re attracted to the person, not the idea of a relationship
Sometimes we want to be in a relationship so badly (dating isexhausting) that we don’t even realize we’re more attracted to the idea of a relationship than the person we’re in a relationship with. If you’re so focused on finding Happily Ever After, you run the risk of pushing other people into boxes that they don’t belong in (or don’t want to be in). You overlook flaws or red flags because your mind has already convinced yourself that this must work. Instead, take your partner at face value. Assume they’re not The One. Would they still be someone you want to spend your time with? If you enjoy their company so much that you’d want to be with them whether or not they were “The One,” then you’re likely attracted to them, not just a relationship.
4. Don’t skip the sex talk!
This should go without saying, but if you’re not comfortable talking to your partner about sexual health (including STD testing, history, etc.), then you’re not ready to be intimate (or maybe they’re not someone you should be intimate with). Discuss your likes, dislikes, and what you are (and are not) comfortable with, while listening to theirs without judgment. Oh, and don’t forget that the “right time” to be intimate is different for every couple (screw the “three date rule” or any other bullsh*t guidelines), and remember that just one partner feeling ready is not enough.