Five Things to Remember at the Beginning of a Relationship
The first few months of a new relationship are incredible, but they also create a foundation and set habits for the future. In this period of getting to know each other there are five things you should pay special attention to that will help you create a healthy and lasting connection.
The beginning of a relationship is a beautiful time. You smile at every good morning text, get excited about every date, and count down the minutes until the next time you see your special someone. Your stomach is constantly filled with butterflies, and life is grand.
Relationships bring a unique kind of happiness into your life. There's so much potential, the promise of love and a future together, but it's important to remember that relationships are also complex.
Relationships consist of two imperfect people blending their lives together, and while that's beautiful, it's also challenging. If you want a strong and lasting relationship, here are a few things you should remember in the beginning.
Pay Attention to the Habits You Set
After looking for love and finding a new relationship, the first few months are crucial. During this time you get to know each other's past and hopes for the future. You introduce each other to the people in your life. You might even go on a small trip together.
And while these are all important components of a relationship, there's another reason the first six months are so significant. These are the months that you, whether intentionally or not, set habits in the relationship.
It's important for your happiness, and the strength of the relationship, that these habits are something you're willing to do for the foreseeable future.
For instance, you might fall into a pattern where one of you cooks and the other goes grocery shopping. Or perhaps you always drive and your significant other does laundry.
While it's good to have balance in the relationship, the problem comes when you are stuck in a habit you never intended to create.
Let's say you volunteered to do the shopping once since they said they would cook, but you thought you'd switch off sometimes. You didn't say anything, and now, six months later, it's routine.
It can be really difficult and uncomfortable to try to break habits several months in, which is why you should pay attention to the habits you're creating in the beginning.
If you don't like the balance you've struck with your partner, speak up. Talk kindly, but be honest about your feelings.
You should never allow yourself to be stuck in a position you're not happy about. And in circumstances like these, it's much easier to stop the habit as it forms than to change it later.
Don't Lose Yourself
It's easy to get consumed with a new relationship. Your first few months together are filled with excitement, late-night phone calls, and lots of firsts.
The sun rises and sets with them, and they rarely leave your mind. It's normal to be swept up in a new romance, especially if things are going well, but it's important that you don't become so obsessed with your new partner that you lose your own sense of self.
Wanting to spend as much time together as possible is common in a blossoming romance, but make sure you schedule time with your friends too. So many friendships fall apart when someone gets into a new relationship because the friendship is no longer a priority.
Don't let your friendship be among them. Call up your bestie and set a brunch date, go shopping, or catch a movie together.
You should also continue to pursue your own passions and dreams. If you love going to the yoga studio every week, don't start skipping your classes just because you're in a relationship.
When you're at work, focus on work. Your career is yours, and you likely have goals for your future that depend on your hard work. Don't slack off due to a lack of focus or care.
Another common mistake people make at the beginning of relationships is feeling like they can't disagree with their new partner. You don't have to like everything your partner likes.
If you're dating someone that's really into sports, and you don't like sports, it's okay to say that. Yes, you can go to a game or two to show your support and share in his/her interests, but you don't have to become obsessed with it.
And you should definitely introduce your partner to some of your interests too. It's all about finding balance. Your partner and their passions and dreams are important, but so are you and yours. Remember that, and never lose your identity for anyone.
Don't Ignore Red Flags
Too often, when people get into a relationship, they make excuses for the person they're dating. If you like someone, really like them, it's easy to ignore the red flags.
Is he always pushing for sex but you want to see some more commitment first, and this leads to tension in the relationship. You tell yourself you misunderstood, you're overreacting, it's not that bad. Then you find yourself lying to your friends or neglecting to tell them information altogether.
You build your partner up so much in your mind, that you don't look at the truth that's right in front of your face. You don't want the relationship to end, so you create a false reality and stay inside that bubble for as long as possible.
But doing that is a mistake. A big one. Because whatever signs you ignore in the beginning are normally the issues that cause the relationship to end eventually.
No one is perfect, and everyone has flaws. That's okay. But there are some characteristics or habits that should never be overlooked.
If you notice unhealthy behavior in your partner or you get a gut feeling that something is wrong, don't ignore it. You're only setting yourself up for heartbreak, and you might find yourself in a dangerous situation a few months down the road.
Do yourself a favor, and pay attention. Talk to your significant other if you're unsure, but never stay silent and ignore a problem in hopes that it will go away because it won't.
Don't Hide Your Deal Breakers
Everyone has deal-breakers. For some, they're small, and for others, they're pretty big. Maybe you're going to school for a long time and refuse to get married until you graduate and establish yourself in your career.
Perhaps you've never wanted kids and refuse to date someone who sees children in their future. Or maybe you simply want to stay in your home town because you want to be close to your family.
Whatever desire you have for your future that's non-negotiable should always be discussed with your partner when the relationship starts to get serious.
It can be terrifying, exposing these truths to your partner. What if you're not on the same page and the relationship ends?
That risk is one you have to take, unfortunately. A relationship can't last if the people in it want different futures. And you deserve to be with someone who wants what you want.
When you have the conversation with your partner, don't gloss over your deal breakers. If they're non-negotiable, tell them that.
Don't let your significant other believe there's wiggle room. Be blunt, honest, and direct.
Don't Play Games
Everyone has likely, at some point or another, received a text they were waiting for and then proceeded to wait before texting back. Why? They don't want to seem desperate.
Somewhere along the line, it became “socially unacceptable” for people to reveal that they actually like the person they like. And that led to a series of dating “rules” for how to play the game.
The thing is though, dating isn't a game. If you're dating to find love, companionship, and a lifetime commitment, dating should never be about winning or deceiving anyone.
It takes a lot of courage to be yourself, lay your cards on the table, and be honest about your feelings, but it's the only way to have an honest and real relationship.
Being vulnerable isn't bad. Yes, it leaves you open to get hurt, but it also leaves you open to finding a love that lasts a lifetime.
Stop pretending you don't care. Answer the message as soon as you want. Send the good morning text. Show up with flowers.
Tell the person you like them. Call within 24 hours. Tell them you had a good time. And don't pretend you don't have baggage; everyone has baggage.
Be yourself, and the right person will love you for it. That might sound cliche, but it's the truth. Remember that, and don't settle for less.
As you find yourself being swept off your feet, keep your head about you. It's normal to dream of a happily ever after, but the fairy tale ending doesn't just happen; you have to work at it.
Use this list to help you cultivate a healthy relationship filled with honesty, open communication, and long-lasting feelings.
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