The advice you’re going to read may be a bit of a buzzkill. Sorry to break it to you. Right now, all you’re thinking about is seeing your new lover and wondering if they’re thinking about you as much as you’re thinking about them. But if you want to know how to start a relationship, one that’ll last longer than a week, you should consider some things.
So, if you want your love-dovey romance story to turn into a series, well, this is what you should keep in mind.
How to start a relationship
When you’re starting a relationship with someone, there are a lot of things going on in your mind. Do they like me? Can I see myself being with them in the long-run? Are they the one? These are tough questions. They can make you feel a little anxious *trust me, I know*. This can make you feel unsure of what to do or blind you from seeing the red flags.
[Read: Why you should run if you see these early warning flags]
Ah yes, the red flags. But let’s put those to the side for now. When we’re starting a relationship, everything is blissful and lovey-dovey. You’re on cloud nine and thinking this love will last forever and ever. Now, that’s not to say it won’t last forever. But let’s not jump too far ahead.
It’s time for the fun to start!
#1 How does the relationship make you feel? Before anything, check-in with yourself and see how this relationship is making you feel. Does this person bring out the best in you? Do you feel you can be yourself around them? Does this person support you? Write down how you’re feeling, so you can reflect on things later down the road. [Read: Should you lower your expectations to find love?]
#2 What do you want? If you want to have a happy and healthy relationship, you need to be true to yourself. Don’t jump into a relationship knowing this person isn’t the one for you. Of course, being in a new relationship can blind you a bit from seeing your needs, but this is why you need to check-in with yourself.
#3 What are your deal breakers? We all have deal-breakers, and now it’s time for you to think about them. Do you want kids? Do you want to get married? How do you feel about family? These are important topics you need the answers to. If your partner doesn’t want to get married and you do, then this may not be the relationship for you. [Read: 7 non-negotiables in a relationship you should never negotiate on]
#4 Be yourself. I know you want to show them the best version of yourself, but this is somewhat of a white-lie. Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If you don’t like spicy food, don’t pretend you like it. They’re going to find out the real you eventually.
#5 It’s time to listen. It’s always time to listen, but right now, since you’re trying to figure out how to start a relationship the right way, really pay attention to your partner. Don’t get distracted by the passion and romance.
Focus on what your partner is saying and whether or not you two truly fit together. Romance is amazing, but it fades with time. Then reality kicks in. [Read: 14 stages of a new relationship to define your budding romance]
#6 Be honest with what you want. If you want a long-term relationship, tell your partner that! Don’t stick around and hope they’ll change their mind. This is only going to hurt you in the end. Be honest with what you want and make sure they understand what you’re looking for. If they don’t want to commit, that’s fine. You just saved yourself a lot of wasted time.
#7 Meet their friends. If you want to know who they are, meet their friends. Who they hang out with can tell you a lot about who they are as people. Also, have your partner meet your friends. They’re not blinded by love, so they’ll give you the feedback you need, whether you like it or not. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for successful love]
#8 Don’t rush into bed. I know I sound so old fashioned, but from my dating experience, I really agree with this. Of course, if you want to have sex with someone on the first date, you can. No one is stopping you. But decide to have sex when you feel comfortable, not because your partner wants it. Take your time; do what feels right for you.
#9 Keep your independence. You should make sure you don’t get sucked into the relationship. Yes, falling in love is amazing, but you also have friends and family to see. It’s common for people to “disappear” once they’re in a relationship, but stay true to yourself, keep up with your hobbies, and see the people you love. [Read: New relationship boundaries – 12 lines all couples must draw early on]
#10 Deal with your baggage. If your ex-partner cheated on you, that doesn’t mean your new partner will. You need to deal with your past. Whatever you need to do, whether it’s therapy or journaling, do it. We all have our own baggage, but you do not want that to come into a new relationship and cause unnecessary problems.
#11 Talk about sex. If you’re going to have sex with them, you should feel comfortable talking about it. Bring up the conversation of safe sex and STIs. You don’t need to talk about it right away, but it’s something to talk about before being intimate. When you’re both comfortable, bring it up.
#12 Be honest about your past. If you’ve been cheated on or cheated on someone, talk about it with your partner. We all have pasts, and this is something you shouldn’t hide. We all make mistakes as well; this doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of love. Opening up to your partner will help you see if they’re someone who’s good for you. [Read: 20 questions to ask your lover and answer too]
#13 Enjoy it! You’re in a new relationship, it’s supposed to be fun and passionate. Enjoy this time. Don’t get too caught up thinking about the future. Right now, focus on letting your guard down and learning more about each other. With time, you’ll figure out if this is right for you.
[Read: 15 romantic gestures in a new relationship all new couples must know]
Finding a partner isn’t necessarily the hardest part. What’s hard is knowing how to start a relationship that is healthy and happy.
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