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24 Secrets to Be Patient in a Relationship & Avoid Risking a New Love

New relationships are a minefield. To navigate this new terrain, you’ll need to learn how to be patient in a new relationship, or it’ll blow up in your face!

how to be patient in a new relationship

Imagine this—you meet someone who just clicks with you. Their jokes make you laugh, their eyes sparkle when they meet yours, and their texts are the highlight of your daily doomscroll. You’re smitten! So smitten that you’re tempted to dive headfirst into Coupledom, including daily good morning texts, moving in together, and even contemplating future dog names. But slow down—you need to be patient in a new relationship!

Seriously, let’s not get carried away, shall we?

Here’s where the brakes screech: your new bae starts to pull back. The “Good Morning” texts are less frequent, and suddenly you’re staring at your phone like it’s a ticking time bomb.

Boom! That’s the sound of impatience blowing up a relationship that had so much potential. Why? Because figuring out how to be patient in a new relationship isn’t just good advice—it’s a romantic lifesaver.

[Read: Dating for three months – 25 signs, red flags and the biggest relationship must-knows]

The Psychology of Impatience and How It Helps You in Life

Impatience is the adult version of a toddler’s tantrum—highly frowned upon but secretly understood.

Picture yourself in a shopping queue, waiting for your date to text back, or anticipating the next episode of your favorite series.

The “I can’t wait” feeling we often experience isn’t just your heart playing tricks on you, it’s deeply rooted in our psychology.

1. Urgency addiction

No, you’re not just an eager beaver wanting to plan your life five years ahead with someone you just met. You’re possibly addicted to urgency.

The concept of urgency addiction was famously explored by Stephen Covey and dives into our psychological need to tackle immediate challenges or opportunities at the expense of long-term goals.

If you’ve ever found yourself texting “What are we?” to someone you’ve only been dating for a week, hello, urgency addiction!

2. Fear of missing out *FOMO*

Who hasn’t scrolled through Instagram, seen happily committed couples, and thought, “I want that, now!”?

This is FOMO in action, another psychological marvel. FOMO isn’t just about the fear of missing a great party; it can seep into your love life, pushing you to make hasty decisions. [Read: Useful ways to battle FOMO while in a relationship]

A study published in Computers in Human Behavior highlighted how FOMO can even lead to emotional stress. So before you double-text or consider an impromptu road trip to meet their parents, remember: FOMO can lead you down a path of instability in your new relationship.

3. The role of neurotransmitters

Let’s talk brain chemicals. Dopamine and serotonin are the two neurotransmitters stealing the show here.

Dopamine is your brain’s “reward” chemical, it floods your system when you get a text from that special someone, making you want more, more, more. But serotonin, often referred to as the “happiness hormone,” plays a crucial role in mood regulation and impulse control.

Think of dopamine as the enthusiastic friend urging you to text back right away, while serotonin is the chill buddy saying, “Hey, let’s take it easy and not mess this up.” [Read: Chemistry of love – how hormones make you feel love the way you do

4. Delayed gratification and the marshmallow test

Remember the marshmallow test? Kids were offered one marshmallow now or two if they could wait. Turns out, the kids who could delay gratification tended to do better in life overall.

This relates to the prefrontal cortex’s function in your brain, responsible for decision-making and impulse control.

Basically, mastering delayed gratification is like dating’s ultimate Jedi mind trick—except you’re not trying to trick anyone, just being a cooler, more patient version of yourself. Not very good at delayed gratification? You won’t be very patient in a new relationship.

Why Impatience Can Be Harmful in a New Relationship

Now that we’ve covered the what and the why, it’s time to delve into the darker corners of impatience and explore its potential downfalls in a relationship’s infancy.

Understanding why impatience can be harmful provides another layer of insight for anyone seeking to learn how to be patient in a new relationship.

1. The snowball effect of small conflicts

Think of impatience as a small snowball at the top of a hill—it seems innocuous at first. But as it rolls downhill, it picks up more snow and gains momentum, ultimately becoming a force that’s hard to stop.

Before you know it, your impatience to “seal the deal” has caused misunderstandings, led to unnecessary arguments, and maybe even a premature breakup.

2. Broken trust and how it spirals

Trust is like Wi-Fi—without it, the connection is weak. When you’re impatient, especially in the early stages, it could raise red flags for the other person.

They may wonder why you’re rushing things and whether you have an ulterior motive. This erosion of trust can be detrimental to forming a stable, lasting relationship. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and learn to be loyal and loving]

3. Emotional confusion and affect regulation

For the psych-savvy among us, affect regulation is the ability to manage and respond to emotional experiences appropriately. In layman’s terms? It’s not letting your feelings hijack your actions.

Impatience can muddy the waters of affect regulation, making it harder to understand your emotions and those of your partner.

This creates a cycle of reactive behavior, like texting a dozen times in a row, which can send confusing signals and add emotional complexity where it’s not needed. [Read: Texting in the early stages of dating – 24 rules and habits you must follow]

4. Future blindness and forgetting relationship goals

Ever heard of the saying, “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? In the context of a new relationship, impatience can make you so focused on immediate events that you lose sight of the bigger picture.

Your long-term relationship goals take a back seat to momentary desires, and that’s a trip you don’t want to take without a road map.

The Must-Know Tips on How to Be Patient in a New Relationship

We’ve talked psychology, we’ve talked neuroscience, and we’ve warned about the pitfalls of impatience. Now, it’s time for the pièce de résistance—practical tips to help you conquer the beast. Because let’s face it, understanding how to be patient in a new relationship isn’t just about the theory, it’s about the everyday choices that turn you from a “swiper” into a “keeper.”

1. Mindfulness for relationship bliss

Mindfulness is not just for monks or yoga enthusiasts. It’s for anyone who wants to live in the present moment, especially in love. [Read: 32 secrets to be present and live in the moment when life is speeding past you]

Practice focusing on the “here and now” when you’re with your significant other. Whether you’re on a date or chatting online, be fully present. This will help you appreciate the unfolding moments without the rush to define everything.

2. Talk the talk, and listen too!

Communication! Easy to preach, hard to practice. In relationships, active listening is a gem. This involves not just hearing, but understanding, validating, and responding to your partner.

On the flip side, empathetic mirroring means reflecting back on what your partner says so they know they’re understood. These hacks not only improve communication but also help you slow down and connect on a deeper level.

3. Enjoy the puppy-love phase

Remember the first time you felt butterflies? Or the first time you couldn’t stop smiling after a date? Embrace those feelings and let them be.

The initial stages of a relationship are filled with new experiences and wonders. Don’t fast-forward through them; savor them like the last slice of cheesecake.

4. Your love story is yours alone

Comparing your chapter one to someone else’s chapter twenty is a recipe for disaster. Stop peeking at others’ highlight reels on social media and understand that your relationship is unique.

What worked for someone else may not work for you, and that’s okay!

5. Balance time together and apart

Eagerness is cute but not when it becomes suffocating.

Spending every waking minute together might seem romantic initially, but it’s not sustainable. Make sure to maintain your personal space and allow the relationship to breathe. [Read: 15 ways to give space in a relationship and feel closer than ever before]

6. Social media stalking—just don’t!

We’ve all been there: you’re several years deep into their Instagram feed and accidentally hit ‘like’ on a beach photo from 2017. Cue the horror movie soundtrack.

Being overly invested in their social media might ruin the magic of slowly getting to know each other. [Read: Social media and relationships – 47 rules, etiquette, and where couples go wrong]

7. Know your triggers and manage them

We all have emotional triggers that can set off impatience. Whether it’s tardiness or unread messages, knowing your triggers can help you manage your reactions.

Once you know what sets you off, you can use techniques like cognitive reframing to change how you view these triggers. It’s like putting on rose-colored glasses but for your brain.

8. Employ the ‘two-day rule’

Ah, the excitement of a new relationship makes it tempting to spill all your secrets and dreams right away. But slow down, Romeo or Juliet!

Employ a “two-day rule” where you take 48 hours to mull over sharing something significant. This pause can make the difference between a genuine connection and TMI.

9. Set realistic expectations

In psychology, there’s a term called expectancy violation, which is a fancy way of saying that unmet expectations can lead to disappointment.

Setting realistic expectations can help you navigate the ups and downs more calmly. Remember, you’re getting to know a human being, not auditioning a candidate for the ‘Perfect Partner of the Year’ award.

10. Create a relationship vision board

This may sound a little “arts and crafts,” but hear us out. A relationship vision board can help you and your partner set common goals.

This long-term view can make it easier to be patient in the short term because you’re both working towards the same objectives.

11. The ‘wait to worry’ strategy

Most of our anxieties about new relationships are based on hypotheticals. So why not use the ‘wait to worry’ strategy? If something is bothering you, give it a set timeframe *say, 48 hours*.

If it’s still a problem after that time, then it’s worth addressing. Most of the time, you’ll find that the issue resolves itself or doesn’t seem as crucial as you first thought.

The Three P’s of Patience in a Relationship

We’re diving into the indispensable three P’s of patience: Pause, ponder, and proceed. These are your lifelines, your saving grace, your cheat codes to mastering how to be patient in a new relationship.

1. Pause: Taking a beat to assess

Before you jump into any major decision or emotional outburst in a new relationship, hit that internal pause button.

Psychologically speaking, this aligns with the idea of inhibitory control, a subset of executive functions in the brain. This is your brain’s own ‘brake system’ that stops you from acting impulsively.

Think of it like waiting at a red light before speeding down Relationship Boulevard. Pausing gives you the chance to assess a situation and respond in a way that’s thoughtful, not reactive. [Read: 38 secrets to stop overthinking, what it looks like, signs, and the fastest fixes]

2. Ponder: See the forest, not just the trees

Okay, time to talk prospective memory, a term that basically means remembering to remember. When you’re in the throes of a new relationship, it’s easy to get caught up in the now.

But pondering means taking a step back and thinking about the long-term potential of your relationship.

It’s about making decisions today that you won’t regret tomorrow. Your future self is basically high-fiving you for this one. Keep your eye on the prize—a fulfilling, long-lasting relationship—not just the thrill of the honeymoon phase.

3. Proceed: The art of gradual commitment

Now, let’s dish out the idea of gradual commitment. It sounds fancy, but it’s really about pacing your emotional investment in the relationship. There’s no need to cannonball into the deep end of emotional commitment.

Instead, dip your toes, then your legs, and gradually submerge yourself as you become more certain about your partner’s intentions and your own feelings.

This isn’t just about saving your relationship, but also saving yourself from a commitment with a person who, down the line, you might find out you’re not that compatible with.

Why Impatience in a New Relationship Isn’t Always The Worst

We’ve been jamming about the virtues of patience, but let’s take a minute to rebel. That’s right, sometimes being a bit impatient isn’t just okay—it’s actually beneficial.

In the complicated maze that is new love, impatience can serve as a secret passage to a deeper connection. Intrigued? Good!

1. Constructive vs. destructive impatience

First off, not all impatience is created equal. Like your favorite romantic comedies, there are good kinds and bad kinds.

Constructive impatience is when your urgency leads to positive outcomes. You know, like nudging your partner to define the relationship because you’ve reached a point where ambiguity feels like emotional quicksand.

In psychology circles, this might be referred to as goal-directed behavior. You’re impatient because you want to achieve something beneficial for both parties.

On the flip side, we’ve got destructive impatience—the villain in our love story.

This type of impatience is fueled by negative emotions like insecurity or jealousy. When you’re sending that fourth consecutive text in 10 minutes because they haven’t replied, you’re probably hanging out in destructive territory. Think of it as negative reinforcement, you’re eager to remove a stressful situation, but your actions only make it worse.

2. The beauty of ‘healthy urgency’

Let’s get acquainted with healthy urgency, the golden child of impatience. This is the moment when you feel that internal nudge telling you, “Hey, it’s time to move forward.” Maybe you’re impatient to introduce them to your friends or start planning a weekend getaway.

This isn’t restlessness; it’s your emotional compass pointing you toward relationship growth. [Read: 32 steps to move forward in a relationship if you’re lost and confused]

When It’s Fine to Bend the Rules

See, contrary to what you might think, impatience isn’t always the killer of a relationship. In fact, it can sometimes be the push that a relationship needs to progress to the next stage.

But there’s a fine line between appropriate and inappropriate impatience—it’s important to know how to walk this tightrope with ease.

So, when is it okay to be a bit impatient in a new relationship?

When Stagnation Strikes

If you feel your relationship is stalling, it might be time to switch from cruise control to a bit of acceleration.

The ‘L’ Bomb

Sometimes you can’t schedule love. If you feel the urge to say “I love you,” and it comes from a genuine place, go for it! [Read: How and when to say “I love you” for the first time – 46 new love must-knows]

Big Decisions

Moving in together, adopting a pet, or going on a far-off vacation are all significant steps. A touch of impatience can sometimes be the push you need to make exciting life choices together.

Trust Your Gut

Sometimes, your intuition knows better than any advice column. If it’s telling you it’s okay to be impatient, listen to it.

Embrace Each Stage of Your Relationship with Enthusiasm

So, what’s the game plan, you ask? Remember the three P’s: Pause, ponder, and proceed. Employ some healthy urgency when the situation calls for it.

And above all, embrace each stage of your relationship with the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store, but the wisdom of a monk in meditation.

[Read: 38 signs and traits of a happy, healthy relationship and what it should look like]

Because true love isn’t about rushing; it’s about savoring each moment as it comes. So why not slow down and enjoy the ride? After all, figuring out how to be patient in a relationship is like learning the steps to a dance; you might stumble at first, but with time, you’ll find your rhythm.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...