There are a few things you need to think about before starting a serious relationship. While having a partner definitely has a good side, there are some disadvantages too – some people feel smothered, you could develop new insecurities, or you could find yourself worrying about whether he feels the same way…it’s a minefield. You can avoid feeling loopy by thinking things through before starting a serious relationship, which makes the whole thing much more fun. Here’s what you should consider…
1. It Doesn’t Need to Be Love
We’ve all seen the romantic comedies and TV shows where couples are madly in love as soon as they find each other. They could be an old married couple from the word go. That’s not overly realistic in real life. You could be waiting a long time if you wait for those fireworks! Stop building up your expectations, and instead consider whether you like the person, and whether you’d like to see them exclusively on a regular basis. That’s it. If the answer is yes, move forward. It's really important to check your expectations before starting a serious relationship, though, or you'll set yourself up for failure.
2. They Aren’t a New Body Part
You seriously don’t need to spend all of your time around your new partner. They haven’t been surgically attached to you! It’s way too easy to overthink this, and to end up driving yourself slightly insane. So, if you feel like having dinner with them, do it. If you feel like having dinner on your own, do that. They obviously like your presence, so you won’t be smothering them if you want to be there, but equally, it’s totally fine to spend time on your own. It really is.
3. They Aren’t the One and Only
Don’t neglect your friends for your new partner. Some time apart is always good – absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that! So plan activities with your friends, too. If you really can’t bear to be apart, arrange things for your friends and him, and make sure you pay them attention too. Continue to be there for your friends, and confide in them. Nobody wants to get ditched!
4. They Have a Life
Calm down. Really. Don’t freak out because they haven’t called you straight away, or they haven’t texted right back. If you aren’t holding hands, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t let yourself fret about every little thing. It’ll make you feel terrible, and the more stuff you worry about, the more worries you develop. Nobody wins! So calm down, and quit your fretting.
5. Live Now
Resist the urge to immediately grab the wedding magazines, or to start naming your future children and where you’d like them to go to college. Live in the moment. A lot of romantic relationships aren’t forever, but they are still fun, and very worthwhile. Enjoy it and have fun. There is plenty of time for planning later.
6. Be Spontaneous
Don’t fall into the trap of planning big, elaborate dates. Your first date just needs to be an opportunity to spend time together, and have fun. All of your other dates should follow that pattern. Go for a walk, go shopping, grab a coffee together. You’ll create great memories and reduce stress. You wouldn’t believe how many people have made themselves ill with stress over that first date.
7. Ditch the Pressure
The final things to consider before starting a serious relationship is whether you really want this right now. That’s not just thinking about the person. They could be the best person to ever walk the earth, but you still need to consider whether it’s right for you. Do you feel pressured into a relationship? That’s not conductive to a good relationship! Next, do you want to be in a relationship? If you’d prefer to focus on other things, or spend time with your friends, or just don’t want a partner right now, that’s totally okay.
Once you’ve been through all of the things to consider before starting a serious relationship, you can decide whether to go forward. If you are, equip your best confidence, but don’t be afraid to be a bit vulnerable, too. Nobody is invincible. Have you got any great things to consider before starting a serious relationship? I’d love to hear what you think is important!