Has it been a long time since your last relationship? Did it end badly? Maybe you’re just excited to be back in the dating game?
If you’ve recently entered a new relationship, don’t be afraid to set some ground rules. Every relationship has them, whether they’re explicitly discussed or not. It is important that both you and your partner know what you are getting into and avoid assuming things you may think are standard rules of thumb.
Before you let the anticipation of a new relationship build up, take a step back and think about how you can make it better and more resilient than your last.
1. Decide what your deal breakers are.
You’re not with your last partner for a reason. What was it? Determine what you will tolerate, what you won’t, and likewise for your partner. Use this discussion to define how exclusive your relationship is and identify what didn’t work in the past for both you and your ex.
Set clear limits about what you won’t stand for and understand the same for your significant other.
2. Be active in your relationship.
Even if you are established in a relationship, there is no excuse to stop trying.
Both you and your significant other should still feel as eager about your relationship on the hundredth day as you did on the first day. Don’t treat your relationship like a chore; it will always need work, even on the best days.
Communicate what you want (because even the best boyfriend or girlfriend can’t read your mind), and listen to what they want. Active and open communication is key, and without it, problems are more likely to arise. Find a way to incorporate both of your lifestyles into one and have fun with your time together.
3. Allow yourself to be loved.
Be open to new things and don’t keep your mind closed off from acknowledging that you really are as great as your partner thinks!
Accept risks and consequences because all relationships come with the ups and the downs. They are learning experiences, and if you don’t grow from them, you won’t be able to move forward in your current relationship. Love yourself, let yourself be loved by your significant other, and you will find it easier to love them in return.
It is important to lay down some boundaries in any relationship to protect your individual identity from being manipulated by the idea of being part of a couple. Having a solid groundwork to begin on will make expressing your thoughts and emotions easier in the future.
If you are upfront with your partner from the start, it will be easier for you both to take responsibility for your actions and resolve conflicts.
It’s okay to set limits and expectations about roles in the relationship. Start on the same page so you can be on the same track throughout your commitment to each other and have a healthier, happier experience with dating.