Meet often, but not too often
When you’re in young love, you’d want to spend every waking minute with your sweetheart. It’s understandable, you’re obviously excited. But could you be pushing it too far?
Remember that new workout DVD you picked up some time ago? You were probably really excited at the beginning, but as the daily workout took more and more time out of your daily routine, you started getting annoyed by it. It’s the same story with love.
By meeting too often, you’re suddenly changing the lives of two individuals who have fallen in love. It may feel great for the first week or so, but eventually your other commitments may pile up and one of you may end up getting annoyed with the other for taking too much time. Go out on dates once or twice a week, and it’ll keep the love and excitement on a high for a long time. But if you’re both madly in love and can’t keep your hands off each other, then you’re excused to meet each other more often, but with caution.
Lay down your deal-breakers
At the start of every relationship, you should try and find a way to work deal-breakers into the conversation. Of course, it's not that fun to talk about all of the things you don't want when you're trying to dive headfirst into something that feels amazing, but it's best to get anything that could gum up the works later off your chest immediately. A few choice deal-breakers? You never want to have kids, you are a virgin, you don't ever want to be married, you are not close with your family. Whatever your list looks like, we all have them.
And it's not fair if you wait until much later to bring them up. It is better sooner than later to mention deal-breakers, so that you are fair to the other person, and so that you are not wasting either of your time. What if you both missed meeting the perfect person because you did not address these incompatibilities head on? Though I would never suggest that you bring this kind of thing up on a first date, if it becomes clear that one of you is champing at the bit for kids and the other never wants them, it'll be easiest for both of you if you pull the plug at the beginning.
Be sure each person is maintaining a balanced lifestyle
Early on, partners usually want to spend all of their time together. Try to remember that balance is important. Continue to spend time with family and friends, exercise, work hard, and value your alone time.
When people spend all of their time with a new partner, they risk losing themselves—and losing their friends, too, because they won’t appreciate getting ditched. Even in the most long-lasting relationships, partners should still maintain a sense of independence.
Give it space to grow
It can be tempting to be in touch with your new mate all day and all night and it’s easier than ever to do this with text, email and instant messaging, but too much contact can easily stifle a new love. There needs to be time and space for you to miss each other, to look forward with excited anticipation to the next call or date – if calls and texts are coming every five minutes what is there to look forward to? There’s something lovely about being told that you were on someone’s mind all week but there’s no need for you to contact each other with every passing thought.
Don’t be lavish with your gifts
Your new lover may be running in your mind all day, but that doesn’t mean you should go overboard and buy something for your lover every time you see something nice while shopping.
Save the spending sprees for later when the relationship has grown over a solid foundation. If you do want to express your love with gifts, then pick something small, personal and inexpensive at first. Save the extravagant gifts when you know your new mate’s the one for you.
Open your ears
Listen. In the beginning, that's it: Just listen. Too many people get swept up in romance and excitement, and they forget to listen and learn about the person they’re dreaming about and fantasizing a life together. If he says he’s got seven kids, and you’ve sworn off them, reconsider the whirlwind romance. If you are tired of dating men with no money, listen when he says that he’s between projects or in transition.
In other words, don't let romance cloud your judgment — or clog your ears. Sex and romance are wonderful, but using the beginning of dating to really learn about the person and to decide if you’re compatible is a better use of your time and energy. If it's a good match, there will be plenty of time for that later.
Don’t reveal too much too soon
We’ve all had trials and tribulations in life and there will be a time when, as a part of your deepening new relationship, you will share these with each other, but offloading all your emotional baggage on to a date is likely to crush any hope of a future together. We’re not advocating keeping secrets, just suggesting that if you want this relationship to last a lifetime then that is how long you have to get to know each other. The first weeks and months are the time to have fun, to find out what makes each other tick, to look forward to seeing each other and explore what you like doing together.
Don’t get possessive
Possessiveness is never a good trait in a relationship. Possessiveness is a sign of insecurity and jealousy, and these are usually big red flags in any relationship, new or old.
Remember that you’re still in a new relationship and can’t order or even request your mate to avoid people or avoid going out by themselves. Even if you do feel jealous about your lover’s partying habits or the amount of time they spend with a group of friends, learn to suck it up and hold it in. Signs of jealousy and insecurity right at the beginning can end the relationship even before you know it.
Show your appreciation
There’s no nicer feeling than being appreciated and it can help secure a firm and lasting bond between people. Right from the beginning when you’re chatting online, show your appreciation by saying things like ‘thank you’ for compliments or ‘it’s been lovely talking to you, you made me smile.’ . If a date chooses somewhere good for a date tell them you appreciate their choice; if they have nice manners say that – tell people when you enjoy their company; if the colour of their outfit highlights the colour of their eyes; if something they did or said made you feel happy. These are just examples, but what is important is that you get into the habit of saying out loud the nice appreciative things that you may often think but not tell people – you’ll make their day.
Accept each other’s habits
When you fall in love with someone new, you fall in love with a person who’s unique, not a splitting image of your dream lover. Instead of trying to change them to fit your requirements, learn to adjust to their habits. By restricting a lover or trying to change someone at the very beginning, you risk the chance of losing them forever.
Whether you’re in love or otherwise, you can’t really change someone’s personality. If you find your new lover incompatible, end the relationship instead of suffering a nervous breakdown due to frustrations or insecurities.
You don’t have to say I-Love-You
Just because you’re in a relationship with your new lover, it doesn’t mean you have to start saying those “three magical words” to each other as soon as you decide to go out with each other.
By saying it out first, you’re subtly coercing your partner into saying it back. And whether your new love says it back or not, it’s only going to lead to awkwardness in the air because it’s all happening so fast. Take it slow and wait a while, maybe a month or so before you say it out loud.
Talk to each other
When you’re in a new relationship, the bodily exploration may be the high point of every date that ends in a cozy corner or in one of your beds. But that doesn’t really help create a good relationship. Communication does.
Try to sneak in a long conversation every now and then and learn about each other, likes, dislikes, interests and all. By doing this, it’ll help you figure the romantic compatibility and also help bring both of you closer on a level that’s beyond sexual attraction.
A new relationship is a lot of fun, and you should enjoy it. But also, don’t ignore your own needs or any red flags. In the early phases of a relationship, people are often wearing rose-colored glasses—they minimize or ignore their partner’s faults and exaggerate or only see their partner’s positive attributes. Try to balance out the emotional component with rational thinking. If you’re having a hard time being rational and weighing the pros and cons of this person as a partner, ask your family and friends for their opinions.