Starting a new relationship is wonderful. There is a euphoric feeling of connecting and intensity. Feel-good hormones such as oxytocin are released and the heart begins to feel what it has been missing without that person. You see the world through perfect rose-colored lenses. Then reality sets in, and you cannot believe that you didn’t see certain issues before. There are things you can do early on in a new relationship to ensure its longevity.
Here are 5 things to try with your partner when you begin a relationship:
1. Setting boundaries.
Somehow this simple action gets lost in the beginning of a relationship. It’s imperative to set boundaries and respect from early on in the courtship. Your partner should know and honor your words and choices (and vice versa). When you establish issues from the beginning, you can look forward to a healthy partnership. What are you willing to do or not do? What will you accept? Setting up guidelines, like a business partnership, helps eliminate any false expectations in the romance department. There can’t be surprises when you lay it all out. Love shouldn’t be hard. When the right person comes alone communication is easy. You should be able to discuss anything and everything.
2. Be yourself.
Try not to forget your dreams and aspirations. Be yourself, and not someone your partner wants. Relationships that start with co-dependency rarely last. You will most likely not see eye-to-eye on everything. And this is perfectly great! It enriches both of you. You are two different people. The goal is to be understanding of each other. Do not give up on what you believe just to make the other person happy. Compromising is a healthy way to start a new relationship. The balance of give and take is a beneficial meter for a loving partnership. Be what makes you happy and your partner will love that about you.
3. Share your dreams.
We make the mistake of putting our dreams aside in order to help fulfill that of a partner. This is a huge mistake in new relationships. You can both share dreams, passion, goals and work towards reaching them together. Do not forget your individuality. Having someone who supports you is beautiful. It’s important to be straight forward about the things that move you. You want to write a novel? Share it. You want to run a marathon? Your partner might join you. Do not stop yourself from reaching those things that make you happy just because they might not be something your partner likes. It’s healthy to have separate friends, activities, and interests. Your partner will support you as much as you support him/her. People don’t just fall in love because they sleep together, but because of common interests and dreams. Something attracted you from the very beginning. Continue to unfold those things while keeping your eyes on the goal ahead.
4. Be playful.
Laughter is the best form of connecting with your partner. Make time to separate work from play. Travel together, go hiking and enjoy each others company while being free to express child-like qualities. Playtime is important in relationships. Life is tough: work, finances, and other stressors can hinder romance. It’s important to take time with each other to do things that disconnect from life pressures while connecting with your loved one. Find those things that you both enjoy. Do them together. Even sitting on the sofa and watching a great movie, playing a board game, or painting together breaks the monotony of life.
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~ Richard Lingard
5. Encourage each other.
Do not forget to support and encourage one another. Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, says that “Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement. With verbal encouragement, we are trying to communicate, “I know. I care. I am with you. How can I help?”
This is not just for your spouse but any romantic partnership. When you enter into a new relationship it’s imperative to give each other the value that is deserved. Vulnerability and other issues will arise so it is healthy to just be able to share and feel the empathy from your partner.
Relationships, even the best of them, will encounter tough times. It’s up to you and your partner to commit to making time, effort, and space for each other. Communication is on top of that, and everything, on this list. The support from a loved one is the ultimate test of connection in any relationship. When you begin with these simple suggestions, you can ensure that you and your partner are on the same page.