Starting a new relationship can be a daunting and intimidating experience, no matter whether you’ve been single a long time or are just coming out of a long term partnership. Just thinking about the amount of ‘getting to know each other’ or ‘tiptoeing around what to say and do’ can be a deciding factor in whether you think it’s all worth the trouble. For some, the payoff isn’t quite alluring enough to step back into the dating world. For those of you willing to give it a try however, here are some easy essentials to remember before you get started.
Have clarity from the beginning
The great thing about beginning a new relationship is that you have the utmost freedom to express exactly what’s important to you. At this stage, the amount of compromising you need to do is entirely up to you, as there’s little emotional or material attachment to the other person. If something doesn’t feel right, you have some very easy choices about what to do and you can speak up without fearing how it will be received.
With a new beginning, you also have the chance, if you’ve got the self-awareness and the confidence, to request an equal level of clarity in return from your partner. Encourage them to be honest about their feelings, without worrying how you’ll react. This level of bravery at the start will let you know pretty quickly whether you’re on the same page. It can either save a lot of time, or get you thoroughly excited about the future to come.
Establishing your boundaries
Establishing boundaries in a new relationship is not necessarily the same thing as having clarity. Boundaries mean communicating what is acceptable on multiple levels and can include people who aren’t part of the immediate relationship. This is often an important but overlooked aspect of dating.
Boundaries come in all shapes and forms; from what’s okay sexually and the level of involvement friends or family have in your lives, to the amount of time you may need for yourself.
When you set boundaries you learn what your partner is comfortable with and whether this is compatible with your needs or not. Pay very close attention in these early stages to what makes you feel in control of your life, as opposed to any actions or words that disturb it. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is fine, just don’t be pushed out of it.
Paying attention to mirco signals
When we first begin dating we always, without exception, give off micro signals that are telltale signs about who we are. Your job, when beginning again, is to look out for these signals and pay attention to them.
In no way are we saying you should arrive on dates with a pen and notepad in hand, like some type of detective, just that you need to be alert and aware. It’s incredibly easy to dismiss your intuition or doubt your gut reactions, even if something is very obviously staring you in the face. Be open yes, but remain vigilant.
Making positive comparisons
So if you’re coming into this new relationship after being in another one, try and lay off the comparisons. This is easier said than done we know, but looking at someone through the filter of another person may not be the most accurate way to assess whether you’re suited.
Obviously, if you recognise traits that you’ve seen before, favourable or not, look at them in terms of where you are now and what you want for your future life. But where possible, give people the chance to shine or fail in their own right. If you see signs you don’t like, don’t make a song and dance about having ‘been here before’, just move on.