1Â Â Â Ask yourself what you want from a relationship:Â While many people think that they want a relationship so they can get something (love, sex, and fulfilment), healthy relationships happen when people want to share love, life, and intimacy. Iâ€™m not saying you shouldnâ€™t think of getting all these in a relationship, what I am saying is you must be ready to show and share love, your life and intimacy which includes sex and romance also. What you want is what you get, if you want a relationship because of sex donâ€™t be disturbed when you get one that doesnâ€™t offer you anything other than sex
2Â Â Â Respect yourself:Â Â Lots of problems can occur in relationships if you don’t have adequate love and respect for yourself first. These are also things that can be easily damaged by failed past relationships, unaddressed wounds from childhood, etc.
Self-respect means accepting who you are, and also forgiving yourself for mistakes. When you learn to practice these things, you’ll also learn to love, accept, and forgive your partner. When you have self-respect, you also understand how you expect and deserve to be treated. This is crucial for avoiding potentially abusive relationships.
3Â Â Â Â Â Deal with the past: Â Â The last thing you want in your new relationship is an unsettled issue from a previous relationship. Working through the reasons why your last relationship was unsuccessful can also help you avoid repeating the same mistakes.
A therapist may help you develop a clear view of your relationship patterns and make a constructive plan for resolving any difficult issues. It’s never too late to change a pattern of behaviour. If you feel incapable of intimacy or unable to maintain a long-lasting relationship, know that you can always change that with time and the right amount of guidance. Donâ€™t ever bring your past experience in a relationship to the present relationship you are getting into because it will affect it and you wonâ€™t enjoy it. So I will tell you if you still have a part of your past relationship in you, you should get a break and work on yourself first before embarking in a new relationship
4Â Â Â Don’t enter a relationship just for the sake of a relationship:Â Â Social pressures sometimes make us feel as though we need to be in a relationship at any cost. This is a myth. Remember that no relationship is better than a bad relationship. Make sure your interest in your potential partner is genuine. Itâ€™s better to be single than be in a relationship that doesnâ€™t add any value to you and maybe even reduced you, break you, hurt you and ruined you.
5Â Â Know that attraction can build over time: Â Love at first sight is a nice idea, but is not the case for many relationships. If you aren’t instantly attracted to someone, it doesn’t mean that they are a bad choice for you: lasting love is something that grows over time, and friends can turn into lovers. When considering potential partners, do not get overly obsessed with their appearance. Personal qualities like kindness, humour, and curiosity count for a lot more in the long run, and you may find yourself very attracted to this person as a result.
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6Â Â Don’t expect to change your partner. It’s easy to overlook certain things you don’t like at the beginning with the thought that you’ll eventually get this person to change. However, people can only change themselves, if and when they want to. If there’s something you think you really can’t accept long-term, think twice about getting into the relationship because if he/she doesnâ€™t change it might be difficult for you.
7Â Don’tÂ hold on to small things and say no: Â While certain patterns (such as drinking, abuse, or irresponsible behaviour) may be clearly unacceptable, there could be other, smaller things that get under your skin, like chewing with their mouth open, questionable fashion choices, or different taste in music. If this is a person you’re really interested in, don’t let these become an excuse to avoid intimacy.
8 Â Â Take dating services with a grain of salt: For some people, Internet dating may work well, while others might find them too high-pressure or lacking in spontaneity. If you do opt for online dating, remember: despite formulae allegedly created to find your perfect match, it takes a long time to get to know someone, and that needs to happen in person.
9Â Â Â Make a casual date: If you’ve met someone of interest, feel free to make the first move and invite them for a no-pressure activity. Going out for coffee is almost always a viable option. Other choices may depend on how you’ve met: for example, if you’re both in the trail club, you could invite the person on a hike with a few of your friends. If you both like music, see if they’d like to go to a concert.
It’s a good idea to suggest a meeting in a public place where there will be other people. This gives both of you a certain assurance that you can get to know each other in a safe, neutral environment. A casual meeting also removes any pressure that a more formal invitation might incur.
10Â Â Learn to accept rejection: Â Rejection is an inherent part of the dating process, and you’ll need to learn how to handle it in a positive way. Don’t take rejection personally. People have all kinds of reasons for not wanting to be in a relationship, and for the most part you don’t have control over that.
Take a constructive attitude. If you’ve been rejected several times, take a step back and ask if there’s something in your approach that may need to be changed. Perhaps you’re moving too fast, or choosing to date people who don’t actually share any of your interests. In any case, don’t dwell on rejection: keep a positive attitude, and move on.
Don’t ignore your feelings. Some rejections can be particularly difficult. If you’re feeling sad or angry, acknowledge these feelings rather than suppressing them. This will help you move on more quickly and completely.
11Â Â Â Avoid sex early in the dating process: Â Sharing your most intimate behavior with someone you’ve just met can throw off the pacing of your budding relationship. If you like this person, chances are there are going to be emotions connected to sex that the two of you are not ready to handle yet. What’s more, one or both of you might not take responsible actions regarding issues like STIs or pregnancy prevention. Worse still, the other person might just disappear afterwards!
While your date may show interest in having sex, they should never pressure you. Make it clear that your wanting to hold off isn’t a rejection, but rather precisely because you like them and want to wait until the moment is right. If they don’t understand this, put some distance between you: this could be a red flag that they are possessive or potentially abusive.
12Â Â Check out how you both behave around others, friends and family:Â Â As the dating process moves on, you’ll probably meet some of the people close to them, and they’ll meet yours. See how comfortable the two of you are in those situations: this can be a clue as to how the relationship is going. Sometimes one or both of you may not feel entirely comfortable. That’s okay – the main thing is that you’re making the effort to spend time and connect with each other’s loved ones.
13 Â Â Â Â Â Watch out for red flags: Â There are some signs that the relationship is not headed in a healthy direction. Learn to listen to your gut, paying attention to how the other person makes you feel. If you feel undervalued, insecure, or ashamed, it’s better to end the relationship early and invest your time in search of something long-lasting.
Alcohol-dependent dating: the two of you only connect when you’ve been drinking.
Non-committal behaviour: sometimes people have a lot of difficulty making a commitment because of something from their past, such as a broken home or an inability to trust.
Poor nonverbal communication: the person should be showing you their interest with body language, such as eye contact and touch; if not, they may be too tuned out.
Jealousy: if your partner doesn’t like you spending time on other things important to you like hobbies, friends, or family members.
Controlling behaviours: if they try to tell you what to do, think, or feel.
Exclusively sexual relationship: if the only time you spend together is in bed.
No time alone together: if the other person isn’t interested in one-on-one time with you (other than in bed).Â [ Read AlsoÂ 9 Ways to Have Affectionate Relationship]
14Â Â Â Find things to do together: When the initial excitement of your romance has faded a little, you’ll both need to commit to spending time together and investing in the relationship. Discuss what you both like doing and make a plan to do fun things on a regular basis, no matter how busy you are. Studies have shown that the excitement of doing new things together increases arousal and brings you closer.
15Â Â Communicate continuously: Â Talking together in a kind, honest way is crucial to your relationship. Your bond will be strengthened as you share your feelings, thoughts, fears, and desires with each other.
16Â Â Stay independent: Â While it may be tricky to balance relationship and self-realization, the latter is in fact very important to your love life. Mutual independence means you both continue to grow as individuals, doing what you love. This not only helps stave off unhealthy relationship patterns like co-dependency (when one of you depends on the other for your self-worth and identity); it can also be stimulating and renewing by allowing you to see each other do what you love and are good at.
17Â Â Don’t fear conflict: Â As relationships continue, disagreements almost inevitably arise. It’s important to feel safe to express things that bother you without fearing the consequences. Fight fair by listening to each other’s side, and strive to resolve via compromise for the sake of your relationship.
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