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Starting a New Relationship? Your Checklist to A Happy Romance

You’re finally starting a new relationship, but what does that actually mean? Well, it’s a lot more work than you think it is, but completely worth it.

Starting a new relationship is exciting! You really don’t know this person, so you spend your time trying to figure out who they are and what their quirks are. What’s not to love about that? You’re basically exploring uncovered territory.

But what many people don’t realize is how important the beginning of a new relationship is. Yes, you’re exploring, but this is also the time where you’re setting up your boundaries and standards for the relationship. You could say it’s the most important part of a relationship.

Your guide to starting a new relationship

My boyfriend and I have been together for six months. Basically, it’s the beginning of the relationship. We’re still getting to know each other and finding out how to communicate. Sure, we argue, usually about stupid things, but how we fix these disagreements is where it matters.

For us, this is where we’re learning the most about each other. See what I’m trying to say? Starting a new relationship is more than getting ice cream and going on romantic picnics. Follow these tips and you’ll be gold.

#1 Be honest. If you can’t be honest right off the bat, then your relationship isn’t going to last. You need to be honest with this person right from the start of your relationship. This is usually the hardest part, but if you’re true to yourself, you’ll be true to the relationship. That’s what will keep you together through thick and thin. [Read: How to be vulnerable and grow closer in a relationship]

#2 Take it slow. When you really like someone, you really want to speed things up. It’s completely normal. But this is the mistake that we always make, and what happens is that the honeymoon phase fizzles out quickly. Instead, why not enjoy it?

This is the moment where you’re supposed to be going on exciting and fun dates, having sexy sleepovers, and truly getting to know each other. [Read: How to slow your new relationship down and prepare for happiness]

#3 No fights over text. Please, oh please, before you angrily text your partner, think about it. Are they really going to read this message the way you want them to? Of course not. You need to talk about any issue with them face-to-face. This time in the relationship is crucial for establishing communication. You need to create a standard.

#4 Leave your exes out of it. Listen, I’m super guilty of this. I don’t necessarily compare my exes to my current boyfriend, but I do tend to bring them up in conversations when I’m talking about funny situations from the past. I can’t help that they were there! But honestly, you need to keep them out of the conversation or else it looks like you haven’t moved on. [Read: How to talk about a past relationship with your partner]

#5 See your friends. I cannot express this enough. Even I made the mistake of spending too much time with my boyfriend and leaving my friends on the sideline. It’s easy to become wrapped up in a relationship and ignore the people who’ve been around you for years. You need to spend no more than half your time with your partner. You need time with your friends and family.

#6 Establish the boundaries. If you don’t do it now, you’ll have a hard time establishing them later on. Everyone has their own personal boundaries, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But you need to express them and let the person know where the line is. These boundaries could be about anything such as who pays for what, PDA, personal time alone.

#7 Stay you. When we like someone, it’s easy for us to change our opinions to better suit our partner. We do this because we want to feel a connection with them, this isn’t the way. Instead, if you’re too much alike, it can get boring. Stay true to your opinions and feelings because you have them for a reason. [Read: Self-reflective questions to help you stay true to yourself]

#8 Be open about sex. Maybe the sex for you would be better if your partner changed the way they went down on you, but they don’t know that because you’re not telling them. We like to pretend that sex isn’t that important when it comes to relationships, but it’s a huge factor. At the beginning of the relationship, be open about your sexual preferences and vice versa.

#9 Go easy with meeting the parents. I once brought a guy home to meet my family, and he was literally sweating through the entire dinner. Needless to say, he ghosted me a couple days later.

Listen, don’t rush to meet the parents. They’ll let you know when they’re ready, and it’s best if they meet your family when they express their desire to. If not, you may put them in an awkward situation. Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite them to dinner, just instead, let them decide if they want to go or not.

#10 Get to know their friends. You can learn a lot about another person by seeing who they hang out with. When they introduce you to their friends, make sure that you take the time to get to know them. You’ll be able to see who your partner likes to spend their time with and why they choose the people they hang out with. [Read: 15 things to talk about in a perfect relationship]

#11 Talk about what the relationship is. You may really like them, but if they think this is just a hookup, well, you’re on different pages. You both need to know and talk to each other about where you’d like this relationship to go. That way, if your partner only wants something casual, you don’t invest emotionally in the relationship.

#12 Appreciate space. In the beginning, we want to spend all the time in the world with our partners, but space is equally important. When we spend too much time with someone, we start to feel suffocated. This is when people tend to distance themselves. Instead of this happening, give each other some space for themselves as it’ll show them that you respect personal time. [Read: How to avoid being a stage 5 clinger]

#13 Don’t overthink. When starting a new relationship, we tend to overthink things and look above and beyond into the future. Stop doing that. The present is happening now and if you’re looking ahead, you’re missing what’s happening in front of you. Try to stay in the present, you’ll enjoy the relationship more than you would if you’re thinking about the future.

[Read: New relationship advice for the perfect start]

Starting a new relationship can be amazing as you’re learning about someone else. But, it’s also a lot of work. Follow these steps and you won’t have any problems.

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