22 March 2012
Begin your new relationship the right way
It is really exciting when you finally meet a match who you feel compatible with but what happens in those first few weeks and months will determine whether or not it will develop further. Here are some useful tips to ensure the best possible start.
Relationships are like houses, they need firm foundations to stand the test of time. In the early weeks and months of seeing someone you are doing far more that just getting to know each other, you are laying those foundations which will hopefully last a lifetime. All people are different, and all relationships are unique, so there really aren’t any right or wrong ways to do it but from our many years experience of bringing people together we have put together our top tips to help you have the best possible start.
The six date rule
It is great to be enthusiastic about your new relationship but it is important that you keep your feet on the ground. Generally it takes at least six dates before you really begin to get a sense of whether you really have found something special. For some people six dates may happen in one week, for others it may take six months so it isn’t so much about the length of time but more about how long it takes for you both to feel that you are a couple and this is a relationship rather than just dating. Until then do your best not to allow your imagination to race ahead of you.
Broadcasting the news
Before your six dates are up it is far better to keep the news of your new love interest to yourself. By all means talk to your best friend but avoid broadcasting it to everyone you know especially on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Although you may feel like shouting it from the rooftops it is better to wait until you are absolutely certain before you share the glad tidings as then your energy will be spent developing the relationship rather than talking about it with friends, family and colleagues. Keeping it quiet will also save you any embarrassment later on if it doesn’t work out.
Space to flourish
One of the most common mistakes couples make at the beginning of a new relationship is spending every spare moment they have together and when they are not together bombarding each other with texts, emails, calls and messages. While it is great that you are so into each other there needs to be some gaps in your contact where each of you has the chance to reflect on how they are feeling, give time and attention to other commitments and interests and most importantly have a chance to miss the other person. There needs to be time for the delicious anticipation of seeing them again to grow and this can only happen if there has been some break in contact.
Heart to heart
Even if you believe you have found your soul mate there is no need to reveal everything about yourself and your past right at the beginning of the relationship. If you want to be with this person for the rest of your life then that is how long you have to share those conversations. While there may be some occasions when it is better to let them know something, because they would be hurt later if you didn’t tell them, in general it is better to keep those early weeks light and more about getting to know what you enjoy together. Don’t fall into the trap of using your new partner as a counsellor or therapist simply because they are caring and attentive.
Attention to other things
It is important to make sure you still give other parts of your life the time and attention they need. Often people begin to neglect their hobbies or friends when they get into a relationship but not only will your life become much smaller and less interesting if you do this it also puts too much pressure on the new relationship to succeed if it has become the centre of your life. Ditching other things that used to be important in your life also gives your new partner a bad impression of you in terms of your loyalty and commitment; they may fear that you will drop them as soon as something better comes along.
The early part of the relationship, often called the honeymoon period, is precious and passes all too quickly. Don’t be too keen to rush things onto the next level, instead enjoy every moment you are together, and apart, and remember that time is the most precious thing we can give to each other.