5 Relationship Tips For New Couples
Let me paint a picture for you...
You’re in a new relationship, exclusive of course, and happy as can be. Everything is rainbows and lollipops and your new perfect person can literally do no wrong because, well… they’re perfect! And you’re different too. You haven’t seen this side of yourself in a while or maybe ever! Which means they must be bringing out the best in you. How lovely this world is that it brought you two together. It must be fate.
Now, let’s take a closer look at this painting.
It’s a tad familiar, one we’ve all seen before. So we know that, in most cases, this painting starts to fade with time. It accumulates dust, the frame gets chipped, and, for someone reason, the colours just don’t stand out like they used to.
Some relationships end because they have to, you grow apart and it doesn’t make sense to be together any longer. That’s OK. Not every relationship is meant to last forever and you can save yourself from a lot of heartaches by understanding that. But in other cases, the same thing happens while you are both still very much compatible, and neither of you can understand what’s happening. Things start to feel different and difficult and you brush it off as ‘just a phase’, thinking that it will all bounce back to ‘normal’.
But the truth is, you didn’t have time to realize that this is normal. Normal is now, not before. Before was the honeymoon phase. And the problem is that the foundation wasn’t strong enough; the paint was low quality, the frame was cheap and, simply put, you never bothered to notice the dust building up. The care that was needed in the early days was overshadowed by the newness of it all.
So the question is, how can you avoid this familiar scenario from creeping up in your relationships?
For the couple that is compatible, shares the same vision for a long-term relationship, and truly wants to be together, there are things you can do in the early stages to build a more solid foundation, things that may not seem needed at the time, but will do wonders in the long run if you take the initiative to implement them now. Here are 5 of my top tips that will help you achieve your relationship goals.
Disclaimer: These suggestions will work when both people in the relationship are on the same page, equally involved in implementing them, and quite mature 🙂 They are not meant to be forced upon someone or handled alone.
Pro Tip: Don’t date someone with whom you are not on the same page with, is unequally involved as you are, or is immature 🙂
Tip #1: Systems Over Willpower
It’s easy to think you’ll always be able to find the time in your busy day to properly invest in your relationship. But far too often, life gets in the way and before this takes a toll on your relationship, you can set up systems that will keep your relationship in check and on track. For example, saying “I’ll call you later” takes willpower, versus always ending your day with a phone call, is a system. You may not know exactly where to apply systems so simply start paying attention to where you might be falling short on your promises or where little arguments stem from. Once you’re aware of this, you’ll be able to set up systems before anything that doesn’t serve the relationship becomes a habit.
Tip #2: Schedule Alone Time
It’s totally fun to get caught up in the early stages of a relationship, wanting to spend every waking minute with one another. It’s amazing, isn’t it? You should enjoy this time absolutely. But I would also suggest consciously carving out some alone time too. The hard part about this is that it really may not feel like you need to do this so it will take effort on both your parts. The key is to plan and schedule it in advance (like a system) and to remember that, at the end of the day, you’re still an individual and the time you take for yourself is just as important as the time you give your relationship. A little breather and time to miss each other will serve the relationship in big ways.
Tip #3: Anticipate Sticky Situations
Couples don’t usually fight in the early stages but we all know that arguments are part and parcel of a relationship. So, rather than being taken by surprise or shocked by a disagreement arising and seeing this new side of your partner, you can discuss in advance how you might handle some of the more common problems that many couples face. Being mindful about how you handle sticky situations now will set the tone for your relationship later and help you avoid sliding back into old patterns that didn’t work out for you in previous relationships.
Tip #4: Have Uncomfortable Conversations
There’s a quote I love, “Success in a relationship can be determined by how many uncomfortable conversations you’re willing to have”. Have you ever noticed how often people tend to talk to others about their relationship and not the person IN the relationship with them? Having a support system is great (and quite necessary!) but, more often than not, the one person you should be talking to is your significant other. I say, if it feels uncomfortable, lean in and go for it before it builds up into something larger than necessary. Clear, open and honest communication is a must in your relationship and you will always come out stronger on the other side of these uncomfortable but unavoidable talks.
Tip #5: Take Up A Hobby Together
It’s very possible you’re dating someone who shares the same relationship values and vision, but not the same interests. This isn’t uncommon and the values are far more important anyway! However, not having much of the day-to-day stuff in common might not seem like a problem early on but later, it can become one. While I think it’s great to share, participate and express interest in each others hobbies, I would also recommend taking up something together, something that is totally new to both of you so that a passion for it can grow together, at the same pace. It’s nice to have something that’s “just for you two”.
I hope one or two or hopefully all of these tips serve you! Thank you for reading 🙂