Relationships are intimidating and, quite often, nerve-wracking for anyone.
New relationships come with the excitement of meeting a new person, hoping you hit it off, and eventually, navigating the path of beginning a new relationship.
No new relationships are easy. Two completely different people, who were strangers only a short time ago, are beginning down a path of life together; there are bound to be some stresses, slip-ups, and miscommunications.
For those who have been down this road before, maybe navigating a new relationship is relatively easy. I mean, yes, it’s someone new, but the process might seem a bit familiar once you get the hang of it.
But, what about those of us who haven’t? Those of us beginning a new relationship with no prior experience?
The people who feel as though they don’t know how to be in a relationship at all?
Some of us have done this before, but it feels as though it’s been ages.
Now, you are navigating dating feeling like a complete newbie once again!
Well, don’t fear.
If you’re new to dating and relationships, or just a little bit out of practice, we have 8 easy tips for starting a relationship.
1. Build a strong relationship with yourself, first:
Sometimes, when we feel like we don’t know how to be in a relationship, we are unsure of ourselves and what we truly want.
First and foremost, if you’re starting any new relationship, it’s essential to have a healthy relationship with yourself. This way, you can make sure that the relationship is what you want.
If you love and know yourself well, you’ll know if this person is offering you the kind of future you are looking for, treating you with respect, and being honest and transparent with you.
Often, people will take advantage of those with low-self esteem who come off as needy or lonely. That’s why it is imperative that you are happy with yourself alone and look for a partner who will positively add to your life.
So, the first step is really getting to know yourself:
What do you want in your relationship?
What are your deal-breakers?
What boundaries do you want to set?
Will you be able to stick up for yourself and communicate when something isn’t working for you?
A girl who knows herself will start a relationship with a strong foundation and a positive first step.
2. Communicate with your partner:
If you’re new to relationships or you’re a bit nervous at the idea of dating again, your first step must be communicating with your partner.
This might look like being open about how you’re feeling, your needs, and your expectations in a relationship.
Much of our fear around dating and relationships comes from worrying about what might happen or the worst-case scenarios.
Maybe you’re simply worried that they’ll find out that you’re a total newbie at this!
Well, all of that fear can disappear if you’re honest.
Nothing is better than telling your potential partner: “Hey, I’m totally nervous! I feel so out of practice with this whole dating thing!”
They’ll just think you’re absolutely adorable and will most likely be even more understanding of your need to take it slow, have a bit of personal space, and communicate the next steps.
Talking things out makes both people feel a lot more comfortable and strengthens your communication in the relationship, which is a fundamental part of taking on life together.
3. Boundaries for personal space:
If you’re new to dating or don’t know how to be in a relationship, you’ve probably been on your own for a bit. This means you have your own habits, routines, apartment, friends, and activities that you enjoy.
If you’ve been consistently single for some time, you might want to communicate with your new beau the need for keeping boundaries with personal space and having your own independent time.
Often people think that getting into a relationship means spending every waking moment chatting, texting, going on dates, or moving into each other’s places.
In reality, it’s much safer to communicate that you need your Friday nights for your weekly wine and cheese dates with your girlfriends and that you’ll see him every Sunday to catch up on your favorite show and eat pizza.
Communicating your need for personal space not only keeps things in your life from taking a full 180 (“new life, who dis?”), it also allows for you to promote healthy boundaries with your partner and really enjoy spending chosen quality time together.
4. Take it slow:
Along with expressing your need for personal space and boundaries, it’s also essential for those who are new to relationships to take it slow.
I mean, everyone in a new relationship should take it slow, but if you aren’t all too sure how to do the relationship thing, this is even more essential.
This means taking the time to really get to know your partner. Have nights where you hang out and ask each other questions over drinks and snacks. Keep up with weekly date nights and try out new activities together. Talk a lot!
Don’t feel pressured into rushing into a new relationship or taking the next step if you don’t feel comfortable with it yet.
If you want to keep dating for a bit before making it official, that’s okay! Communicate that!
Sometimes when we like a person, we are so quick to jump into a relationship that we often miss red flags, differences between us, or hardly get to know the person!
It’s okay to take things slow. In fact, it’s completely normal and quite smart.
Plan weekly dates where you do things you both like and get to know each other better. This way, you’ll feel more comfortable when things begin to progress, and it won’t feel as scary to start a new relationship.
5. Talk to your friends and loved ones in relationships:
If you’re new to dating and relationships, it’s always nice to talk to people who seem to be “experts” in the field. This means reaching out to your friends and family members who have are in happy long-term relationships.
They will often be full of advice and happy to chat about navigating a new relationship! They might have tips for what not to do or what they would have done to improve things if they could start over!
Along with this, if you have any uncertainties, worries, or see any red flags related to your current relationship, you can have an objective, third-party viewpoint.
It might even be nice to get some feedback from the people you love about the relationship and how things are going!
Along with this, it might be nice to hear some positive stories about long-term relationships and love that get you excited for a future with the person you’ve been seeing, especially if you’ve been nervous!
Dating gets a bad reputation on social media nowadays, so hearing stories from happy couples might be just what you need to redirect your attitude.
6. Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons:
If you’re feeling a bit apprehensive about starting a new relationship, make sure to check in with yourself.
Are you doing this for the right reasons? Do you really want a relationship with this person?
You might feel nervous about beginning a relationship because it’s not really what you want right now.
If you decide that you are definitely certain you are interested in a relationship but are a bit nervous about how the nuances of dating, go for it!
You’ll figure it out as you go!
Definitely make sure that you are starting a relationship based on mutual attraction, respect, and a desire to start a life together. The rest is easy to navigate from there!
7. Keep your own interests and identity:
Along with keeping your personal space, it is important to remain an individual as you head into a new relationship.
For those of us who are new at this, we might think that we have to like everything our partner likes, spend time with their friends and family, eat the meals they like to eat, follow a similar routine, and pick up the same habits.
Ultimately, your partner didn’t want a relationship with themselves; they wanted one with you!
This means you definitely should keep eating tuna fish even if they aren’t a fan! You don’t have to change your entire life to fit theirs. Compromises will be made (on both sides) that make you both happy.
If he doesn’t like rom-coms, that’s okay! That’s why you have your girlfriends and your wine and cheese nights!
As a relationship newbie, it’s best to keep the things in your life that make you happy outside of your relationship. Remember, it takes two whole and happy people to keep a healthy relationship.
8. Have an open mind:
Last, if you are new to relationships, just remember to keep an open mind.
Your open mind will allow you to question the things that need to be questioned, accept the things that need to be accepted, and enjoy the whole scary and exciting process!
Your relationship won’t be perfect, nor will your partner, but with an open mind, you can communicate and make necessary compromises to keep things moving forward positively.
Along with all of the above, an open mind will allow you to understand that no one is “good at dating”. It’s not a skill. Rather, having an open mind allows you to communicate with the person you are interested in and begin to picture a life together.
Having an open mind will help you remain positive when you’re feeling nervous and be gentle and patient with yourself while navigating all of this “newness”
Hopefully, these steps help you start a new relationship if you’re completely new to dating or just getting back into the swing of things. But remember, above all else, that you should be able to enjoy the process!
Forgive yourself for the little, awkward mistakes we all make when trying something new, and laugh it all off.
Ultimately, your partner is looking to start a life with you, and that includes the hilarious, messy, quirky parts that come along with the package that is you!