Congratulations, you’re no longer single. You can officially close your Tinder account and change your Facebook status. But before you rush into declaring your undying love for your new partner, there are some relationship do’s and don’ts you need to know. Check out these 10 tips that will keep you off the market and part of a happy couple.
1. Becoming Too Friendly With His Friends
Getting along with your new beau’s friends is a must. If they like you, it’s an automatic in. But be mindful that they don’t like you too much. You can joke with them, talk sports, and drink beers but avoid too much physical contact. Don’t make plans to hang out with your man’s friends if he’s not around. Although many people believe a male and female can be “just friends” without any underlying sexual tension, it’s rare. This is especially true if your man’s buddies are single. They can easily mistake your kindness for interest. And the last thing you want is for your new man to think you have a wandering eye. Keep your interactions with his friends completely platonic.
2. Become a Stalker
New relationships are fun and exciting. It’s that time when you can’t get enough of each other. And while it’s completely normal for you to want to spend every waking moment with your new main squeeze, don’t get carried away. Flattering attention can quickly morph into bizarre stalker-like behavior. If your man doesn’t answer your texts messages or phone calls, don’t show up at his house. If he tells you he’s meeting a friend for lunch, don’t coincidentally show up at the same establishment to check up on him. These are the types of behaviors that will have you back on the single scene before you can say “restraining order”.
3. Put Him on a Pedestal
No one is perfect. Giving your partner compliments is a healthy, positive part of any relationship. What’s not healthy for either one of you is to put your partner on a pedestal. This happens when you place too much pressure on your partner to be perfect or meet certain expectations. Complimenting them on their appearance is guaranteed to make them feel good. But if that’s all you focus on, they may feel an unhealthy amount of pressure to always look a certain way. They may also start wondering if the only reason you’re with them is for their looks. The same can be said for a partner who is too accommodating. They may soon feel taken advantage of or develop feelings of codependency. Setting expectations that are too high for your partner is setting yourself up for failure.
4. Stay in Touch With Your Ex
Being cordial with your ex is a beautiful thing. Messy breakups lead to hurt feelings, irrational actions and regret. But maintaining a relationship with your ex long after the breakup is over might make your new partner feel uncomfortable. How would you feel if your boyfriend remained in close contact with his ex? It’s nearly impossible to block out thoughts of the two of them together, happy, and intimate. While your new relationship shouldn’t dictate who you can and can’t be friends with, keeping in close contact with your ex may not be the best idea in terms of moving on.
5. Pressure Them to Commit
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in any new relationship. Pressuring your partner to commit will undoubtedly have the opposite effect. Just like children, our innate reaction to being told to do something is to do the complete opposite. The more pressure you place on your partner to commit, the more they’ll retreat. They may even start questioning the relationship. No one likes a partner who appears needy or desperate. Not to mention, if they aren’t ready to proclaim their undying love for you, would you really want them to? Asking them to fabricate their feelings is a recipe for disaster. Don’t force it. If commitment is in the cards, it’ll happen.
6. Say “I love you”
This is relationship suicide. If you say “I love you” too soon in the relationship, chances are, you’ll get a response that you didn’t bargain for. When backed into a corner and told “I love you”, some people respond with things like, “That’s nice”, “I care about you too”, or worst of all – “thank you”. Talk about rejection. But this doesn’t mean that you should hide your feelings either. Just don’t rush into saying it or throw “I love you” around like it’s meaningless. It’s a special phrase reserved for the right person, at the right time. Be patient.
7. Isolate Yourself From Your Friends
When you’re in a new relationship, all you want to do is spend every waking moment with your partner. The first thing you do in the morning is check to see if they messaged you. You spend hours on the phone, texting, or Facetiming. The minute you get out of work or school, you rush to their house. While this is normal honeymoon relationship behavior, you need to keep it check. Don’t break plans with friends because your beau is suddenly available to see you. Your friends were likely there long before your new relationship and if you want to continue to have them in your life, you need to make time for them. Another added benefit of maintaining your friendships outside of your new romantic relationship is that it’s a part of who you are. All too often, people lose themselves and their identity in their new partner. Maintain the life you had before your partner. If things don’t work out, those are the people who will still be there to lift you up.
8. Try to Move In
Crashing at your partner’s house or apartment is one thing. Trying to pack your bags and move in after only a few weeks or months together is a completely different story. One of the best things about new relationships is that you still have your own space, life, and freedom. It’s important to maintain this divide. You don’t have to share the same exact interests. It’s healthy to foster your own personal passions. Moving in together is a monumental step in any relationship. It means the end of breathing room and a sneak preview into life as a married couple. Rushing into this could spell the end for your relationship.
9. Put Up Walls
Being vulnerable is a difficult thing for some people. Letting your guard down can be scary. This is especially true if you’ve been hurt before. But the only thing worse than getting hurt is feelings of regret for not giving your current relationship 100%. How will you ever know if this new person is your soulmate? What if they’re capable of making you happier than you ever thought possible but your insecurities and uncertainty keep you from ever finding out? Although it may be difficult, try slowly letting your guard down. Not only will you be opening yourself to experiencing true love, but vulnerability is an extremely attractive attribute.
10. Discuss Issues with Everyone But Him
We all need a sounding board. A friend, family member or colleague who you can vent, bitch, and complain to. Our initial reactions to things are sometimes irrational. You need time to cool down, reflect, and get some perspective on the situation. While venting to friends about your relationship woes is okay, never addressing those issues with your partner is not. Communication in any relationship is key. Your partner isn’t a mind reader and neither are you. Holding your feelings in leads to resent and countless misunderstandings. So after you hash out your feelings with someone who knows you best, use that fresh new perspective to address things with your man. If not, he may hear elsewhere that you’re unhappy and wonder why you didn’t come to him in the first place. Keep the lines of communication open so that your new relationship has a chance to develop into something more serious.
New love is exhilarating. But don’t be blinded by love. Keep your cool with these 10 tips and chances are, you’ll be rewarded with a happy, healthy, well-balanced relationship.