1. Do I know my boundaries?
Before getting into a relationship it’s crucial to know what you are okay with and what you are not okay with so that when situations present themselves, you know exactly where you stand on the matter. One of my old childhood friends is in a relationship where she has walked in on her boyfriend in bed with another girl, has had videos sent to her of the guy with other girls, has had girls message her saying her boyfriend calls them late at night, and she still stays with him. I think once we get into a relationship and we aren’t familiar with where we stand ourselves in regards to how we want to be treated, we often get used. In that situation, I think if my friend were to have entered the relationship telling herself, “In no way is cheating ever okay with me”, then after the first incident she would have left the relationship. When we get so used to something and abuse becomes repetitive, it comes our new normal and we become blind to it – this is why we need to know our boundaries ahead of time.
2. Am I interested in love to feel something I feel I lack, or is it merely just the extra in my life and the cherry on top?
Going into love from a space of wholeness, is so much different than replying to ever message sent to you by a male simply because you are lonely. When we enter love from a place where we are content in our own skin, we develop a love that is wholesome that can actually function.
3. What are my core values?
Knowing what our value system is is key. First of all, it’s important to know what we value and what our own priorities are. Secondly, it’s important that we choose a partner whose value system aligns with ours. For an example, two of the big things I value are calm + healthy communication and connection. I value this so much that when getting into a relationship 3+ years ago with my current boyfriend, making sure that he absolutely never raised his voice, always calmly engaged in conflict, and had positive relationships with his family and friends was a make it or break it. We have to know what we want/and value, so that we can have that in our relationships.
4. What are my needs?
It’s so important we know what our needs are, how much time we need with someone, how we want someone to love us, what our apology language is, etc. We must know what our mental, physical, emotional, and sexual needs are so that we can communicate that with our partner and have those needs met in a relationship. Also, it’s important to know our own needs. We need to know how much friend time we need, how much we want to go on hikes, go to school, etc.
5. How do I cater to the balance of my life?
Having a life with balance is so important.
If we don’t know how to prioritize our balance, it’s easy for a relationship to consume our life. Our lives are so multifaceted. We have social lives, occupational lives, intimate lives, etc. It is necessary to know how to keep your friends close and your “me time”, all while engaging with a partner. Figuring out your own balance is so necessary.