Starting a new relationship is sometimes just like renovating an old house. You ask, how? Well, here it goes. If you should start a relationship with someone, it can be a bit of a slippery slope. Probably because you have to choose the right person just like you worry about choosing the right elements for your home. The walls, the upholstery, decor and other features of this home you are building do not have to necessarily be perfect but they should be in sync with your personality.
That’s what makes the two things so similar. Getting into a brand new commitment with a brand new person is a happening change and will hopefully make your life rosier and happier than ever before. But starting a new relationship also requires some healthy decision making, understanding and reflection.
A good relationship is filled with love, but it is not all that easy. There’s a lot of work, time and consideration that goes into it just like the effort that goes into renovating a house. After all, you don’t want your living room to look the opposite of what you had imagined. With psychologist Nandita Rambhia (MSc, Psychology), who specializes in CBT, REBT and couples counseling, let’s take a deep dive into dating tips for new relationships to make the best of this new chapter in your life.
Starting A New Relationship – 21 Dos And Don’ts
What happens in a new relationship or the timelessly confusing dilemma of space when dating is something you might worry about eventually, once the honeymoon period has worn off. To make the best of your experiences with this new entry in your life, there are a few things to keep in mind when starting a new relationship that can save you.
If you’re nervous, then understand that new relationship anxiety at the beginning of a romance is not a bad thing. In fact, the anxiety when starting a new relationship is much more normal than you think. It only shows that you are concerned about what you are getting into and paying attention to yourself.
Nandita tells us, “Getting into a new relationship is like entering untested waters as one does not really know how it will unfold. So anxiety is quite normal because any relationship crops up a lot of questions about the future. But along with that anxiety, there is a great degree of excitement as well. So as long as these two things balance each other out, all should be good.”
It’s only natural to feel this way when starting a new relationship. But if that’s weighing you down, well no need to fret. We have got you covered to ease the process. Here are 21 dos and don’ts to keep in mind when you are starting a new relationship.
1. Do: Make sure you are attracted to the right things about them
It will be a terrible waste of time starting a new relationship with someone who you think is just hot or fun to be around. While those are major factors in the initial days of dating, you must dig deeper and admire their deeper qualities. To engage with another person means getting to know and like who they are on the inside and that is essential if you should start a relationship with someone.
Frivolous banter, coquettish behavior are all fun and sexy at the beginning and early days. However, when starting a new relationship, a more meaningful connection can lay a great foundation. Perhaps you admire his sincerity toward his parents or love her undying commitment to her job. Take some time to ponder what you really like about them and what really made you gravitate toward them.
2. Don’t: Keep talking about your exes
It’s the new relationship 101 to refrain completely from going down your romantic memory lane. Sharing a few cute stories here and there is okay. However, you do not want to scare off your new partner by repeatedly bringing up an old flame. When going through the stages of a new relationship, such things might make them feel insecure and that is not a good sign for the future of your relationship.
Saying, “My ex Matthew loved the mud pie at this restaurant” when on a dinner date with your new boyfriend will ring a blaring alarm in his mind. Keep the mention of exes on the down-low to avoid scaring off your new partner, especially when starting a new relationship after divorce. They may already be worried that they will never match up to your past partner, especially if you’re getting out of an intense or long-term relationship. Remember that they never signed up for a competition with your past relationships.
Nandita says, “When we talk about our exes, from our point of view we might just be sharing and explaining what happened in our previous relationship. You might think that you are just trying to explain to your partner who you really are. But the partner doesn’t look at it that way. They might feel insecure, uncomfortable and even think that you still have feelings for your ex. They might even think that you are comparing your ex with him/her, which can become extremely distressing in the relationship. Mention your ex casually if you need to but know that, that part of your life is now over.”
Related Reading: 7 Reasons Your Ex Is Hot And Cold- And How To Deal With It
3. Do: Communicate your feelings and expectations clearly
Rosy beginnings and happy relationships call for honest and open communication between the two partners. Whether something is making you feel elated or uncomfortable, you must lay it all out on the table. These early days are the ripe time to get to know one another. So to begin a new relationship, you must be as honest as you can be.
Worrying about hurting their feelings or doing things you don’t want to make them happy cannot be sustained in the long run. It’s best to be yourself right from the beginning, so they can get a hang of your likes and dislikes too. Consider this one of the important dating tips for new relationships.
4. Do: Understand their physical and sexual boundaries
Sexual progression and comfort differ from relationship to relationship. Some are manifested from amazing sexual compatibility that you struck from the very beginning and others take their own sweet time to express physical affection and get to that stage of sexual ease. With such a variety of terms for each individual, you must be smart enough to gauge where your partner lies on this equation.
Don’t refrain or shy away from sexual questions to ask when starting a new relationship. More importantly, be comfortable about where you stand and don’t rush into sex if you do not want to. Disrupting the comfort will also disrupt the love that has blossomed so far.
5. Don’t: Act like a maniacal partner if you should start a relationship with someone
Dealing with “Why did you not call when you got off of work?” or receiving a trail of “I miss you” texts can be overwhelming for anyone when starting a new relationship. You must learn to relax when dating someone and loosen the reins on them. If you won’t give them space in the relationship, they might just freak out.
We know you could be in the phase of starting a new relationship and being scared of getting hurt or left alone, but try to be a little practical. This is still a time when you are both figuring out what you want from this. Understand their need for space when dating.
Nandita suggests, “A new relationship is always filled with passion, and elements of jealousy might creep in since one is still exploring the relationship. Moreover, jealousy is a part and parcel of every relationship out there. Being jealous in small measures is good as it keeps you on your toes and keeps the passion flowing. But once it becomes dominant, it can be a problem. Also, figure out what exactly is making you so controlling and worried.”
6. Don’t: Try to show off constantly
To make the other person fall deeper in love with you and reassure them that they made the right choice is not an excuse to brag. Whether it is your fancy Wall Street job, a brand new car or your last vacation to Hawaii, nobody likes a loudmouth who can’t stop talking about themselves. We get it though. The fear of starting a new relationship and being worried that they might leave you might make one try to overcompensate.
But think about it this way. You want your new partner to love you for who you are and not for the material things that you have in your life. If you keep up this showboat attitude, chances are you won’t leave room for any actual or organic romantic developments. Want to make a new relationship work? Just go out there and be you.
Related Reading: The 8 Rules Of Dating Multiple People At One Time
7. Do: Show them that you care when starting a new relationship
Starting a new relationship is graced by a sizzling honeymoon period with endless perks and absolutely zero sadness. This period is crucial as it requires a lot of attention and concern. Especially when starting a new relationship after divorce, this period is important to gauge whether you are ready for this new chapter and this person or not. So to start things off on the right note, you must show that you are capable of being committed and ready for exclusive dating with this person.
Do things that make them feel like they matter and are welcome in your life. One of the tips for starting a new relationship is that indulging in small romantic gestures such as writing them a heart-warming thank you letter, sending flowers to their workplace or watching their favorite movie with them go a long way. This way, they will know that you are in it for the long haul.
8. Do: Be honest about your own emotional needs
When starting a new relationship, you are officially entering an arena of some heavy emotional exchange where you both cater to each other’s critical emotional needs. Understanding another person emotionally is one of the important dating tips for new relationships. You must be aware of their reactions, responses and expectations. In fact, go ahead and think of questions to ask when starting a new relationship, to make sure you two are on the same page.
And at the same time, you should also not put your own emotional requirements in the backseat. A relationship is only right for you when your wants are also being listened to. Do not neglect yourself for the sake of being polite. Don’t let the fear of starting a new relationship make you comply with everything that they want. Be firm in your own needs and wants.
9. Do: Try new things for them
When starting a new relationship, focus on learning to build an interdependent romantic connection. It could also offer some serious spiritual growth, exploring a better world understanding or simply trying a new skill. When you accommodate a new person in your life, you must also accommodate everything else they bring to the table. This is what’s most exciting about the beginning stages of a new relationship.
Even if you two are poles apart, you know you like her for a reason so it’s time you step it up and be romantic in a new relationship. For example, if you’re a city man and she’s a country girl, you could always try exploring the countryside for her sake. Not only will this help you get to know your partner better but will also help you get in touch with some unexplored parts of your personality.
10. Don’t: Pry into their past
When investing in somebody new, you might wonder whether they are the right fit for you. Wanting to know about any skeletons in their closet or being wary of trusting them completely are all valid concerns especially if you have a looming fear of starting a new relationship.
But one of the things to keep in mind when starting a new relationship is to not make them too uncomfortable with all your questions. The way to address these concerns is by asking them the right questions and not playing Sherlock and making them feel cornered. Ask them what you want to know without making it seem like an interrogation.
Related Reading: 9 Examples Of Mutual Respect In A Relationship
11. Do: Keep an eye out for red flags when starting a new relationship
Being smitten is beautiful and a necessary stage even of falling in love. But hold your horses and do not drift off onto a cloud of intense infatuation. Taking a new relationship slow gives you time to pay attention to detail. The excitement might enrapture you but you must stay circumspect before completely falling for the wrong person.
If you feel there is something wrong at the beginning of a relationship, don’t sideline your intuition. Trust your gut when you feel this way. Judge how they respond to you, your advances, affections and moods. Are they willing to make changes for you and understand you? Or are they only in it for convenience? Red flags in a relationship shouldn’t be overlooked.
12. Don’t: Be scared of fights
Fighting when just starting a new relationship does not happen often but sometimes differences can arise. If your partner is unhappy about something and is in a fit, do not run away from them because this is a new relationship and you are not sure of what to do.
Try to be patient at the beginning of a relationship since it requires a lot of work, dedication and consistency. Freaking out over tiny relationship arguments is not a good look. Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s going to be completely smooth. Stay, understand, reciprocate and fix the problem at hand.
Nandita advises, “Staying patient during a fight comes with experience and has a lot to do with your own personality and temperament. The thumb rule to follow is that if one partner is upset or angry, the other should quickly decide to be patient. Let the angry partner vent and express themselves. During that time, control yourself from lashing back onto them and getting angry. Pre-decide what to do if you get into a big fight. If you have these basics figured out beforehand, you will definitely know how to manage it much better when it actually happens.
13. Do: Be careful with your vulnerabilities
When it comes to letting our guard down, most of us prefer doing it gradually. You might often ask yourself, how to start a relationship slowly? One way to do that is to be careful with all that you reveal about yourself. Not every sad story is a date conversation. Especially when starting a new relationship online, be even more careful about how much you give away.
So while you think of important questions to ask when starting a new relationship, do know that these can’t be haphazard and should be sensible. One should only open up completely when the trust has been fostered. If you put both feet in too quickly, you might be more susceptible to being hurt or betrayed, especially if you already have trust issues. Take baby steps and you’ll find your way.
14. Don’t: Make them the center of your life
Nandita says, “Some people get so involved in a new relationship and into this new person that they start to neglect all the other things about their own lives. This leads to the problem of one-sided attention and it is not at all healthy. After a few weeks, you may realize that you have been neglecting your work or not spending time with friends and it might be difficult to get back on track and maintain that balance once again.”
It’s only a new partner. While that is great and exciting beyond comparison, you still have your own life to look after. Taking a new relationship slow requires you to also slowly weave your new partner into the other parts of your life. You don’t need to diminish other activities and friends to make room for them!
15. Do: Get acquainted with their body language
As highly expressive beings, we tend to communicate a lot by means other than our words. Words are easy, simple and direct. There is a different sexiness to body language signs and unique gesticulations, especially when you begin a new relationship.
They say eyes are a window to the soul, but a person’s non-verbal cues are truly underrated in the same regard. A lot of our feelings reflect through our posture, gestures and expressions. Getting acquainted with your partner’s body language will go a long way in understanding who they really are.
16. Don’t: Bombard them with all the questions to ask when starting a new relationship
Yes, worrying about the future is natural and so is the anxiety when starting a new relationship. You probably want to make sure that there is a future on the horizon and that they see you in their long-term goals. Starting a relationship can make you feel super jittery about what the future holds and what the next few years of your life might look like.
However, constantly talking about it and asking your partner questions about their ideals might put a little pressure on them and not really be constructive when you are trying to make a new relationship work. Take each day as it comes, enjoy it to the fullest and forget stressing about what may or may not happen. Furthermore, your partner might feel intimidated easily if they don’t yet have the answers to your questions.
Related Reading: We Couldn’t End Our Relationship Nor Do We See A Future Together…
17. Do: Get a hold of your expectations
The newness might enrapture you into thinking that this is it or that she might be the one, but let’s hold that thought for a moment. We want every relationship to last until the very end and see ‘the one’ in every person that we date. I’m sure experience must have told you already that it is just not the case.
Try to be patient at the beginning of a relationship. Stay, understand, tell someone you love them and create something wonderful. However, also be smart about things and don’t start planning a wedding with the person you’ve just started dating.
Nandita advises, “In a new relationship, it is important to go very slow. Take some time and about six months to understand your partner well. In a new relationship, everyone puts their best foot forward which means you’ll often see their best side initially. Over a period of time, you might start to understand the person as a whole. Which is why it’s important to not have too many expectations at least until a few months have passed.”
18. Do: Keep jealousy aside if you should start a relationship with someone
One of the most important new relationship tips for guys is to keep their macho, overprotective tendencies away. A lot of guys think that behaving possessively when starting a new relationship will show their commitment greatly and is essential to a new relationship.
However, most women do not enjoy it beyond a certain point. A new relationship is about building trust, commitment and honesty. Signs of unhealthy jealousy will only stir annoyance and not make a new relationship work. Be romantic in a new relationship yes, but being controlling and intrusive is not romance.
19. Do: Be reciprocal and let go of the fear of starting a new relationship
We understand what it’s like when you’re starting a new relationship but being scared of getting hurt so you wait for them to make all the moves without actually letting your own guard down. But that is unfair to you and them both.
When it comes to gestures, cute good morning text messages or sweet nothings, make sure to try to reciprocate the love that your partner showers so generously. Even when starting a new relationship during COVID and not being able to meet them, there is a lot that you can do. Send them care packages, plan Netflix parties or share recipes and cook together on a video call.
Sweet actions should go back and forth in a new relationship. It drives home the point that you are in this as much as they are. You do not want your new partner left wondering whether you like them or not!
Related Reading: 10 Proven Ways To Show Someone You Love Them
20. Don’t: Put them on a pedestal
In a new relationship, your world might seem to revolve around your new love. As you peel the layers of their personality and get to know them, you might fall more and more in love with them. Soon, you might even be enchanted by them to a point where you stop thinking about yourself. But one of the tips for starting a new relationship is to know where to draw a line.
Your self-respect and worth are more important than any relationship. You must make sure to not sacrifice that. Ensure that you are being treated with the same respect that you give to your partner especially when starting a new relationship online or starting a new relationship during Covid when it is easy to get carried away by looks and excitement.
21. Do: Use your past learnings as dating tips for new relationships
Your past relationships must have left you with a plethora of life-changing lessons. Whether it was some deep emotional realization or a problem-solving strategy – tap into these learnings to build a strong foundation for your new relationship. This will help you make much better choices and be in touch with what you really feel at the beginning of a relationship.
Your past, even if it was ugly has shaped you into the person that you are today. Let’s give it some credit and use it to your advantage in the form of dating tips for new relationships. Starting a new relationship sounds exciting now, doesn’t it? It takes a little work but that is the case with love. It’s not a simple game of Ludo but rather a complex maze. But with the right person by your side, you will never want to exit this maze!
A new relationship is exciting and offers you a lot of new and interesting things to explore in another person. It is full of love, life and laughter!
Even though the relationship is very new and you might want to spend all your time with your partner, you have to give breathing space to them and to yourself. Do not saturate someone with so much love and affection, that they become uncomfortable.
In a serious relationship, you have to be honest and open about your expectations and feelings. Moreover, you have to give them valuable time and invest energy in their needs as well.