- Are You Ready for a Relationship? 5 Things to Consider
- 10 Things To Consider Before A New Relationship With A Man
- 10 Are You Over Your Ex?
- 9 What Type Of Relationship Are You Looking For?
- 8 What Are Your Expectations From This New Relationship?
- 7 Would This New Guy Bring Out The Best In You?
- 6 Figure Out Why Previous Relationships Failed
- 5 Are You Even Interested In Him?
- 4 Do Your Friends And Family Him?
- 3 Are You Ready To Let Go Of Selfishness?
- 2 How Well Do You Really Know Him?
- 1 Are You Ready To Try Something New?
- 10 Life Skills You Should Have Before You Get Into a Relationship
- 5 Common Mistakes People Make When Starting a New Relationship—Are You Guilty?
Are You Ready for a Relationship? 5 Things to Consider
Relationships can be messy, especially in the beginning. After all, committing to take care of another person can be difficult if you jump into a relationship too quickly or without taking a second to reflect on what you want from your campus cutie.
So what should you think about before change your status to “In a relationship”? Here are five things to consider:
1. Get involved for the right reasons.
One of the simplest questions to ask yourself is why you want a relationship in the first place. Is it because you really this person, or are you trying to distract yourself from other problems?
Dr. Jane Greer, a New York-based relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship, acknowledges that there are definitely some not-so-awesome reasons for entering a relationship.
“Some wrong reasons for getting into a relationship are agreeing to go out just because he's more invested in it than you are and is making you feel guilty, starting a new relationship only because all of your friends are dating someone and being with someone just to feel secure with a partner rather than for the feelings you have for that particular guy,” she says.
Jackie*, a senior at Wesleyan University, didn’t think about her reasons for getting involved with her then-boyfriend, Conner*.
“I had just gotten a pretty serious relationship that lasted over three years, and I met Conner about a month later and immediately decided to date him because I missed the companionship,” she says. “It ended up being the quintessential messy rebound relationship.
We didn’t mesh well at all, I subconsciously compared him to my ex-boyfriend and, looking back, I feel I just wasn’t fair to him.”
Overall, Jackie wishes she’d given more thought beforehand to why she wanted a relationship in the first place. “If I’d just stopped to think about it, I would’ve realized that I was doing it because I was hurt, not because I was invested in any type of future with Conner,” she says.
So how can you make sure that you’re not jumping into things too quickly? Dr. Greer suggests you go out with a couple of people to ensure that this relationship is the one you want.
“Before college women invest all their time and energy into a single relationship, they should give themselves the opportunity to date multiple guys and be open to different types of people before settling down,” she says.
Have a little fun hanging out with many different people!
2. Know how long you can see yourself with this person.
We’re not saying you have to be ready to marry this guy or girl, but are you looking for just a semester fling, or do you want something serious and long-term?
Jen*, a junior at the University of Colorado Boulder, knows how awkward it can be if you don’t answer this question before you really begin your relationship.
“I started dating a guy named Lucas* in early June last summer and never really thought about where I wanted to take it, instead assuming it’d just be a summer fling,” she says.
“Not knowing what I wanted led to a lot of arguments and fights about defining the relationship, which in turn spoiled a lot of the fun we could’ve had as a couple.”
Obviously, how long you see yourself being with a person determines how much time and energy you’re going to want to put into the relationship, so it’s important to figure out!
3. Make sure you know what your potential significant other wants, too.
As essential as it is to know where you stand, it’s just as crucial to make sure you’ve been talking with your beau and know what he or she is looking for, too. A breakdown of communication early on in a relationship is dangerous, so chat with your SO about the state of your relationship often.
Building on her experience, Jen wishes she had asked Lucas what he wanted a lot sooner. “Since I was vaguely interested in a summer fling, you can imagine how sticky the situation got when Lucas started talking about us visiting each other at school in the fall and spending Thanksgiving and Christmas together,” she says. “I really wish I’d said something about my intentions sooner.”
Jen emphasizes the importance of knowing where the other person stands when making your own decision about a relationship. “Had I been smart enough to ask Lucas sooner, I would’ve seen that he wanted something super serious and I didn’t,” she says. “In retrospect, I probably wouldn’t have starting dating him if I knew that.”
4. Know if you have enough time for a relationship.
To state the obvious, relationships take a lot of time and energy, so if you don’t think you can give a serious time commitment to your campus cutie, you may want to reconsider whether or not you date him or her.
After all, dating isn’t just about going on actual dates (which do take up quite a bit of time as is). There’s all of the texting and calling you’ll be doing, the events you’ll be going to together, and just the general amount of time it takes to get to know another human being.
Dr. Greer reminds collegiettes of the importance of staying centered when in a relationship. “It's important to balance it out with spending time with friends and participating in campus activities,” she says.
“College girls need to be open to possibilities and opportunities before making a decision on a relationship, and, once they're in one, they need to devote an equal amount of time to the boyfriend, their friends, their hobbies and schoolwork.”
Not sure how to see if you have enough time? Rachel, a junior at Florida State University, recommends talking to your beau before things get serious.
“One thing I wish I’d done in a couple of my previous relationships was talk to my guy about how much we wanted to communicate and hang out on a daily and weekly basis,” she says.
“It can be so exhausting spending all of your free time texting someone or turning down other things to hang out with your boyfriend if that’s not what you want.”
Rachel emphasizes that boundaries are extremely important. “You need to figure out how much communication you need from the other person,” she says. “Do you need to be in contact 24/7, or will just a quick ‘good morning’ text do on most days? Relationships aren’t always about the big romantic gestures; they’re about the little things, too.”
5. Know what sacrifices you’re willing to make.
Building on whether or not you have enough time for a relationship, how much time for other things are you willing to give up for your significant other? After all, just because you have the time doesn’t mean you want to be using it.
Are you okay with spending 30 minutes every night talking to him on Skype if it’s long distance or having a date night with him every weekend? After all, Skyping takes away time from homework (or binge watching Netflix), and date nights mean less time with friends.
How are you going to fit in everything?
Jackie had this issue with Conner. “Since I’d just gotten a really long-term relationship, I wanted something light and fun, but Conner wanted something way more serious,” she says.
“He wanted us to text all the time and hang out several times a week, but I wasn’t willing to give up all of my extracurriculars and friend time to do things with him that much.
It created a rift in our relationship pretty quickly.”
Rachel also notes that sacrifices can range from small to pretty serious. “I’ve dated long distance before, and that’s a huge sacrifice both time-wise and financially,” she says.
“In contrast, I also once sacrificed eating meat so I could date a guy who was a staunch vegetarian! Honestly, sacrifices vary a lot, but you just have to make sure that you know what they are and whether or not you’re ready and able to make them.”
Not eating meat for a guy? We’re not sure we could do that!
Overall, getting into a new relationship can be scary, exciting and difficult all at the same time. By taking a step back and asking yourself some crucial questions, you can avoid some heartbreak and have a much healthier relationship from the start!
*Names have been changed.
10 Things To Consider Before A New Relationship With A Man
Some relationships last a lifetime, while others may only last a day. Before jumping into something new, there should always be things that you should consider first. You want to make sure you are ready for someone new and that you are not getting into something that you won’t be able to handle just yet.
Relationships tend to take time, effort, compromise. and patience. If you are unable to give any of those things, it may be a good idea to live the single life for a while. Before getting into a brand-new relationship with him, try considering these 10 things first.
10 Are You Over Your Ex?
It usually takes some time for people to get over their ex and previous relationship. You should always try to give yourself time to heal and recuperate after every breakup, even if you were the one to do the heartbreaking.
You always want to consider your feelings for an ex before jumping into something new because you want to be able to give the new guy a chance and not set him up for failure. Plus, not being over your ex can hinder your ability to put your all into a new relationship.
9 What Type Of Relationship Are You Looking For?
Before jumping into something new, you may want to make sure that you know what kind of relationship you are looking for and that the new guy is also looking for the same kind of thing.
Are you looking for something platonic, causal, a rebound from your ex, short term, or long term? This is something that should always be considered before getting into a brand new relationship. If you and the potential new guy aren’t on the same page, it can make things very complicated.
8 What Are Your Expectations From This New Relationship?
When debating on getting into a brand new relationship, it is always a good idea to consider what your expectations are for this potential relationship. Some people dive into relationships knowing that the goal is to try to find someone to settle down with or have a baby with.
Other people jump into relationships not knowing what they want. Expectations may also be seen as relationship goals. Knowing what your expectations are can drastically help the success of any new relationship.
7 Would This New Guy Bring Out The Best In You?
Before jumping into something brand new with him, it is always a good idea to consider whether or not he would bring out the best in you. Sometimes this is something that can be hard to figure out at first since a majority of people don’t let their true colors shine through until after they have been in the relationship for some time.
In healthy relationships, your partner should be able to bring out the best in you; not the worst. So, before making the relationship official, try to figure out if he seems to press your buttons, causes you unnecessary stress, or brings extra drama into your life. If something feels off to you, trust your intuition.
6 Figure Out Why Previous Relationships Failed
Before starting a brand new relationship, perhaps you should take some time to figure out why your past relationships didn’t work out. In a way, it’s asking yourself if past relationships failed because of something you may have done or if it was them.
If your relationships keep ending for similar circumstances, there is a good chance that you may need to take a good look at yourself, which can often be hard to do since people naturally don’t taking the blame. The reason it’s good to consider what went wrong in the past is so that you can try to make or do things differently this time around. A new relationship can equal a fresh start.
5 Are You Even Interested In Him?
Before getting into any new relationship, you should always to consider how you actually feel about the person. Getting into a relationship when your interest for your partner is lacking usually doesn’t lead to anything good. If you are not interested but he is, there is a good chance that you may break his heart in the end.
It is never good to toy with someone else’s emotions. After all, you wouldn’t want someone toying with yours, right? Perhaps try making a pro and con list if you are unsure about your feelings for him. You can list the things that you about him versus the things you don’t and let that help guide you toward a decision.
4 Do Your Friends And Family Him?
Before getting into a brand new relationship, you may want to consider what your family and friends have to say about him. Although, that shouldn’t always matter. However, it does make things run much smoother when your loved ones actually your potential boyfriend.
Sometimes our friends and family can see things in our partner, whether it’s good or bad, that we may not notice. This can especially true if we really the guy. They say love is blind, and that can often be very true. If your friends and family don’t him, try asking why and see what their answers are.
3 Are You Ready To Let Go Of Selfishness?
Before you jump into a brand new relationship, you may want to consider whether or not you are ready to let go of any selfishness and that you are ready to share yourself with someone new. Relationships should never be one-sided and it takes effort from both parties if you want something that will last.
When we are single, it is all about ourselves and what we want and need. However, when you are with someone, it is important to consider not just your needs but your partner’s needs as well.
2 How Well Do You Really Know Him?
Honestly, how well do we really know anyone? Most people seem to have different attitudes depending on who they are hanging out with or talking to. Knowing more about who a person really is, comes with time. But before jumping into something new, try to consider how well you know actually know him. What ended his previous relationship?
Is he still too close with his ex? What’s his relationship with his family or mom? Ask him questions before you decide if he is worth starting a relationship with. Try to figure out if you two have things in common or share some of the same beliefs.
1 Are You Ready To Try Something New?
One very important thing to consider before jumping into a brand new relationship is if you are actually ready to get into something new. To be fair to the new guy, you want to make sure you're ready to commit without the past holding you back. This also means making sure you’re over your previous boyfriend.
If you are in school, try to consider whether or not you even have time for a relationship at the moment. The same goes for if you are in a busy and demanding career.
If you are unsure about whether or not you are ready, you could always try making a pro and con list; What are the pros of being in a relationship versus the cons.
If you are not ready, there is nothing wrong with living the single life for as long as you need to.
NEXT: 10 Ways That You May Be Ruining Your Relationship (And You May Not Even Know It)
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10 Life Skills You Should Have Before You Get Into a Relationship
Written by Writer’s Corps member Laura Amatruto
Being in a relationship has its perks: you always have a designated cuddle buddy and someone to talk to about the Game of Thrones. But knowing that a relationship is only as stable and healthy as the people in it, you’ve made it your goal to #lovebetter this time around (good for you
5 Common Mistakes People Make When Starting a New Relationship—Are You Guilty?
The beginning of a new relationship can be a lot of fun. Someone out there thinks you’re funny! And cute! And smart! They respond to your texts at once and want to know all about your day—even the parts you think are boring.
Nothing they do is ever frustrating, or annoying, or downright weird. It all feels you’re in a montage of bliss, and maybe, just maybe, this feeling will last forever.
But here’s some advice for all you new lovebirds out there, courtesy of Kelly Campbell, PhD, associate professor of psychology and human development at California State University, San Bernardino: Be cool.
My advice for couples starting a new relationship is to follow the theory of ‘social penetration,’ meaning you discuss superficial topics at first and gradually lead into more intimate topics.
“My advice for couples starting a new relationship is to follow the theory of ‘social penetration,’ meaning you discuss superficial topics at first and gradually lead into more intimate topics,” she says.
“People often make the mistake of disclosing too much too soon, and this can be disastrous for new relationships.
At the start of a relationship, you want your exchanges to be reciprocal and gradual, not one-sided and not too fast.”
This may seem a buzzkill when all you want to do is see what your new prospect is up to, and eating, and wearing, and working on, and thinking about. But trust Campbell: The mindset of taking it slow is best.
“It is natural at the beginning to feel intense passion and attraction, and this sometimes causes people to ignore important qualities matching on values. Long-term partnerships require matching on fundamental traits,” she continues.
“If your goal is to be in a long-term relationship, you can never have too much similarity. Usually, the more similar the partners are, the happier and more long-lasting they will be.”
To make sure that your new relationship’s butterflies and giggles can transition into a long-term bond, we asked Campbell to elaborate on the dos and don’ts to take into account at this stage. Here’s hoping that your blissful montage turns into a feature-length movie.
Don’t blow up their phone. “Keep things reciprocal and gradual,” Campbell notes. “If they initiated plans the first time, you can initiate the second time and so on, but don’t always be the person texting first, calling, and initiating plans.”
Don’t get intimate with a person until you are comfortable discussing everything with them. “If you aren’t comfortable asking them about STDs and STIs or telling them about your own sexual health, it’s not yet the time to have sex,” she says.
Don’t have sex until both partners are 100% ready. “Having one partner who is ready is not enough,” she says. “The amount of time to wait before having sex differs for every couple; there is no such thing as too soon or too long. The right time is when both people are 100% ready.”
Don’t be a Debbie Downer in the early stages. “Try to remain open to trying new foods and participating in new activities,” Campbell advises, “and don’t discuss topics that are controversial or depressing. The start of a new relationship ought to be light and fun, and things can become more serious with time.”
Don’t denigrate yourself.
“If you have things in your past that you consider less than ideal—for example, if you just got fired or your previous partner cheated on you—then find a way to discuss or disclose these things in a positive light,” she notes. “Rather than saying I got dumped because my ex wanted someone better-looking, say something My ex and I weren’t a good match, and this became more evident with time.”
Make varied plans with each other. “Don’t only see each other in one context. Mix it up,” Campbell says. “Go for morning walks, lunch dates, and dinners with friends or colleagues.
It can be illuminating to see your partner navigate different situations and relationships.
Maybe they’re always nice to you, but they turn competitive around friends—these things are good to know before you get too involved.”
Be sure each person is maintaining a balanced lifestyle. “Early on, partners usually want to spend all of their time together,” she continues. “Try to remember that balance is important.
Continue to spend time with family and friends, exercise, work hard, and value your alone time. When people spend all of their time with a new partner, they risk losing themselves—and losing their friends, too, because they won’t appreciate getting ditched.
Even in the most long-lasting relationships, partners should still maintain a sense of independence.”
Watch out for red flags. “If your partner makes plans and repeatedly cancels, or you catch them in a lie, or you see them treating other people poorly, or they criticize you, it’s a sign they might not be worth investing in for the long-term,” Campbell notes.
Treat yourself well, and it will set an example of how your partner should treat you. “There is nothing wrong with being principled, knowing yourself, and being yourself,” Campbell says. “You should still be doing things for yourself, taking time for self-care.”
Communication can be one of the most important factors for maintaining a happy relationship. “Say what you mean and mean what you say, be direct and considerate, choose battles wisely, treat your partner well, and avoid destructive things yelling, insulting, and judging,” she explains.
“The start of a relationship can lay the foundation for the future, so pay attention to how you communicate.
If you don’t have the skills to communicate effectively, get professional help or a self-help book written by a psychologist—John Gottman has great books on this topic—and work on this vital relationship characteristic.”
Bottom line: A new relationship is a lot of fun, and you should enjoy it. But also, don’t ignore your own needs or any red flags.
“In the early phases of a relationship, people are often wearing rose-colored glasses—they minimize or ignore their partner’s faults and exaggerate or only see their partner’s positive attributes,” Campbell says. “My advice is to balance out the emotional component with rational thinking.
If you’re having a hard time being rational and weighing the pros and cons of this person as a partner, ask your family and friends for their opinions.”
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