Long-term romantic relationships can be one of life’s most fulfilling aspects, allowing us to grow and share our journey with someone. That being said, it almost always takes time and effort to find the right person at the right time and to get a relationship started. Knowing what you want, respecting yourself, and maintaining a positive attitude are all important factors in finding and keeping a partner.
Part 1: Resolving Relationship Obstacles
1. Consider what you want from a relationship. While many people believe they want a relationship in order to obtain something (love, sex, fulfilment), healthy relationships occur when people want to share love, life, and intimacy.
2. You should respect yourself. Many problems can arise in relationships if you do not first love and respect yourself. These are also easily harmed by failed previous relationships, unresolved childhood wounds, and so on.
Accepting who you are and forgiving yourself for mistakes is what self-respect entails. When you put these things into practise, you will learn to love, accept, and forgive your partner.
When you have self-esteem, you know how you expect and deserve to be treated. This is critical in order to avoid potentially abusive relationships.
3. Resolve the issue of the past. An unresolved issue from a previous relationship or marriage is the last thing you want in your new relationship. Working through the reasons why your previous relationship failed can also help you avoid making the same mistakes again.
A therapist can assist you in developing a clear understanding of your relationship patterns and developing a constructive plan for resolving any difficult issues.
It is never too late to break a bad habit. If you believe you are incapable of intimacy or of maintaining a long-term relationship, remember that you can always change that with time and the right amount of guidance.
4. Don’t get into a relationship just for the sake of getting into a relationship. Social pressures can sometimes make us feel as if we must be in a relationship at all costs. This is a legend. Remember that there is no such thing as a good relationship or a bad relationship. Make certain that your enthusiasm for your potential partner is genuine.
5. Understand that attraction can develop over time. Although love at first sight is a romantic notion, it is not always the case in most relationships. If you aren’t immediately attracted to someone, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a good match for you: lasting love develops over time, and friends can become lovers. When considering potential partners, avoid becoming overly preoccupied with their physical appearance. Personal qualities such as kindness, humour, and curiosity are much more important in the long run, and you may find yourself drawn to this person as a result.
6. Expect your partner to remain the same. It’s easy to overlook things you don’t like at first in the hope that you’ll eventually persuade this person to change. People, on the other hand, can only change themselves if and when they want to. If there is something you believe you will be unable to accept in the long run, reconsider entering into the relationship.
Likewise, be wary of a partner who wishes to change you. It’s fine to grow together, but neither of you should change for the sake of the other.
7. Don’t get hung up on minor details. While some patterns (such as drinking, abuse, or irresponsible behaviour) may be clearly unacceptable, there may be other, smaller things that irritate you, such as chewing with their mouth open, questionable fashion choices, or different musical tastes. If you’re truly interested in this person, don’t let these concerns become an excuse to avoid intimacy.
8. Discover what makes a relationship healthy. Recognizing healthy versus unhealthy relationship dynamics can be difficult, especially if you grew up in an unhealthy family. Fortunately, there is a wealth of information about healthy relationships available on the internet. Before you look for a relationship, use this knowledge to set healthy boundaries for yourself.
Know what you will and will not tolerate from a partner, for example. If someone crosses these lines, you must not back down.
Meeting and Dating in Part 2
1. Find out where you can meet people who share your interests. Make a list of things you enjoy doing if you’re having trouble meeting new people. Mutual interests can be extremely beneficial to your relationship.
Consider joining a club for a hobby you enjoy, such as hiking, reading, or dancing.
Volunteer for a cause that you care about, such as a food pantry, an animal shelter, or a political campaign.
Attend a class. Examine the offerings at a nearby college or community centre. Cooking, language, or art classes are enjoyable on their own, and they can also be a good social opportunity.
2. Take online dating with a grain of salt. Internet dating may work well for some people, while others may find it too high-pressure or lacking in spontaneity. If you do choose online dating, keep in mind that, despite ostensibly created formulae for finding your perfect match, getting to know someone takes time and must be done in person.
3. Meet new people through mutual connections. You could meet your ideal partner through friends, relatives, neighbours, or coworkers. Attend events where you are invited and be open to meeting new people. If you see someone who piques your interest, strike up a conversation with them or ask a mutual acquaintance to put you in touch with them.
You may also meet these people through social media, for example, when you both comment on a friend’s post.
4. Make a date that isn’t too formal. If you meet someone interesting, make the first move and invite them to a low-pressure activity. Going out for coffee is almost always a good idea. Other options may be contingent on how you met: for example, if you’re both members of a trail club, you could invite the person on a hike with a few of your friends. If you both enjoy music, see if they would like to attend a concert.
It’s a good idea to propose a meeting in a public place where other people will be present. This gives you both the assurance that you can get to know each other in a safe, neutral setting.
A casual meeting also alleviates any stress that a more formal invitation might entail.
5. Recognize and accept rejection. Rejection is an unavoidable part of the dating process, and you must learn how to deal with it positively.
Rejection should not be taken personally. People have a variety of reasons for not wanting to be in a relationship, and you have little control over that.
Maintain a positive attitude. If you’ve been rejected several times, take a step back and consider whether there’s anything in your approach that needs to be tweaked. Perhaps you’re moving too quickly, or you’re dating people who don’t share any of your interests. In any case, don’t dwell on rejection; instead, maintain a positive attitude and move on.
Don’t dismiss your emotions. Some rejections are especially difficult. If you’re sad or angry, instead of suppressing your emotions, acknowledge them. This will allow you to progress more quickly and completely.
6. Early in the dating process, avoid sex. Sharing your most intimate behaviour with someone you’ve just met can throw your new relationship’s pacing off. If you like this person, chances are there will be sex-related emotions that the two of you are not yet prepared to deal with. Furthermore, one or both of you may fail to take responsible action on issues such as STIs or pregnancy prevention. Worse, the other person might simply vanish afterwards!
While your date may express an interest in having sex, they should never put you under any pressure. Make it clear that your desire to delay isn’t a rejection, but rather that you like them and want to wait until the time is right. If they don’t get it, put some space between you: this could be a sign that they are possessive or potentially abusive. When someone does not respect your boundaries, it is always a red flag.
7. Examine how you both act around each other’s friends and family. As the dating process progresses, you’ll most likely meet some of their close friends, and they’ll meet yours. Examine how at ease the two of you are in those situations: this can provide insight into how the relationship is progressing.
Sometimes one or both of you may not feel completely at ease. That’s fine; what matters is that you’re making an effort to spend time with and connect with each other’s loved ones.
8. Keep in touch with family and friends. Some new relationships can seem all-consuming, but resist the urge to vanish with your new love interest. Make it a point to keep in touch with your friends and family, calling and visiting them on a regular basis. Remember that while romance comes and goes, these are the people who will be there for you in the long run.
9. Keep an eye out for red flags. There are some indications that the relationship is not going well. Learn to trust your instincts and pay attention to how the other person makes you feel. If you feel undervalued, insecure, or ashamed, it’s better to end the relationship early and devote your time to finding something long-term.
When you’re in an alcohol-dependent relationship, you only connect when you’ve had a drink.
Non-committal behaviour: Sometimes people struggle to make a commitment because of something in their past, such as a broken home or an inability to trust.
Poor nonverbal communication: the person should be expressing their interest in you through body language, such as eye contact and touch; if they aren’t, they may be tuned out.
Jealousy: When your partner dislikes you spending time on things that are important to you, such as hobbies, friends, or family members.
Controlling behaviour occurs when someone attempts to tell you what to do, think, or feel.
Blaming: the individual blames the other person for failed relationships and/or refuses to accept responsibility for their actions.
If the only time you spend together is in bed, you have a sexual relationship.
No one-on-one time: if the other person isn’t interested in spending time with you alone, don’t do it (other that in bed).
Part 3: Developing a New Relationship
1. Find activities that you can do together. After the initial thrill of your romance has worn off, you’ll both need to commit to spending time together and investing in the relationship. Discuss your interests and make a plan to do fun things on a regular basis, no matter how busy you are.
According to research, the excitement of trying new things together increases arousal and brings you closer together.
2. Maintain constant communication. It is critical for your relationship that you communicate in a kind and honest manner. As you share your feelings, thoughts, fears, and desires with each other, your bond will grow stronger.
3. Build trust by revealing your flaws in small doses. Building trust in a relationship takes time. Being vulnerable in front of another person can help build trust, but you shouldn’t do it all at once. Instead, you should each share small parts of yourself with the other. This builds a strong, trusting bond over time.
For example, you could reveal early in the relationship that you haven’t always had a good relationship with your sister. You can provide more information about why you don’t get along over time. However, you wouldn’t want to explain a lifetime of grievances to someone you’ve just met.
4. Maintain your independence. While balancing relationship and self-realization can be difficult, the latter is crucial to your love life. Mutual independence implies that you both continue to develop as individuals while doing what you enjoy. This not only helps to avoid unhealthy relationship patterns such as codependency (when one of you relies on the other for self-worth and identity), but it can also be stimulating and renewing by allowing you to see each other do what you enjoy and are good at.
5. Don’t be afraid of conflict. Disagreements almost always arise as relationships progress. It is critical to feel safe enough to express your concerns without fear of repercussions. Fight fairly by listening to each other’s points of view, and strive to resolve conflicts through compromise for the sake of your relationship.
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