New relationships are always so exciting. They’re brand new and full of potential, with no old hurts, mistakes, or tough times gumming up the works yet. They feel absolutely perfect, and it’s hard to imagine anything ever ruining that or making it different.
But while it’s a guarantee that every new relationship eventually faces its share of challenges, common mistakes are completely avoidable. But first, you have to know whether you’re prone to making them (and what to do about it if you are). Here are some examples.
1. You spend more time in bed than you do talking
Sexual bonding is definitely an important part of being in a new relationship, not to mention a fun one. But it shouldn’t take the place of actually communicating, getting to know one another better, and slowly getting a feel for each other.
Make sure you’re spending enough time engaged in those long, lingering conversations that help you figure out the whole compatibility thing early on before you’re in too deep. It’s vital that you learn to build real intimacy early on. Learn each other’shopes, dreams, likes, and dislikes so you can move forward with your eyes open.
2. You’re not 100 percent honest
Everyone wants to make a good impression on a new partnerand makes an effort to be on their best behavior in the beginning phases of a relationship. But there’s a big difference between putting your best foot forward and failing to actually be honest with your new partner.
Being 100 percent transparent and honest right from the get-go is always the best bet. If there’s something your partner should know about you or your past, get it out in the open sooner rather than later. Encourage them to do the same, and listen without judgment. It’s hard, but it will help bring you closer and keep you close over time.
3. You move way too fast
When a relationship is new, and the two of you are completely infatuated with one another, it’s easy to feel sure you’ll be together for the rest of your lives. And under circumstances like those, it’s only natural to want to move forward toward more serious things right away, because why wait. Don’t do this.
Instead, you should spend the honeymoon phase of a new relationship getting to know each other. Focus on planning fun dates together, discovering common interests, starting new traditions, and connecting sexually. There’s plenty of time to talk about getting serious later on.
4. You abandon your other connections
When you’re completely infatuated with someone new, it feels like the most natural thing in the world to want to spend all your time with them. It can quickly feel like you just don’t really have time anymore for your friends or your family, but it’s important not to give in to that feeling.
Even the most happily attached people need other connections in their lives, so don’t let a new relationship make you forget about the important folks in your life who have been part of it for years. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make sure you’re spending no more than half your free time with your partner. Spend the other half with others or on your own, enjoying your favorite pastimes.
5. You fail to establish (and maintain) boundaries
Although it’s not impossible to set boundaries in an established relationship, it’s much more complicated than it is to do it early on. Everyone has personal limits, deal-breakers, and needs that others should respect. It’s not only OK to have those boundaries but to expect your new partner to care what they are.
So resist the urge to pretend you don’t have certain sticking points just to try to make a better impression on your new partner. Instead, let them know where the line is. Encourage them to do the same with you, and then respect the boundaries they set.
6. You rush into meeting each other’s friends and family
Introducing a new partner to your friends is a big step, and introducing them to your family and parents is an even bigger one. Don’t rush into it on either side too soon. And once you do decide it’s time your partner met your loved ones, make surethey also feel ready for that.
In fact, many people find it’s best to wait until their new partnersexpress an active desire to meet the important people in their lives. Otherwise, they might feel rushed, pressured, or just plain awkward about it.
Ultimately, giving a new relationship the best possible chance at surviving is all about being honest and open with one another, as well as not rushing into anything serious too quickly. The rest you can typically handle, one day at a time.