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10 Things To Do At The Start Of A Relationship

Oh, so you are falling in love, huh?

Heady onrush of emotions? An overwhelming desire to bare your soul to your partner? Butterflies fluttering about in the caverns of your tummy? Revved up heartbeats? Magical dreams? Time apart that hurts physically? That everlasting goofy grin on your face and  the undeniable power of firsts – from the first hug and the first kiss – to umm … the first time you make love! Isn’t it?

shy woman

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Well, all of that is all right. But there’s a difference between the passionate and all-consuming ardor of starting a new relationship and the companionate love that is meant to stay for a lifetime. The problem, however, with most couples is that they tend to forget all about building, growing, and sustaining the latter after the fire of the former has ebbed. They tend to get disillusioned by the absence of the ‘spark’ present at the start of the relationship that had caused them to trip head over heels, forgetting that the now-glowing-embers of love are much more intense, deep, and shall keep them warm in each other’s embrace for a lifetime. This feeling leads them to seek out a vicarious living out of the same spark, either by deluding themselves of one vis-à-vis idealization and cognitive dissonance or seeking the same heady rush elsewhere. Either way, they misread the truth of the matter – the heady onrush of starting a new relationship is transient and is not meant to last forever.

What is, however, meant to last is a true form of companionate love that is founded on the tenets of friendship, connection, confession, compassion, and communication. Of course, TIME helps you craft that relationship with a soul you feel that ‘initial spark’ with (and sometimes, makes you realize it isn’t quite right) but what it also does is help you embark upon is a journey of self-awareness and growth, whilst building the relationship you are in. What is important in the process of starting a relationship and building it over time is to keep adding a dash of realism to the dollops of love, pinches of humility, scoops of respect and understanding, and a jar full of trust to the dish of love that you intend to savor for a lifetime. The only hiccup is that one forgets all about the realism that needs to be added, and as such, ends up laying a faulty foundation for what could be a healthy and happy relationship.

Suggested read: 10 things NOT to do at the start of a relationship

Now, that’s not really a conscious mistake – but a grave one, nonetheless. We humans have a tendency to be swept away by the waves of ecstasy that fill our being when starting a new relationship that we almost, persevere in riding those wave-steeds for as long as we can. What we should be doing instead is to soak ourselves in the ‘feeling of love’ and then, dart toward the glowing embers of love, to keep warm. When you do that – you take a step in the direction of creating a healthy relationship, with a touch of realism that was missing hithertofore. This is where you realize about all the things to do at the start of a relationship (as hard and improbable as they may seem, in the avalanche of emotions that you experience) so that you know if you are headed toward a healthy and happy relationship:

1. Allow a part of your mind to be uninvolved and neutral

girl introspecting

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While it is difficult to keep a part of you sane and objective when all those heady feelings grip you with the force of a thunderstorm, it is important that you keep a part of your mind uninvolved. It helps you pick up the finer points that might be too easy to ignore or overlook when you’re attracted to someone. You can find if there are intermittent flake sessions or if he is a world-class shmuck or if he is disrespectful of people beneath his station or even if his ‘fit’ isn’t quite in sync with yours. Read the fine print – coz that’s where you find the T&Cs so carefully hidden to lure you in.

2. Gauge the relationship dynamic, with complete objectivity

woman outdoors (2)

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You need to know whether you are going all-in for naught or whether the other person is as interested. Driving down a one-way relationship highway at full speed is not a good idea. So I would say, keep your mind open to all the possibilities, read the signs, and dodge the ticket for speeding! Drive carefully, and in compliance with the rules! Even if it is difficult!

3. Seek a third-party viewpoint


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Get the person to meet your besties and see what they have to say about him/her. Often, when your good sense and judgment are clouded by an all-consuming passion, friends who have stuck by your side through thick and thin will be able to help dispel the clouds, if necessary. If they give a thumbs up to the situation, you may, by all means, go prepare for a dance in the rain, but if they present apprehensions or have reservations about the person, you should definitely hold off on making wedding plans until you know better. After all, these BFFs have been there for the good, the bad, and the ugly – they will only tell you what’s best!

4. Hold on to your standards as well as expectations

woman lying on the ground

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It is not unusual to find people who let go of their expectations because they believe that not all best things in life have to be ticked off a checklist. While it certainly is a good idea to do away with rigid and inflexible criteria of desirable traits in a partner, it is not a healthy idea to loosen up on the standards you hold yourself worthy of. If you hand people discounts from the start, they will keep subtracting it off your worth. Avoid that at all costs. Similarly, while certain expectations might be cause for a discussion that could be pushed to the future, there are certain that must never be put on a back-burner. Have the non-negotiables on your radar whilst you are tripping headlong in love. It will help cushion a fall, if he/she doesn’t catch you!

Suggested read: Don’t get pulled over on the one-way relationship highway

5. Define your boundaries


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These are important to keep you safe. Setting boundaries in a relationship is crucial to building, nurturing, and sustaining a healthy and happy relationship. I have always maintained that an awareness of self is crucial to our interpersonal relationships. And therefore, having an accurate sense of self-worth helps one differentiate the absolutely essential need for individuation from the undeniably toxic trap of losing oneself in a relationship, that shall sooner or later turn dysfunctional owing to the conspicuous absence of clearly etched boundaries. Healthy boundaries are an imperative of maturity and self-actualization. As such, they aren’t rigid and can be flexible, depending on time and situation. However, a complete absence of boundaries engulfs independence and doesn’t make room for a healthy interdependence either. Therefore, it is not only important but compulsory to set boundaries that shall help you retain your sense of self even when you give yourself to your relationship. This can be extremely hard when you start a new relationship, but whoever said things were going to be easy?

6. Give it space to grow

woman cuddling a cat

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While it is tempting to spend all of your time texting, calling or meeting the new person in your life, you should learn to strike a balance. Divide your time into ME-time and WE-time, and make sure you never blur the demarcation. Not only is this healthy for your relationship, it gives your relationship space to grow whilst paving the path for a happy interdependence.

7. Stay true to yourself

online dating

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It has been noted that most people put on their best behavior during those first few dates and sometimes, end up putting on masks that hide their true faces from a potential partner. This is not only dangerous but also unfair. The key to building and sustaining a happy and healthy relationship is to understand oneself and enter the relationship with a complete self-awareness and knowledge of what you bring to the encounter and what you are expecting thereof. This sort of transparency forms a thriving ground for laying the foundation of a strong relationship.

Suggested read: 15 things every couple MUST discuss before saying ‘I do’

8. Steer clear of assumptions, comparisons, and judgment

It isn’t without reason that Urban Dictionary defines the assume as ‘to make an a** out of u and me.’ Never assume anything about your partner, and never compare him/her to an ex or worse, compare yourself to one of their exes. Just like you are an individual with your own tastes, likes, dislikes, quirks, that make you unique, your partner is too. Nothing good ever came from drawing comparisons between two people – one from your past and the other who would play a dominant role in your future.

9. Identify if you are both on the same page

couple at a cafe

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Communicate and understand if what you want for yourself and what you want from the relationship aligns with your partner’s expectations. If what you are moving toward is a shot in the dark, it might be time to take a U-turn toward the farther end where there’s light!

10. Hold off on the sex

couple in bed

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If you believe that sex is, in any way, going to forge a path for emotional intimacy – cease and desist. Please hold off any sort of physical intimacy before you are sure that you are both rooting for the same vision.

11. Realize YOU make the choice

woman smiling

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You CAN and only you SHOULD. Make the right choice. It should now be easy, with all we’ve told you. No?

So, keep these things in mind when starting a new relationship and move one step ahead in the direction of a healthy and happy relationship. :)

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Mandatory Things To Do When Starting A New Relationship
We know how intoxicating the quickened pulse and revved up heartbeats can be! But there are a few things to keep in mind before starting a new relationship.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."