How to Make a New Relationship Work

Starting a new relationship? It’s a time filled with excitement, nerves, butterflies, and expectations. The beginning of a relationship plays a major part in whether it lasts. Effective communication, maintaining your own identity, and leaving the past behind are all important pieces of relationship advice to consider when embarking on a new relationship.

Don’t dwell on the past
There’s a fine line that can easily be crossed when discussing former lovers. Unless you are both completely comfortable with talking about it, leave the past just there – in the past. This includes digging around behind his back (hello, Facebook!). Just like you, he had a life before he met you. Consider previous relationships a stepping stone of unique experiences preparing each of you for one another. Focus on the present and future, rather than find reasons to not make the emotional investment.

Why rush?
Avoid rushing into the relationship too soon. A great first date does not automatically signal a serious commitment. Pushing boundaries too early shows signs of being clingy or possessive, whether it is true or not. It is okay to voice an interest in moving forward together without approaching it as an immediate necessity. Value your own time without your new partner and you won’t be so dependant on them.

Learn to adjust
Any longterm couple knows the value of mutual compromise. Nagging about irritating behaviours is not the best way to approach or deal with an issue. Explain the problem, such as leaving dirty clothes on the bathroom floor, rather than yelling at them as though they are a child. He may dislike the way you leave dishes in the sink overnight, where you do not see it as an issue. Both of you should put in an equal amount of effort and compromise. In the end, you may end up picking up his socks while he does the dishes every night. No matter what, a little compromise and adjusting is the sign of a mature relationship.

Communicate often and effectively
The silent treatment may have seemed to be an effective way to communicate anger when you were a teenager. But in order to make a relationship work, there must be effective communication between both partners. Speak up when there is a problem, and do not hold in frustrations until they boil over. At times that there is a real argument, stick to the real issue rather than nitpicking him as a person. No one wants to feel insulted or inferior to their partner due to poor communication. Respect each other, even during disagreements.

Don’t sacrifice yourself
A common mistake that many women in a new relationship make is adjusting for the man too easily. From pretending to like the same things like sports, to downplaying their own interests or goals, the key to growing a strong relationship is being yourself. And don’t forget your friends at the start of a new relationship, either.

What’s your best relationship advice for a new relationship?

January 23, 2014

Meet my new man

You’ve only just started dating and realistically you’re months away from knowing if this guy has the potential to be in your life long term. Too often when couples start dating they want to include their new mate in every aspect of their lives. This can be a mistake.In a new relationship it’s important to keep the courtship phase going as long as possible. Not only does this make for lots of fun and romance, it also gives you more time to really get to know each other before announcing to the world that you might have met ‘the one’.I’m not suggesting that you keep your man under wraps for so long that everyone starts believing you’ve got something to hide. I’m saying, don’t start parading him in front of everyone you know in the first week of meeting and falling for him.

How many of us have friends who we consider serial daters? You know the type, they meet a new guy, go out on one date with him and the next week bring him along to a party, not as their date but as their happy ever after. Three weeks later, it’s all over and the cycle begins again.

If you’ve met someone and you think he’s special, keep him to yourself for a few months until the relationship has time to develop. The exception to this is if he suggests meeting up with your friends. If it’s his idea, wait for an opportunity to take him for a casual drink with some friends or a party that’s been planned for a while. Don’t arrange a formal ‘meet my man’ occasion, have him come along to something you’ve been invited to.

Introducing your new guy to your family is a bigger step than introducing him to your friends and in most cases it won’t happen until the relationship is well under way. Unless he has nerves of steel, consider the drop by as a first introduction. Let your family (core not extended) know that you’d like to drop in to say hi on your way to somewhere else. The message is that you can’t stay long but want to see them. Then tell them you’ll be bringing a friend with you. Rather than go into some long complicated explanation, wait for them to ask questions. If they don’t ask, don’t elaborate. Once this first casual meeting is out of the way, you can arrange to have a meal with your family so they can get to know your new partner.

By Michelle Lewis
Michelle has been one of Australia’s leading matchmakers and as a relationship expert is the founder of Date Doctors.
Her first book The Street Guide to Flirting is out now.

March 16, 2004