Here are a few simple tips for beginning a new relationship. These tips are completely gender neutral and can be applied to all types of relationships between two humans. I cannot assist if your relationship is with anything humanoid, non-human, or inanimate… sorry.
- Ask yourself why you are interested in this person. Are they funny, attractive, or are you so lonely and empty inside that going on without another body next to yours is agonizing. All of these options are possibilities.
- Establish solid rules for communication. They may not need to know every time you think of them the instant it pops into your head. Sometimes it’s better to hold onto those little thoughts until later and deposit them all at once. Additionally, if you do not receive a morning and evening text, don’t assume they are waiting for you to send them. They don’t need to know the instant your eyes open, when you are hungry, and what Sue said this morning that sounded like a compliment, but the whole office knows it’s just a backhanded comment meant to make you feel bad about your new shoes (YES SUE! THESE ARE MY ONLY PAIR OF FLATS!)
- Wait at least 2 months before leaving personal items at their apartment. This tip mainly applies to the bathroom. This is a very personal space and though you want to smell and feel your best the morning after staying over, consider how you would feel if someone filled all the spaces in you bathroom with their items. At least for a while, you can suffer through waking up and knowing you have to apply deodorant in the car and make-up in the bathroom at the office. This may draw some attention from your coworkers (I’M TALKING TO YOU SUE!) Turn this into a positive water cooler topic through comments said loud enough for those around you to hear. One example of this is: “Man! Wheeeew! I am so exhausted from that movie last night. What a workout.” Your co-workers will be so enamored by your heightened mood that no one will notice you’ve worn the same outfit for three days in a row.
- Don’t mention your ex…Ever. Just don’t do it. You may say something as insignificant as, “Oh yeah. I’ve actually been here a few years ago with my ex.” and they will hear, “This place reminds me of my ex. My ex and I had so much fun. I wish you were more like my ex. Ex. Ex. Ex. Ex. Ex.”
- Be yourself. If for any reason you are changing your personality and interests to better match your partner or their friends, seriously consider whether you should be in this relationship (or any relationship at all). I don’t mean to say that you cannot change any of your habits or show interest in their habits, but don’t let them eliminate yours. The best way to measure this effect is to take an activity that you love to do when you’re single. For me that’s board games. If I’m in a relationship and the amount of board games that I play goes down, I am not in the right relationship.