Wow, you have finally met “the one” or “soul mate” – you are excited and nervous, what’s next? But as everyone who has ever been in a relationship knows that it takes more than chemistry, GSOH etc… to make a relationship progress to the next stage of commitment.
* First Date
You went out on your first date and had a great time. You felt that you have many shared interests, same sense of humour and definitely some attraction. Good start but remember to slow down!
While it’s good to be open, but to disclose too much about yourself, past relationships and what you are looking for too soon can be overwhelming for your potential partner and can be a major turnoff.
You can’t rush a relationship just because you are ready to commit. Let the relationship develop at its own pace, so that a solid foundation for friendship and trust can be established.
* Being a Couple
Once you have acknowledged mutual interest and ready to progress to the next phase of your relationship – being a couple; you can then self-disclose more; discuss your physical and emotional needs and your dreams and expectations etc…
Here are some tips on how to grow your relationship successfully:
- Make time for each other – relationship is like a living plant, it requires tender loving care to grow and blossom. Show your partner how important they are to you by making time to connect and spending time together.
- Establish clear boundaries and expectations – your partner is not a clairvoyant! Be clear about what is and is not acceptable in your relationship. Check out each other’s expectations, how realistic are they? What can each of you compromise on and be happy with the decision?
- Don’t take your partner for granted – it’s easy to let yourself slip into the complacent zone once you have settled into coupledom and you stop making each other feel special and important. Acknowledge your partner verbally or with eye contact when they are speaking; let your partner know that you appreciate the small things they do each day for you; and be considerate to one another.
- Inflexible expectations – of course there will be some adjustments in a new relationship, compromises and changes may be required from both parties. However if you are inflexible in your expectations of your partner/relationship and you think that it’s his/her job to make you happy/fulfilled or that you can change him/her, you will create resentment / disappointment in your relationship sooner or later.
- Giving each other space – everyone needs space to recharge their energy or just some alone time. A healthy relationship is knowing that togetherness does not mean you have to lose your individuality/independence.
- Don’t stop being you – you don’t have to let go of your friendships, interests and hobbies just because you are in a relationship. It’s important to maintain your sense of self and not become too reliant on your partner.