Relationships are complicated, both for the man and for the woman involved. Top it off with lack of experience and youΓÇÖve got the ΓÇ£perfectΓÇ¥ recipe. Their being complicated, however, doesnΓÇÖt mean theyΓÇÖre impossible to carry on; after all, there are millions of relationships that have been established until now, and thousands that are being created as you read this.
ΓÇ£What are relationships for anyway? CanΓÇÖt I just live alone?ΓÇ¥
A relationship means a different thing to different persons. Generally speaking, it should be perceived as a way to challenge and support each other into becoming better human beings. However, this process does not unfold the same for each relationship out there ΓÇô it is left at your discretion to find a ΓÇ£patternΓÇ¥ thatΓÇÖll suit both of you. And, no, itΓÇÖs simply impossible to live outside a relationship, as far as statistics reveal.
ΓÇ£Alright, how can I get into a relationship then?ΓÇ¥
Think of getting into a relationship as a ritual. You must follow precise steps and not breach etiquette when showing interest. Much in the same way as society has rules you must abide by, the same goes for relationships, too. There is no workaround to that.
Fret not though! Relationships are not grim, and certainly not as difficult to get into as most of your friends make it to be. We have created a comprehensive guide that will certainly help absolutely every newbie out there get engaged into a long-lasting relationship for ongoing source of support and happiness. By the time you are done reading the following lines, we guarantee that youΓÇÖll be more confident and willing to break the ice than before. Without further ado, let us begin!
- What do you expect from your relationship?
Before committing to anything serious, you must first understand what you want to accomplish in your relationship. Do you seek platonic love, carnal love or something in-between? It is hugely important to lay your cards on the table and see whether your partner actually shares your views. According to recent studies, the number one reason for sudden relationship breakups is incompatibility due to lack of transparency. If you want to reduce the odds of that occurring to you, consider being frank about your intentions.
- Be ready to accept rejection
However much you try to be with someone, if they feel that youΓÇÖre not compatible with him/her, you will be rejected. However, that shouldnΓÇÖt discourage you from perseverating, but rather take it as an omen and move on. You just wouldnΓÇÖt believe how many friends of mine ΓÇô mostly male ΓÇô have been trying to get into relationships with persons that simply donΓÇÖt want them in their lives, but they still keep at it. My point being, should that occur to you, tooΓÇª just donΓÇÖt commit the same mistake. YouΓÇÖll save yourself a lot of time.
- Invest quality time, energy, and focus in developing your relationship.
A relationship does not stagnate. In fact, it goes through a plethora of development stages, and how quickly the transition is made between one to the other is heavily reliant on both of you. YouΓÇÖll notice that, at first, the relationship starts off slower than you had probably expected, and only after a considerable amount of time has passed will it actually start to transition into different stages. For these stages to be as positive as possible, you both must put your hearts and souls into the relationship. Spending time together, helping each other with daily chores, and trying to settle your differences would be a great first stepping stone.
- Treat the others how you want to be treated
I canΓÇÖt stress this enough: relationships are all about mutual respect. Not sharing the same views regarding different topics, for example, can be easily overlooked, but if you fail to respect your partner and vice-versa, your relationship simply wonΓÇÖt last as much as you would expect. Humans want to be loved, cared for, and feel that they mean the world to someone, and if their current relationships donΓÇÖt fulfill these requirements, they will unhesitantly leave them. By extension, you shouldnΓÇÖt be caught up in a relationship where your partner does not respect you at all points ΓÇô itΓÇÖs a clear sign of incompatibility.
- Communicate what you feel ΓÇô donΓÇÖt let your partner take guesses
Most of the times, we allow pride to dominate our lives, including our relationships. There is not a single person in this world to not have treated his/her beloved ones inappropriately, and that is completely fine. However, we must know when to draw the line so as to not let our ego completely take over our reason. If you feel there is a problem in your relationship that needs urgent resolution, let your partner know. Postponing it until the problem bulks large is probably the worst decision you can take throughout your relationship. The same thing goes if you notice that your partner tries to hide something within.
- Practice active listening
Just as the name suggests, active listening means concentrating on, understanding and remembering what the speaker has to say, rather than listening just for the sake of it. Relationships imply compromises, and one of the best advices that a relationship counsellor will ever give you is to listen more and speak less. In essence, active listening boils down to that. Not only is it beneficial in day-to-day encounters, but you will leave your partner the impression that you actually care about his/her input, which is paramount priority to ensuring that your relationship goes on for as long as possible.
- Sex shouldnΓÇÖt be taboo
Okay, regardless of how platonic you want your relationship to be, there will be undoubtedly physical needs that you have to meet. Not only you, but your partner as well. However, I have personally noticed that, in spite of the fact that, in our times, freedom of thought and social conservatism has reached an all-time prominence peak, and respectively, an all-time unimportance peak, people still do not talk freely about sex and are rather reserved when someone brings up the subject. That is NOT the attitude that must be adopted and prevail, bringing us back to the abovementioned ΓÇ£being transparentΓÇ¥ issue. Let your partner know about your desires of any kind and discuss ways of fulfilling them for the benefit of both of you.
- Pay attention to what is not verbally said
If there is something you must learn throughout your relationship, is that people transmit way more feelings through nonverbal cues, such as eye contact, tone of voice, gestures, posture or even touching their arm, than they do through speaking. We deliberately filter what we communicate because we are usually afraid of what others have to say about us, but we (un)fortunately cannot do this as easily when communicating nonverbally. Which brings us to the point of learning to understand your partnerΓÇÖs ΓÇ£body languageΓÇ¥. There is a whole mastery associated with learning to decipher body languages which can only be blossomed through continuous practice, but once youΓÇÖve learned to read peopleΓÇÖs minds, your relationship will be much easier to be part of.
- Settle your differences
No human closely resembles the other, and that is a perfectly fine trait of diversity. However, these petty differences can easily escalate to situations where youΓÇÖll be forced to break up. It is important to make a quick introspection of both your qualities, defects and lay them on the table. As soon as you both acknowledge your differences, be they petty or significant, you are one step closer to developing a long-lasting and meaningful relationship.
- Show affection
Problems are bound to arise at any time. However, what should you do when there are no problems to fix? Show affection. A lot of it.
Whether youΓÇÖre showing it by addressing your partner compliments, touching, holding hands, hugging and/or kissing, it is important to show that you value the time youΓÇÖre spending together. Depending on your partnerΓÇÖs culture ΓÇô considering he or she is from another country ΓÇô he or she may not enjoy showing affection in public, but rather keep it all intimate. You should respect his or her decision to be more conservative and not push for change too much, as it will turn out not to be in your favor at all.
- Explore new activities together
Nobody enjoys getting caught up in a mundane routine, and whenever you feel this happens in your relationship, you ought to broaden your horizons a little more. This means exploring new activities that could enrich both of you and help time pass slower so you can spend more value time together. Going on a trip or doing charity work would make for a great start, but hey, the sky is the limit!
- DonΓÇÖt be afraid of disagreements
Building upon our previous ΓÇ£settle your differencesΓÇ¥ point, an essential aspect of a relationship is diversity of opinions. After all, you should always bear in mind the fact that you and your partner both probably grew in massively-different familial and social milieus, and itΓÇÖs only normal to encounter differences in behavior, thoughts, opinions etc. Everybody needs to express things that bother them without fearing retaliation or humiliation, and reach a consensus as to what needs to be done to diminish these differences as soon as possible.
- Focus on the good side of your relationship
Extensive research carried out recently suggests that unhappy couples tend to focus on the negatives of their relationships. That is a mostly true trend, considering that a Robinson and Price study once revealed that unhappy couples underestimated the occurrence of pleasurable events in their relationships by a whopping 50%!
However much you are doubting the intentions of your life partner, always analyze the situation in the cold light of day, which basically means to try to find a neutral explanation of his or her actions. Better yet, you could also let him or her know that something just doesnΓÇÖt seem to be right in your relationship and that you need to discuss about it urgently. Nothing works better than mutual resolution.
- Find common goals
In 2014, a study conducted in the UK found that at least 13% of couples felt that they no longer had the same goals in life, thus rendering the whole relationship pretty much out-of-sync. This mostly happens to cemented relationships, and one way to avoid this happening as a complete newbie is to discuss in advance about what each of you wants to achieve in life. If you feel that the person you want to share your life with doesnΓÇÖt really have the same goals as you do, you should probably not go further. Some peopleΓÇÖs goals are prone to change over the course of their lives, especially if weΓÇÖre talking about people in their 20s whose future prospects are still blurry, but if weΓÇÖre talking about people in their 30s and even 40s, change is not guaranteed.
- Understand and diminish anger
If youΓÇÖre new to the whole relationship game, youΓÇÖll shortly notice that itΓÇÖs not all so rosy as your friends made it to be prior to your committing to a relationship. ItΓÇÖs mostly fun and definitely enriching, but since youΓÇÖre both different human beings, there will be arguments arising from time to time. Some people discuss them very calmly and reach an agreement in virtually no time, but if youΓÇÖre a rather impulsive person by nature and anger becomes a deeply entrenched part of your couple life, you should definitely be concerned. People avoid pain for pleasure to thrive, so itΓÇÖs completely normal for your relationship to become problematic if there are violent arguments arising each and every day. While you cannot completely eradicate anger from your life, itΓÇÖs important to find ways to diminish it. Think back to the last argument you had with your partner and attempt to disregard the angry tone you both used to understand what you were both trying to say. Underneath that unwarranted anger, you are bound to make some sense of what it has been said.
- Focus on what you can fix
As long as an argument doesnΓÇÖt leave you the impression that youΓÇÖve just been through an unbearable emotional roller coaster, it should normally be fixable. A particular area that is considered problematic by most experts out there is finances, with recent studies finding that a whopping 33% of couples have very divergent views on income, debts and wealth. This is a mostly true trend in the initial stages of living together, outside the tranquil cocoon of your mom and pop. Unlike most couple problems that can be fixed by talking them out, finances need a direct approach. Take a piece of paper and a pen, sit down with your other half and outline an action plan, consulting any resources that could help get your finances on track. If you canΓÇÖt reach an agreement, your independent relationship simply wonΓÇÖt work out in the end.
- Accept what cannot be solved
Around 60% of couple conflicts are persistent problems that occur throughout the entire relationship. Divergences are normal to exist in any given relationship, and in some cultures it is believed that they actually are clear proof that your relationship is genuine and not based on interest. If youΓÇÖre a newbie, you will be shocked to hear this, but I can guarantee that you wonΓÇÖt find any couple out there who has not had any actual conflict in the last few months at least. Your duty is to address the bigger issues underlying the difficulty with your partner. When he or she is talking, you must listen, and he or she must do the same thing, too. By fixing the underlying problems ΓÇô which are most of the times huger than the appearances ΓÇô you will ensure a healthy relationship.
Thank you for bearing with me throughout this comprehensive guide. By now, you should clearly understand how to get into a relationship and how to make it work out for both sides involved.
Never forget that a relationship takes time, patience and a lot of devotement to actually be considered a healthy relationship, or a relationship at all. Knowing each other could take days, months or even years, since the human mind is complex and always trying to decide between emotion and reason.
Finally, you should also keep in mind that relationships are not meant for everyone, since it implies a lot of mutual effort. After all, the bond that is created between you and your partner is meant to make you one and the same, more specifically, two inalienable components that cannot exist outside the sphere they have willingly and unrestrainedly created to cohabitate within. Your partner will expect you to be there for him or her at all times, support him or her in everything ΓÇô even if he or she is not always right, for you to eventually evolve into better human beings. If you canΓÇÖt do this, relationships are not for you.