6 things to know about being in a new relationship

A new relationship is a fragile little thing. If you don't treat it as if it's precious and delicate, the whole thing crumbles. Sure, it takes effort and work to make it strong, but certain negative habits, thoughts, and expectations can cause big problems if you're not careful. Before you get into something new with a guy, there are certain things you need to know that can help you have the type of successful relationship you truly want.

The ways of the relationship are set early on

I was told for quite some time that the ways of a relationship are carved out early, and I never believed it until several personal examples got thrown at me that proved just how true that statement really is. Things may change over time, but the beginning sets the pace. For example, if you're always the one to go see him when you first start dating and you progress into a full blown relationship, things are very likely to stay the same. The more quickly you form a balance of give and take right from the start, the better it will be.

All honeymoon phases are not created equal

I've dated guys where the honeymoon phase lasted a few months, and then I dated guys where it lasted only one month. Everyone is different, as is every relationship, so even though you may have dated guys in the past where your honeymoon phase lasted for several months, but with the current guy you're dating, it seems to have already passed after a few weeks, it doesn't mean you should panic. Take it as the natural progression of things and don't rush to judgment.

Communication will slow down

In the beginning of dating, you probably talked to your guy quite a bit; however, that's not going to last, and there's nothing wrong with it. Don't automatically take it as a sign that he's pulling away from you. Phone calls that once lasted three hours may dwindle down to 30 minutes, and frequent texts could turn into every few hours. This doesn't mean he's losing interest. It could very well mean that the two of you are comfortable with each other now, and you've talked so much that there's no longer a need or even a want to talk so frequently. It's not necessarily a bad thing, and it could actually mean the relationship is going in a positive direction.

A man can change, but only if he wants to

I can't tell you how many women I've spoken to who met a guy and swore up and down that they could change him. A man is not a project or experiment, and you can't just "take him on" because you want to be the one who makes him change his ways. Often, it's when you don't try to change a guy that he'll make some changes. For example, I've dated a couple of guys who, at the beginning of dating, would party all the time. I like having fun as much as the next girl, but I'm just not into going to the same places I used to or at least not all the time. Rather than tell these guys they couldn't go or try to persuade them through reverse psychology, I told them to have a good time and that I had other things to do. Slowly but surely, they started making changes and cut back on partying. It's not because I asked or forced them to; it's because they wanted to.

The truth is, a guy can and will change for a woman when he wants to, but the chances are slim he'll do it if he feels like you're trying to put a leash around his neck. If you keep pushing and he does make changes, he could end up resenting you for them later on. You can either accept him for how he is or not, but the decision is yours. The person we're dating is always going to rub off on us a bit and vice versa; that's just the way it is, but you can't force it to happen.

You can't force a man to feel a certain way

The same way you can't force a man to make changes, you also can't make him feel something he doesn't. Even if you've fallen in love with him, you can't get mad if he doesn't reciprocate when you want him to. People fall in love at different rates. It usually takes me a lot longer to fall for a guy than the other way around. The two of you could be wonderful together and have an amazing connection, but that doesn't automatically mean he has to fall for you at this very moment. Give things time to develop. There's no strict time line for when love should happen.

Separation is a really good thing

I know some women who disappear as soon as they start dating a guy. They see him every day, but within a few months, things fizzle out. I know that they split up simply by the fact that these women reemerge. Although there are some couples who can do the constant togetherness and be fine, it often won't work. The reason is that one or both people will usually start to feel suffocated and smothered, then get annoyed when they realize they haven't seen their friends in weeks or months and blame the other person. Arguments ensue because one accuses the other of pulling away, and it's just not a pretty situation. Separation is not a bad thing. Although you may want to be with each other 24/7, the time apart gives the two of you time to breathe and enjoy the company of others in your life.

Unfortunately, not every relationship is going to work out, but if you take some precautions and work to change negative habits and thoughts that may not have worked so well for you in the past, you can increase the chances that your relationship will flourish. Don't over-think things; let the relationship naturally progress. Not only is it better for your relationship, but for your peace of mind as well.

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