Ok, so you’ve found someone you like, and they seem to like you so it’s all plain sailing from now on, yes? Er, well, maybe not always so simple. If you’re worried about how to take your relationship forward and develop it into something special, then try these ideas:
Don’t force it
‘You can’t hurry love,’ as the great Diana Ross made clear. Don’t try to rush a new relationship into the settled phase too quickly. There is nothing to gain from pushing for commitment too early. You’ll scare the other person and put them off. A relationship has to follow its natural course – you can’t make it into something that you want, it depends on two people and how their feelings develop and change. If you push too hard too soon, your excitement and connection will burn out very quickly. Plus, the early part of the relationship with its wonderful combination of exciting intimacy coupled with a tantalising sense of the unknown is very special. The honeymoon is lovely – don’t wish it away.
Revealing who you are is the way to deepen your connection and relationship. Showing your real self and your foibles and weaknesses makes you vulnerable to your partner and this automatically deepens the bond between two people. A great couple grows stronger when they navigate together the small and annoying habits that we all have. Showing the other person the not-so-perfect you shows them that you trust them and that you are letting down your defences. It’s scary but essential to a great relationship. However, this doesn’t mean that on date three, it’s a good idea to tell them the exact details of all your relationship hang ups or how your parents screwed you up. Opening up to someone new is a little like a dance – it’s about following their lead in terms of revelations – overwhelming someone who’s more introverted will scare them off. ‘Mirror’ their moves in terms of letting you in to ease the relationship along safely.
It’s far too easy in relationships to find something to stress about if things seems to be going too well. Worrying about your or their past, or trying to plan or predict the future will only cause tensions and worry you. Enjoy the moment – the future will come quickly enough, and the past can stay there so relax and just enjoy being together in the moment.
Getting to the good part of an intimate relationship generally involves some less good moments. It’s tricky to get close to someone without discovering things about them that you don’t particularly like or that weren’t in the blueprint for your ideal partner or relationship. Whether it’s the fact that he plays soccer every Saturday without fail or her long-term relationship past that rankles – don’t worry when something comes up that might seem threatening – facing the realities of two people sharing their lives brings tough decisions but this is part of the necessary process – see it as a step towards a future together, rather than a threat.