BY DEVON COLLINS
Finding the perfect balance between your needs and your partner’s can be difficult. Here are 10 tips everyone should consider when it comes to dating.
Put down the technology
No matter how long you have been with your significant other, communication can be tricky. Texts can be misread and social media can become consuming. Instead of indulging yourself in who is liking what or how long it takes for someone to reply to your messages, start thinking about what is happening right in front of you.
If you limit your phone usage and take part in activities that require a lot of attention, you will find that doing things (like going for walks or cooking together) remove a lot of tension that is created by the negatives of social media. This puts the focus on light-hearted conversation and you will enjoy that face-to-face communication so much more.
You need to make sure that you are keeping things exciting. Whatever you and your significant other enjoy, do it together. Teach them the things that you like and be open to learning what they like. Just make sure that whatever it is, it’s a no phone zone!
Spice up your spontaneity
Over time, you become comfortable in a relationship. You do this by establishing a routine, taking on more responsibility as a couple, and doing what you already know makes you happy. This is great, but it can become dull over time for both parties.
Trying new things can seem irrelevant, however it is about the experience rather than the activity. You should already know that you care about the person you are with. By experiencing something for the first time with your partner or teaching them something new, it will help create new memories and give you new reasons to love them.
Create a list of new things you want to try together. This should include things that you are interested in and things that your partner is interested in. Depending on how busy you are, you can check one thing off your list a month.
3. Mind over matter
In any relationship you have to be mindful. This means always looking at things from the other person’s perspective and trying to rationalize. Sometimes it is hard to see eye-to-eye in certain situations, or to subconsciously keep another person in mind at all times, but it is necessary to try.
There are two people in a relationship and it does not take much effort to sit back and think about how your actions will affect someone. With that in mind, it is always important that the same thing is happening on both ends. You should always be vocal about what you want and so should your significant other.
One thing that helps me with this is to always ask myself, “what would I do if someone were to do this to me?”
4. Brace yourself to pace yourself
Move at your own speed. It is important to move at a pace that everyone is comfortable with. If you think it might be too soon to introduce someone to your parents or to tell someone you love them, then it probably is.
You should always be considerate of your partner’s needs. If you are moving at a quicker pace than the person you are with, there is nothing wrong with that, just be vocal. Remember to always give yourself a night’s sleep to decide on something that will have big impact on your relationship. If you have something weighing heavily on your mind, there is nothing that cannot be fixed the next day.
There is hardly ever a time where you are moving too fast or too slow. That is for you and your significant other to decide. If you are comfortable putting a label on a relationship then do it. If you are not, then don’t. Just make sure you decide together and keep your line of communication open.
5. Find their form of affection
Everyone expresses themselves in different ways, so it only makes sense that everyone shows their affection differently. There are three main forms of affection: physical, verbal, and gift-giving. It is up to you to determine what type of affectionate your partner is, and what kind of affection they are looking for.
Sometimes it takes a long time to determine what your partner’s needs are. People are not often direct with what they want. The type of affection someone gives tells a lot about that person. It shows what they respond well to, what comforts them, and most importantly, what makes them happy.
Learning about what makes your partner happy and what does not will help you understand them better. For example, if you are the type of person who prefers physical affection, it might not make sense to you why your significant other constantly gives you only verbal confirmation of their affection. You should consider that this type of confirmation might mean more to them, so that is why they are showing affection to you in this way.
6. Don’t be scared to talk about the future
It is hard to talk about big plans in the future, but if you trust your partner, you need to do it. To truly know your partner and know where your relationship is going to go, you need to know what their hopes are for the future to see how they correlate with yours.
When feelings are uncomfortable to confront, we tend to build a wall and not want to express ourselves. If we do not know what kind of future our partner wants, it may be difficult to fully understand our partner. You could find that once you are presented with a big decision, you have trouble making it because you do not know what you want.
For example, if you do not believe in the concept of marriage or you do not want to have children, it is important to discuss this with your partner before committing to a serious relationship.
Trust yourself before you trust someone else
Trust is a hard concept to master. In a relationship, it all depends on whether or not your partner is trustworthy, and over all, if you trust yourself. It is easy to think the worst when it comes to whether or not your partner is being faithful to you. However, you need to question whether your partner is the one out of line – or if you are.
Make sure that you trust yourself before you trust your partner. If you think with rationality and clarity, it is easier to understand why others do the things that they do. If you look at a situation and whole-heartedly agree that you are being wronged, speak on it. Just make sure you give your partner the same courtesy.
It is also important to remember that every relationship is different. In past relationships someone may have wronged you, that does not mean your new partner has the same intent.
Sharing too much of your love life on social media will only cause trouble. Running to Twitter or Instagram every time that you and your significant other argue will only hurt yourself and your partner’s feelings, while inviting people to become involved in what is none of their business.
A relationship is between two people: yourself and your partner. Nine times out of ten if you subtweet your partner or delete posts out of rage, you will regret it, and you will surely have questions coming into your direct messages.
Social media acts as a form of expression. You post when you are happy and ultimately, when you are sad. Try to fight those impulses when dealing with relationship troubles and turn off your phone when you are thinking of turning to social media to vent.
9. Space makes the heart grow fonder
When you first meet someone, you understandably want to spend every moment with them. Sometimes that is not the best thing to do. Take my word for it, distance makes the heart grow fonder. It is important to figure out who you are independently before you try and figure out someone else. It is important to have your own interests, your own goals, and your own space to grow as a person.
If you are in a long-distance relationship or see your significant other frequently, it is still a good idea to make time for yourself. Even though it is hard, it is important not to get too consumed in someone’s life. For example, if you enjoy certain hobbies, are successful at work, or like spending time with your friends, none of that should completely disappear once you are in a relationship. If anything, your relationship should be integrated into what you already love.
10. If you’re questioning it, it’s probably not right
All-in-all, if you are questioning whether you want to be in a relationship, the odds are you shouldn’t be. If you stay with someone just for convenience, you are holding them back from moving forward in life and you are holding yourself back.
It is not always easy to open up to someone, so when you have been in a relationship where you have made yourself vulnerable and shared private things with that person, it might be difficult to think you could do that again with someone else.
Sometimes it is easier to stay with someone because you are scared that you will not find someone else. It is always better to take a leap of faith and be on your own for a while rather than to deprive yourself and your partner from finding the person they are supposed to be with.
Always listen to your gut. You know yourself better than anyone else does.