You never know when the person you just started dating is the one. You may feel it deep inside but still doubt how to act right. Here is a 5-peace advice on how to enter this new relationship with an open heart. This will ensure that if it is meant to flourish, it will. These steps will never work against your new love story, they can only bring incompatibility to light.
1. Don’t let your past ruin your present
This is the biggest danger that makes people unknowingly sabotage themselves and their happiness. Most of us by our 30s and even 20s have faced disappointment in relationships. Some of us have been in abusive relationships that leave you deeply wounded and, what feels like, incapable of trusting again.
Your past is gone, it can’t hurt you anymore. But you can hurt yourself by not letting go of your old stories. Make sure you don’t come across your dream love story and judge it based on your misfortune of the past. It is not easy but always possible.
Leave it all behind and see each new person in a new light. Never compare your new partner to someone else. Never look for signs of your past hurt repeating itself. Your defense is blocking your blessings. It is scary but you need to meet every new person with an open heart. There is simply no other way.
Imagine you meet the perfect partner for you. They are respectful, honest, trustworthy, and loving toward you. And then they receive mistrust, comparison, tests, and accusations. They did not deserve any of this, your past partner did. Would you let them also sabotage your current relationship?
To protect your heart, make sure you take things slow, speak your truth and keep your expectations high. Expectations of the way you want to feel and be treated.
Do not allow your past to affect your present. Do not expect and look for the same “bad” things. Expect the best but be mindful of what you see, and most importantly feel. The right relationship for you will always feel warm, fuzzy, effortless, and calm. I used to think it was a myth, it isn’t.
2. Be self-sufficient but appreciative
Self-sufficiency and independence have become such a trend that at times we go overboard and forget to show any extent of vulnerability and dependency whatsoever. Doing so we can make the person feel not needed at all. Love is impossible with complete independence.
It is amazing if you are self-sufficient, can do it all on your own, and don’t need anyone to be happy. But don’t forget to show your new lover that they matter to you, that you are happy to know and have them near, that they brighten up your life. This humility can be seen as weakness but really it is love. Love always goes hand in hand with vulnerability. That’s the beauty of it. A heart needs to open to welcome someone in, and oh how rewarding it is when you open it to the right person. Take your chance!
I remember I used to add to every message stating my feelings: “but just saying, I’m also happy on my own,” Doing so I tried to convince the person that I am not clingy. Let’s see the difference between clingy and appreciative. Never be afraid to show appreciation.
3. Be transparent, direct, and real
Speak your truth. Don’t send hints, play games, try to manipulate, even with good intentions, such as protecting yourself. We have already decided to drop the defensive shield. The best way to protect yourself is not making yourself small, undermining your needs and feelings for the sake of protecting the relationship.
If something bothers you, bring it up. The right person for you will receive your concerns and appreciate honesty. Often we create an issue out of thin air. And the person can resolve your doubts easily. Don’t hold it all in trying not to seem like you are complaining.
The difference with point 1 (letting go of the past) and speaking your truth is in the place you are coming from. When you ask the question “who are all these girls on your Instagram?”, are you asking it in a judgmental accusative tone? Does it have an underlying message “I don’t like this and you better explain yourself mister.” Or are you saying: “Can I ask you something? I can’t help but wonder, are you in touch with all these girls or are these all friends and family? I don’t like being a jealous type but I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice it.” Do you feel the difference in these two approaches? One is expecting the worst and the latter is expecting the best.
You can and should always speak of the way you feel. Just make sure you are coming from a place of love, connection, trust, and calm. The energy you put into such topics results in whether this discussion will bring you closer or further apart.
4. Focus on their needs, too
One of the most amazing things me and my partner have done in the very beginning is asking each other about our dealbreakers, things that we like and dislike in relationships, things that hurt and worry us or make us feel unease. Receive the answers of your partner with care and attention.
If those requests are coming out of honestly, love, and connection, you should have no problem incorporating them into the way you act and communicate. Now if those requests are coming out of insecurity and mistrust this person may have some work to do, and you can help them.
The thing is that sometimes we would label genuine concerns and preferences of another as insecurity or weakness, while this is just something truly important to them. Maybe they are healing, and while they do, if you can help protect their feelings with some modifications of your behavior, do it. That’s what we do for the ones we love.
5. Be patient, learn to disagree, choose love instead of being right
It took me more than 30 years to realize that the goal of an argument is not convincing the person about your point of view, it’s trying to understand theirs. Sometimes you will never agree on a subject. Then the only solution is choosing the relationship over this clash of opinions. This opinion does not hug and kiss you in the morning, does not call you when you are sick, you don’t spend amazing moments of your life with this opinion of yours. It’s just a mix of thoughts. Don’t let this different view of the world come between you two. This is one of the best skills you can learn together. Learn how to end arguments with at times not even a clear understanding of both sides, but understanding that resolution is not possible, and you have to prioritize love.
Remember, in the end, when it is meant to be nothing can go wrong. Honestly, even if you don’t follow all these steps (but please do). I didn’t do it all perfectly either at the beginning of my love story. So just be you and then you meet someone who was looking for everything that you are. Or are they already here?
More from Anna: How To Deal With People You Dislike
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Photos: Leighann Blackwood via Unsplash