20 Dating Tips for New Relationships

1. Has there been enough time?

2. Do your previous relationships have closure?

3. Know if you are ready

4. Know if your partner is ready

5. Understand that we are the sum of our pasts

6. Continuously improve self

7. Heal past hurts

8. Forgive

9. Have fun together

10. Discover each other

11. Synergize

12. Sharpen the Saw

13. Don’t go too fast

14. Don’t be love-blind

15. Don’t be fake

16. Don’t manipulate or control

17. The Honeymoon

18. Self-sabotage

19. Working it out

20. True Union


Are you both ready?

1. Has there been enough time?
This is an important question on two levels. Firstly, are you old enough and mature enough to be ready for a significant relationship? In the old songs, they talked about puppy love and how that was a really bad basis for a relationship. This can be a very difficult question when there are two young people who are pursuing a relationship or even if just one of the people is younger.

In the ancient times, people as young as 13 and 14 got married and they were expected to fulfill life as an adult and stay married for the rest of their lives. These days in America, young people even after graduating from college are not considered mature and ready for adulthood in many cases. So purely age alone is not enough to guarantee your maturity and readiness for a significant relationship. That’s just something to consider.

Secondly, if you have been in relationships before, you need to be careful not to jump into another relationship too soon. It’s considered that you need enough time to finish the first relationship before you begin a new one. Experts say six weeks is a reasonable time to wait but it could take as long as long as three months. If you get back into a new relationship too soon, you could end up in a very unsatisfying new relationship.

2. Do your previous relationships have closure?
When you’re beginning a new relationship, you don’t want to deal with an ex-boyfriend or an ex-girlfriend who is still trying to get you back or is still very angry about the way you treated them. It’s very important that you have closure and that your former partner also has closure, otherwise you’re really being unfair to your new boyfriend or girlfriend. Trying to juggle with a relationship with your ex and your new romantic partner is a guaranteed form of continual drama in your life.

3. Know if you are ready
If you have a stable life, if you are not in transition to a new career or you’ve lost your job recently, if you are a person who has a stable personality and you’re not prone to manic-depressive episodes, nor addicted to drugs, gambling or drinking, then you are perhaps ready for a relationship. Can you really support yourself and possibly help support, financially and emotionally, another person? Can you communicate your interest and your desires and can you listen and adapt to the other person’s desires? I hope that in reading this you understand that a new relationship is not a salvation from all your problems, and in fact will perhaps make them worse.

4. Know if your partner is ready
You can know you, yourself, are ready by looking objectively at yourself, but it can be more difficult to know if your romantic partner is also ready for a significant relationship. The things you should be looking for are self-reliance, stability, and honesty. If you’re dating a person who lacks one or more of these elements, then you will have a great deal of trouble maintaining a healthy relationship.


Dealing with the past

5. Understand that we are the sum of our pasts

The people you have had relationships with in the past have shaped how you form and maintain relationships today. That doesn’t mean that you have a future which is fixed, you can deal with and overcome the things that have happened in your past. However running away from who you were before almost guarantees you’re going to repeat whatever difficulties you had in the past with your new relationship. And likewise, your partner also has to be aware that they are also the sum of their past and they have to deal and grow with their past if they want to be a mature person and have successful relationships.

6. Continuously improve self
This brings us overcoming our weaknesses, expanding on our strengths, and diversifying our abilities. Whatever problems you’ve had in the past, it’s possible to overcome them slowly, little by little, day by day. Don’t settle for saying well, “I failed because that’s who I am”. That only may be who you are, but that’s because that’s who you choose to be. You can choose to become better than you currently are. And for you to continue to grow and expand yourself is the height of what maturity means as an individual and a person who is worth having a relationship with.

7. Heal past hurts
It may be unfortunate that we encourage teenagers to date without a lot of supervision. Because teenagers are pretty unsophisticated and they haven’t had a lot of time to grow in wisdom and maturity. That means that they hurt each other a lot, sometimes accidentally and sometimes on purpose. So by the time you are an adult dating another adult, you both have a lot of hurts, a lot of failures over the years. And you’re going to carry that pain into you are every relationship and not only the pain but the fear of pain as well.

So you need to do everything you can to heal your past hurts to learn to recover from all the people and all the experiences that have hurt you in the past. If you don’t, you’ll find that your fears of being hurt will sabotage your new relationship. Likewise, your partner will do the same things. Most relationships fail not because people are so different but because people are trying to protect themselves from being hurt instead being vulnerable and sacrifice for each other.

8. Forgive
Part of the healing process is to forgive the people who have hurt you in the past. Especially your family and anybody that you’ve dated in the past. They may have truly hurt you and they may have done it with very evil intent. Yet you carry the pain with you, so that they are still controlling you and they are still hurting you even after they have long been gone from your life.

Forgiveness is not about helping the person who hurt you. Instead, is really about getting free, permanently free from the person who has hurt you. You need to forgive those who have hurt you, so that you can move on with light and joyous heart into your new relationship. Your partner deserves that.


What to do

9. Have fun together
It should be obvious that people like to have fun and when they get together they like to have fun together. Your relationship should not be a therapy session, it should not be a coping session, it should be a fun time you enjoy each other’s company as you engage in various activities together. You need to always come back to this point.

Yes you will be together and good times and bad times, but do your best to try and make the good times happen again and again. The same thing that works on your first date, should continue throughout your relationship.

10. Discover each other
The thing that I both love and fear doing during any new relationship is this discovery process. This is where we discover more and more about each other; what the other person likes and dislikes; how they feel about life the universe and everything. This is where we discover other people’s deal-breakers, what do they have to have in their life and what they refuse to accept, expecially regarding marriage and children. And this is a scary time because we may discover our desires are not compatible we may find out that we can’t continue in a relationship. The discovery process is a powerful experience and everything powerful is also scary.

11. Synergize
As you begin your new relationship, you need to find ways to work together, so that you are stronger together than you are apart. If you find in your relationship that you are not a good team, you need to find a good way to work through that and if you can’t this is a good sign that you’re not really compatible and the relationship is doomed.

By synergizing, I mean we each have different perspectives on life, different experiences, different strengths and different weaknesses. Since we all have different personalities and we are often attracted to each other’s divergences, we need to be able to appreciate each other’s variations and use them to supplement our own abilities.

When I was first dating my wife, I discovered that I had a lot stronger academic background and I was a much more of an intellectual than she was. However, she had a lot stronger emotional intelligence than I did and she was also very good about picking out details whereas I was more of a generalist. In order to be a better team, I learned when I needed to ask her help for different situations and when I could do something better on my own.

12. Sharpen the Saw
This is a metaphor for not letting the things become dull and so that you’re just going

through the motions without achieving any progress. If you were to cut down trees all day long, eventually your saw will become dull and it will become harder and harder to get anything done. But if you take a few minutes to sharpen your saw it will cut much faster. In the end you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort by taking a break to sharpen your saw.

In a dating relationship, you need always go back to what works, even if you’ve been together for a long time. You need to continue to do the things that you both enjoy. Consider doing things just to delight your partner. Don’t take your relationship or your partner for granted and don’t just assume the relationship will be fine if you stop sacrificing for it.


What not to do

13. Don’t go too fast
It is very tempting when you are beginning a relationship with somebody who seems really wonderful that you try to speed things up emotionally or physically. Sometimes both of you feel that way and you rush headlong into a love affair that eventually sputters out and the relationship fades into a bitter memory.

People need time to become comfortable with intimacy, it takes time to get to know someone on a deeper emotional level. It’s also true that people need time to adjust to becoming closer and closer in a sexual way. If you hurry this, you short circuit your bonding process and you end up with a relationship that is fragile and easily broken. You may end up with a lot of regrets.

14. Don’t be love-blind
One of the reasons we want to rush into relationships is that we’ve become love-blind. We fall in love with someone and can only see their wonderful qualities. Sometimes we can’t see their negative points and if our friends talk about them, it just makes us angry because we don’t want to hear about it.

Being in love is actually a kind of craziness but eventually, after days or weeks or months, that blindfold will fall off and then you will be more and more irritated by the things that the person has always been doing. Somehow you didn’t really notice it before. And now that bring it up, they will be surprised or angry because everything was fine before. And worst of all, you may have been led by your own blindness into creating a relationship that is completely wrong for you. Your partner may really be taking advantage of you and now that you can see it, you comes to very very painful realization.

15. Don’t be fake
On the positive side, always be honest in your relationship. That’s especially hard to do in the beginning because we all want to appear better than we are. We spend time and money we really can’t afford to impress people we don’t really know. And we can, in a way, trick people into loving someone who’s not really there. We trick them into loving an illusion, and they may be trying to do likewise. And when we discover that we’re not really who we pretended to be, we’re going to be disillusioned. So don’t be fake, always be real.

16. Don’t manipulate or control
One of the ways we avoid a being hurt is through trying to control/manipulate other people. If you’re strong you will try to control them and if you’re weak, you will try to manipulate them. This is going to really hinder a mature relationship. Many people have done this so often in past relationships, they find it very difficult to stop, even when they discover they don’t need to control/manipulate anymore.

Another weak point, some people are perfectionists and they will point their perfectionism toward their significant relationship and try to force that person into the perfect image that they have for them. This creates a lot of stress a lot of unhappiness and it will sabotage the entire relationship if you can’t learn to let them be who they are.

5. Relationship phases

17. The Honeymoon
The first phase of a relationship is full of bliss and love-blindness. It is a wonderful feeling and we wish it would last forever, but it eventually ends. During this phase you both want to spend as much time together, you want to share as much of your thoughts and your lives together as possible, and you expect all your family and friends to be just happy about this relationship as you are.

This is a very important bonding process, though it doesn’t always happen at an intense level. Some relationships develop much more slowly and yet they can be very successful and stable. So don’t try to hype your relationships, just let it happen naturally.

18. Self-sabotage
After the honeymoon is over, we begin to discover problems in the relationship and now we have to deal with those problems. Unfortunately, we usually don’t deal with them very well and this creates a lot of tension, frustration, and confusion in the relationship’ which is such a shocking difference from the earlier honeymoon phase.

Surprisingly, the other person’s problems are not really what’s creating the trouble in the relationship. Those problems were there before but you either didn’t know or care. What’s actually causing the problems is how you deal with your partner’s issues, and how they deal with yours. Most people deal with them in a very immature way and they end up sabotaging their own relationships quite accidentally. So this phase requires discovering ways to stop inadvertently hurting the relationship that you are trying to improve.

19. Working it out
Now we begin the truly hard and useful work of doing what is necessary to repair and strengthen the relationship. This is where we negotiate with each other, this is where we identify certain boundaries, and even adjust our own boundaries. This is the time where we have to learn to sacrifice some of what we want and reevaluate what our deal breakers are. A lot of relationships do not get past this stage.

20. True Union
The strongest level of the relationship is where you accept one another including the things that previously were unacceptable. This is kind of love is sacrificial. You sacrifice your interest for the benefit of your loved one and they will do the same for you. This requires a very high level of trust. In the end, you know that you’re both working toward a goal that is bigger than either one of you. It can take years to reach this relationship level and most couples never experience it.

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2 Responses

  1. angie says:

    Hi Peter, this article has opened up my eyes because recently I was dating someone who wasn’t ready for a relationship but he thought he was, but in our communications all he ever discussed was how stressed and sleepy he was. Lol. I was so stupid to believe that things could work …mmmmm after a while I realised that I was wasting my precious time so I told him we should end it.
    The only word he said to me was bye hope you get someone better than me…i couldn’t believe my ears but anyway thanks for the great article.

    • admin says:

      I’m sorry things didn’t work as you had hoped, but at least you took decisive action. It sounds like this guy needs a copy of Jordan Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for life. Keep a positive attitude on men and dating and you will surely find a better man.

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