If you’ve been single for a long time, chances are you’ve become accustomed to doing things a certain way. Entering into a relationship may seem like a daunting task as you try and merge your life, and often your children’s lives, with somebody else’s. However, there are certain things you can do to make the transition easier on yourself and your significant other.
Know Your Goals
What are your relationship goals? It’s important to at least have some idea of what you want and need out of the relationship to ensure its success. Examining your ideas about commitment and what that really means to both of you is paramount before settling into a relationship with someone.
In general, you have to be more conscious of what you do and how it will affect the other person. Everyone is different and has different beliefs and values, but they should be aligned or at least known before starting a relationship.
Accept and Expect Change
Accepting and expecting change is also necessary when getting into a relationship after being single for a long time. You now have to share your time with another person on a regular basis, which may mean rearranging your schedule. Your significant other may have expectations about how much time you spend together, when you spend time together, and what you do when you’re together. It’s important to communicate your own expectations up front so both of your needs are met.
You don’t have to do everything together, but it is necessary to be inclusive if this is someone you plan on sharing your time with. Constant communication is key to growth within a relationship too.
Get in the Habit of Sharing
Prepare to share with another person when in a relationship. Sharing thoughts and feelings are essential to making any relationship work. You can’t expect your significant other to read your mind or always understand why you’re doing something.
Know your own communication style and be prepared to adapt to the other person’s. If both of you deal with things passive aggressively, that’s only going to foster resentment. Being on the same page about communication will save you a lot of future headaches.
Compromise is a big adjustment when adapting from the single life. You have likely become used to doing things a certain way. When entering into a relationship, however, you have to consider what the other person wants too in order to satisfy each other’s needs. While you may have a lot in common, it is likely that you might not like everything they like. In fact, you will probably have to do some things you don’t necessarily like in order to please your significant other. Accept that this is just part of being in a relationship and make sure they will do the same for you.
Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind
When in a relationship, it’s inevitable that both parties will have their own friends in addition to making new ones together. While you may not like all of your significant other’s friends, it’s still important to make an effort to be friendly with them. That said, it’s important you don’t leave your own friends behind.
Many people make the mistake of dropping their friends for their significant other’s friends or the new people they meet as a couple. If the relationship fails, this presents a problem and can be unpleasant if people start taking sides. Having your own friends ensures a support system is in place for any trouble that may be down the road.
‘Me’ to ‘Us’
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when entering a new relationship after being single for a while, is adapting from a “me” to “us” mentality. Be attentive to your what your significant other needs in order to be happy within the relationship. If everything is all about you and what you want, the relationship is doomed to fail. Make sure you know what kind of affection your other half is comfortable with or prefers. This is especially true where sex is concerned. Not everyone has a constant sex drive, so learning what your partner desires and when he or she desires it is considerate, at the very least.