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First Relationship (23 Helpful Tips You Wish You Knew)

by Sonya Schwartz

An anonymous quote reads that when a person experiences love for the first time, he thinks he invented it. While that may seem like a corny and exaggerated quote, it is not very far from the truth. As women, our first relationships are usually the ones where we commit wholeheartedly and innocently. 

We try to recreate all that we know from the movies and books, but to our disappointment, reality doesn't always tally with fiction and fantasy. Often, it can be challenging to navigate through a relationship for the first time. You do not understand your emotions, your heartbeat races each time you see him, and no matter how hard you try, you cannot get him off your mind. 

All these feelings are perfectly normal; however, it is important not to let your emotions control you. Yes, no one has everything about relationships completely figured out, but there are useful quips anyone could use when stepping into the dating waters for the first time. In this article, I will be giving relationship advice on how to handle your first relationship. 

23 Helpful Tips For A First Relationship

1. Stay independent

Stay independent

The fundamental thing to remember is that a relationship is the coming together of two individuals with different perspectives and ideologies. Therefore, it is unrealistic to expect your partner's life, goals, and interests to align with yours in this vein. That’s why it’s important not to think that this person will agree with everything you say or everything you want to do.

Even though you do share a lot of things in common, it’s important to keep pursuing your goals as an individual and not get sucked into another person’s life. 

2. Watch out for red flags

They say love is blind, but if we were honest with ourselves, it is evident that we sometimes ignore certain behaviors hoping it won't repeat itself. It is easy for young people to find themselves in toxic relationships during their first relationships. 

That's because they get into such relationships innocently, without experience or prior knowledge of what love should feel like. 

Paying attention to red flags such as having a partner who continually tests your boundaries or has a sense of entitlement over you can save you from a lot of toxicity and even save your life in the long run.

3. Keep an open mind

It is not uncommon to see people who have checklists regarding the type of man they want to date or marry in the future. While this is good, it can also limit the chances of meeting amazing people, most especially if your list consists more of physical attributes than character. 

When you go into a relationship with an open mind, you create a free atmosphere for you and your partner, where you can share your thoughts and opinions without fear of judgment. Furthermore, an open mind makes it easier to have realistic expectations.

4. Don't keep secrets

Trust is an integral component in any relationship, and without trust, it is impossible to have a healthy association. However, many couples find themselves losing their partners' trust because they chose to hold back on information or blatantly lie about it. 

That's right; deception is not just when you lie, it is also when you keep secrets from your partner and hold back vital information. It is more liberating to walk in your truth than to live a lie.

5. Maintain your self-worth

Just as it is essential to have good self-esteem before you start dating someone, it is imperative that you also maintain this esteem while in the relationship. Women who lose their self worth in relationships tend to become people-pleasers, making them an easy target to abusive partners.

You can maintain your self-worth by appreciating your individuality, trusting your instincts and decisions, speaking up for yourself, and maintaining healthy boundaries.

6. Learn to communicate clearly

Communication is quite a broad subject, and it encompasses everything, from body language to verbal and non-verbal communication. Good communication does not just end at speaking; it also involves listening, interpreting, and reacting accordingly. 

Many people think communication is just about speaking, but if you and your partner are talking, and no one is listening, there is no communication. It is important to communicate clearly in a relationship so that your thoughts and intentions are not misconstrued. 

7. You do not own each other

Irrespective of how much you love someone and the level of commitment that exists in your relationship, it is important to remember that but parties have intentional and personal choices to make.  

Do not assume that your partner belongs to you, and you belong to him. There are no ownerships in a healthy relationship, and that's what makes it beautiful. If you are with someone who tries to own you and control your actions, I will suggest that you take a step back from such a situation as that is a red flag.

8. Compliment each other

Compliment each other

At the beginning of a new relationship, we notice everything about our partners, and we gush about it. The way they flip their hair, bite their lips and hold our hands are all endearing. Their fashion, style, hair color, and grooming make us see them as perfect beings, and it is almost impossible that a day would go by without us complimenting them. 

However, as time passes and we settle into these relationships, we lose sight of the little things like giving an honest and sweet compliment. Never stop complimenting your partner, as it makes them feel special, noticed, and loved.

9. Choose your fights wisely

Conflicts in relationships are inevitable, and sometimes, you must learn to choose which battles you want to engage in and those you must let go of. Not every dispute should be worth your time. 

When you spend too much time picking on the little things and instigating unnecessary conflicts, you end up building a lot of tension and silent resentment between you and your partner. If you are hurt by something your partner did, point it out immediately in a gentle but serious way, so he knows where he has gone wrong, and he can guide against a repeat. 

10. Try something new every week

It is easy for a relationship to get sour and bland when each day is a repeat of the one before. It is okay to stick to a routine in your relationship; however, it is dangerous to get comfortable. Just because you went on a roller coaster ride the first time you met does not mean each date should repeat itself that way. 

Spice up your relationship by coming up with new and creative ways to make your time spent together worthwhile. You may choose to cook together, take turns visiting each other at work, volunteering, or attending events. All these make your love life exciting and enjoyable for both of you.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

11. Get to know his friends

Ever heard the saying, you are as good as the company you keep? Well, whosoever said that wasn't bluffing. Your loved one might seem perfect to you in the initial stage, but if they continue to mingle in the wrong crowd, they are likely to change. 

Many people get their relationship advice from friends. Therefore, you need to know what kind of company he keeps and try to make friends with them. Trust me, you will have a more blissful relationship if you can win your boyfriend's friends' loyalty. 

12. Respect privacy

It is easy to confuse privacy and secrecy as these terms are often used interchangeably by people who do not know better. While secrecy flourishes on the idea of intentionally keeping consequential information from your partner, privacy borders on the state of being free from observation and disturbance. 

As you can see, they are different, and every individual has the right to privacy irrespective of their relationship status.

13. Be humble and apologize when wrong

The common misconception people have about apologies is that it is only for the weak and the guilty. However, I have come to understand that it takes great strength and bravery to admit when you are wrong and apologize. 

Whenever there are conflicts in your relationships, learn to take a step back, and see what you could have done differently to avoid an escalation. Should you notice that you are at fault, grab a slice of that humble pie and apologize sincerely.

14. Trust each other

To have a healthy love life, we must learn to trust those we love, and this is the ultimate relationship advice, not minding if this is your first relationship or the thirtieth. Fortunately, it is easier to trust at the beginning of your relationship. However, as time goes by, you start to notice how deeply flawed your partner is, and this can affect the level of trust you have towards them. 

Regardless of how much you think you love one another, without trust, your relationship will crumble because of the infusion of uncertainties and insecurities.

15. Respect each other's interests

We are all unique individuals with different upbringing, interests, and future goals. So, when we meet someone who loves us, it is expected that we love them in our entirety. That is how it should be ideally; however, some people go into relationships hoping to change their partners instead of respecting their interests and accepting them as they are. 

If your partner is interested in baseball and you do not share the same interest, that's alright. Do not try to stop him from watching baseball. However, you can use that time to engage in something that interests you and call that time a ‘me-time.’

16. Be true to yourself and your feelings

Be true to yourself and your feelings

No greater words have been said than these five words; "Always stay true to yourself." These words are the key to happiness and peace of mind at any time and in any relationship. There is no use pretending to be happy about something that makes you sad or lying about a lifestyle you so much love. 

People often lose themselves on the altar of sacrifice, and while sacrifice is pleasing, there is no reason for it to get so far. Remember, just as you need to serve your partner, you also need to serve yourself, so don't be shy to say what you feel.

17. Be kind

Kindness is an overall feeling of goodwill and positivity. It is not a grand gesture as it stems from the little things, like an early morning kiss, a mid-day text, a surprise lunch, or a word of encouragement when most needed. 

When you are in a relationship, you should never stop being kind to your partner. Keep doing the little things that made him fall in love with you in the first place.

18. Ask questions

Understandably, when you meet someone new, it is always difficult to decipher what questions are appropriate and which ones aren’t. However, if you notice things are starting to get serious between you two, don't shy away from talking about difficult topics like money and plans. 

The right questions will save you from many heartaches and aid you in making more informed decisions.

19. Don't rush things

This is your first relationship, and as such, there is no need to rush things. Take your time to know each other and build an intense emotional intimacy before rushing into the physical. Emotional intimacy is what makes friendships, and it will keep you waxing strong when future storms arise.

If you do not feel ready for sex, by all means, hold on. Do not allow your partner to rush you into doing something you aren't ready for; otherwise, you might regret it.

20. Set boundaries

A relationship does not magically bond two people together, and this is why it is important to set boundaries in your relationship. Boundaries indicate where one person ends and the other begins. It ensures a person's privacy is respected, and no one feels smothered by the other.

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21. Accept conflict as normal

Every relationship has its fair share of disputes, which does not mean that the parties involved are wrong for one another. On the contrary, couples who engage in healthy arguments are people who are willing to see their relationship grow. Staying silent when hurt for fear of conflict is not a noble cause. It merely means that you are okay with the way you are treated.

22. Find someone with shared values

Our values and beliefs are what influence our decisions and the way we act as humans. It can be difficult to be in a relationship with someone who does not hold the same values as you do. Therefore, before you get into a relationship, take time to study yourself and know your values and find someone who has a similar value system.

23. Spend quality time together

Spend quality time together

Never underestimate the importance of quality time. Even if you are in a long-distance relationship, make time out to occasionally see one another. Also, make sure that those moments are filled with exciting activities that will create happy and lasting memories. 

Quality time among couples allows them to express their feelings and get to know themselves better.

FAQs

How long does a first relationship last?

There is no definite answer to how long first relationships last. However, due to the naiveness and innocence with which many people delve into relationships the first time, they could last anywhere between three to six months. 

What should I do in my first relationship?

I understand the emotions you feel are overwhelming, and it all feels right, but do not rush things. Take your time and make informed decisions at every step. Be honest with your partner about your feelings and resist the urge to keep secrets as secrets can lead to distrust in a relationship.

How likely are you to marry your first love?

Marrying the first person you fall in love with may seem like something out of a fairy-tale but it does happen to a good percentage of people. However, it is not a big deal if yours doesn’t end this way, everyone’s love story is different and unique. 

Does first love ever die?

For many people, our first love happens when we are young and while the love did not necessarily die, we simply outgrow it and such feelings can evolve into friendships which is also a type of love. 

Why do first relationships fail?

We go into these relationships with a lot of expectations but so little knowledge and experience. Due to this inexperience, it is easy to give up when challenges arise. 

Summary

First relationships are beautiful because of the innocence and pure feelings that are involved. I hope this article serves as a guide through this important journey of yours. If you enjoyed reading this, please share and leave a comment. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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