- Gender and Relationships»
- Relationship Problems & Advice
How to Begin a Relationship
Starting it Right: How to Begin a Relationship the Right Way
Relationships can be tough for some people. In fact, most people make it a lot harder than it actually is by starting it off on the wrong foot. While writing an advice column in a local paper for a few years, I came across lots of people who found many different ways of doing this. Nothing is certain - least of which interpersonal relationships - but here are some generalizations about how to begin a relationship, and how to do it right along with some tips on how to literally start a relationship with someone.
One of the largest fallacies perpetuated by humans is the concept of being alone. In most cases people can feel alone when surrounded by people. I've heard of people getting close to feeling there was "no hope" of meeting anyone when they lived in a rather large apartment complex, where people are literally feet away from them on every side. Even in shopping malls people can feel alone, when they could just walk up to someone and say hello.
The point is that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Be patient and wait for the one that is right for you. I currently have a friend who has gotten out of a string of bad relationships and I had to sit him down and present an online dating website where he could see there were people that were more suited to him than anyone he had dated. He had only been dating the last few women because..? He was desperate and lowered his standards. Surprise surprise, they didn't work out because they were not compatible and he was unhappy with them.
Be Completely Honest
Along the same lines of being patient, you must be completely honest with yourself and the person you want to be in a relationship with.
To yourself: You need to know what you are looking for in a relationship. Try to think completely through the relationship to see if it would work out in the long term. Things like age can matter. One writer asked me: "As 25 year old with a masters degree who is in a relationship with someone who just turned 18, I feel things might be ending, what should I do?" In return I asked some questions. How do you think this will turn out?Do you have much in common? Will you be able to appear in social gatherings of your peers without causing drama or rumors? Can you honestly see yourself having a meaningful relationship? The answers for him in most cases were no, and for the ones that were yes they seemed to be more wishful thinking than reality. Of course, age differences can work, but try to be realistic rather than hopeful - again there are plenty of fish in the sea.
To the other person: The main reason relationships fail is lying. Relationships are built on trust and can end up with the couple sharing assets - how can a relationship work if it starts off on lies? Not only that, but people judge compatibility on what people like and dislike. Do you really want to be stuck with a lifetime of having to sit through opera, or physics lectures, or whatever the other person enjoys just because you said that you just LOVE it and you want to go to the selected event with them? Lying in general doesn't pay off, and relationships is definitely one of those times (unless they really DON'T look good in that outfit and they like it, then lie lie lie!).
Tips Before Going Into a Relationship
There are many things that people do as they go into a relationship that are pretty much like shooting yourself in the foot before running a race. Ill cover a few of them, but there really are a lot of things that you have to be careful about.
- Desperation: Do not be desperate when you want to start a relationship. Firstly it can scare people off, but it really is not attractive. People who are confident in who they are and what they can do (even if it is unfounded) are able to have relationships with people that you would think would not work out based on social differences, looks, or other things.
- Clinginess: Many people fall into being clingy. I myself used to be a very clingy person until I got into a relationship where I was suffocated. There I realized how easy caring for someone can turn into obsession - or even the perception of obsession. Make sure you know what the other person is looking for and try (though it may be hard) to draw a line.
- Awareness: Being able to figure out what the other person is looking for in both a relationship and levels of intimacy means that you really have to be aware of them. This can be tough and may fall down to outright asking about certain things, but as the old saying goes knowledge is power - for both sides. If you realize that they might not be looking for what you want in a relationship, you might save yourself a lot of time, money, and hassle.
As I said before there are a lot of things that you need to watch for and be aware of - sadly a lot of them are very situational so you need to make sure you really know the person you want to be in a relationship with before you actually go for making it official.
How to (Literally) Begin a Relationship
There are tips and tricks to everything, and starting a relationship is one of those. Relationships can be like a minefield - and starting one is no different.
- Privacy privacy privacy!: Especially if it is marriage, you want to ask to start a relationship in a private place. Being turned down is embarrassing and stressful. You do not want to be in a public place while you do this because it might turn out wrong. Dinner date? Being told no means you might have to sit through the rest of an uncomfortable meal. In front of an audience? You have a lot of friends that will be reminding you about that moment for weeks to come. Sports/Arena board? That could be a televised rejection. Even worse - they could feel pressured into a relationship with you and take it, only to decline it later, or you get stuck together, or who knows. Its just a messy situation.
- No expensive gift: If you buy something because you think it would be a good segway into asking you might want to rethink things. Firstly, are you buying this persons love? Won't they feel pressured into saying yes now because you bought something expensive for them? Are you showing them that you will buy them stuff for the rest of the relationship? What if they turn you down and you don't have anything to do with it now?
- Be heartfelt and be yourself: Don't try to look something up and memorize it - make something up and have it be from the heart (if you have to be slightly cheesy that is). Create something personal that states your feelings about the relationship, or just come out and request a relationship being truthful and aware of what the other person likes and dislikes so you aren't rejected from a bad request.
Honestly, that's most of what it takes: being yourself. Be honest, aware of yourself and the other person, and be yourself. If its meant to be then its meant to be. If its not, that is sad of course, but there are always more people in the world and you will find someone someday.