Stop making the same mistakes while dating! These datings tips for new relationships are hard-learned lessons that someone should benefit from. Lessons learned by someone who has used all of the dating apps, experienced all of the bad dates, and found a way to more efficiently find out who is actually compatible. They say that you should always take dating and relationship advice from someone in a healthy, long-term relationship and you are in luck - I am a happily married woman sharing all of the tips and tricks that helped me get into a safe, healthy, and loving relationship.
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Dating Tips for New Relationships
It’s no secret that I’ve had my fair share of bad relationships. I’ve talked about past domestic and sexual assaults in my romantic relationships. In my recent episode on Red Flags in Relationships, I shared more about some other unhealthy and toxic relationships I found along the way as well. Relationships with cheating, lying, and manipulation. I'm talking about all the red flags.
If you've been following along, you've probably heard that I try to find gratitude in these challenging experiences. I have an episode and article on my Daily Gratitude Practice.
Gratitude in Dating
Because of these negative and frankly traumatic experiences, I became very intentional about dating. And clear about what I needed from a partner and the behavior that I was willing to accept. I learned how to find my relationship patterns, break them, and find relational healing. Most importantly, I learned how to love and trust again - by loving and trusting myself while dating.
When you experience any form of pain, betrayal, or heartbreak, it can be hard to open up again, to love again. Or trust another partner again. But if I can do it, so can you. And I’m here to walk you through what helped me in the hopes that it can lead you to the healthy, loving, and supportive partner that you are more than worthy of deserving.
So let’s dive right in. I already mentioned the first one but there is no way I’m about to just breeze past it…
#1 Red Flags in Relationships
Know the red flags to watch out for in relationships. This is my first and most important dating tip for new relationships to offer. I have an entire episode and article on Red Flags in Relationships. Listen to it and bookmark this article. Be constantly reviewing this list while dating. And even into early relationships.
Red flags can be obvious from the start or creep into relationships slowly and unnoticed. Keep your eye out for these red flags - trust me on this one. Hopefully, this can protect a few of you out there from unhealthy or potentially dangerous situations. That alone makes everything that I do on this platform worth it to me. Your safety matters more to me than you know.
#2 Manifesting A Healthy Relationship
Knowing what you don't want in a relationship is a clear path to finding out what you do want. Look at what hasn’t worked for you in the past. Name your deal-breakers in a partner. The behaviors, traits, or situations that you will absolutely not tolerate or accept in a relationship. Check out that list of relationship red flags.
Now, take each individual negative for you and turn it into a positive. And write them down - like you are placing an order for the ideal healthy partner. Hear me out on this. We are going to be dipping our toes into the water of manifestation here. It’s not only worth the chance of believing and envisioning this ideal partner. But this list we are making is going to be a checklist of sorts for you to look at while you are dating.
Because trust me, love and lust can make you blind to someone’s faults. Having a list that you create with a clear mind will help you remember what you deserve. Building this intentionally can spare you a lot of time chasing after the wrong people. Even if you haven’t tried or experienced manifestation before, this list is going to keep you on the right dating track. It’s about the self-awareness you want during dating. The more aware of these things you are, the easier you will be able to recognize them.
Examples of Turning Negatives into Positives
So, let’s take a few examples of how to turn a negative into a positive for this list - because positive thoughts are much stronger than negative ones. And we aren’t trying to attract negative traits in a partner…
Let’s say you can’t handle someone who is emotionally unavailable. Write down that you want a partner who is emotionally available and ready for commitment. Struggled with someone in the past who was too dismissive of your feelings? Say that you want someone who is a good listener, accepts you for who you are, and will validate your emotions. Do you see what I’m doing here?
Your True Focus
Make an effort to avoid anything superficial or too material on this list. Having specific preferences over how someone looks, their job, or the material items they have won’t make for a good partnership. Those things do not define someone. Good looks, a specific height, or a certain career choice won't comfort you in the middle of your darkest days.
It’s their values, character, and personality that we want to be focusing on. These are the things that determine whether or not they will handle conflict appropriately, dry your tears when you experience loss, or understand you on a level that makes you feel seen and heard. Because you deserve all of these things in a partner.
Manifesting the Love of My Life
Why am I so passionate about this? Because it worked for me. My list was created over the course of a few years. And altered after experiencing many bad dates and some failed relationships. Really, it was a decent-sized list. I became much more efficient at spotting situations that were not right for me. My self-awareness grew from having this to reflect back on. And I wholeheartedly believe this list quite possibly manifested the love of my life.
I met my husband on vacation in Hawaii. We spent a few months really getting to know each other and dating long-distance before I realized he was my list. My entire list. I became a firm believer in putting an “order” out into the world for what you want. And never settling for anything less. I’m hoping you can have this same experience for yourself. Or at least spare yourself from kissing one too many frogs along the way.
#3 Focus on YOU in these Dating Tips for New Relationships
My third dating tip for new relationships is also about staying clear-headed while dating. Too often, we spend so much time worrying about whether we are good enough for them, if we are what they want, or if we are saying or doing the right things or meeting their needs. It’s all about them.
We need to shift our focus back to our own needs. Because at the end of the day, if you are meeting someone else’s needs but they aren’t meeting yours… is that really a relationship you want? Can you truly feel fulfilled or happy without your needs being met?
And that “order” or checklist I just told you about is the perfect tool to keep your focus on you and your needs. Be continually reviewing it to be sure they are fitting the bill.
What Do YOU Want?
So, focus more on whether or not they meet your needs. Whether or not they can make you happy. If they can treat you in a way that you deserve. I’ve ended up with too many bad partners because I didn’t focus enough on myself, my happiness, or my needs to ensure they are good enough for me.
Really, I didn’t start finding and dating more quality people until I switched that mindset around. I spent my time figuring out if they could make me happy, say and do the right things for me, and treat me how I know I deserve to be treated. Of course, I treated them with the same respect and care that I wanted in return. But, I quit stressing about whether that was enough for them.
If the situation wasn’t right for them, it wasn’t right for me either. I was willing to be continually growing, expanding, and open to new experiences. But I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my true self or what I needed in a partner for someone else. Somehow it made it feel less personal when things didn’t work out while dating. And that made it much easier to keep moving forward.
#4 State Your “Wants” Early On
Keeping up the theme of focusing on your needs, state what you want in a relationship. And seriously consider doing this early on. Why wait months to finally tell someone that you are looking for a serious relationship only to find out they aren’t in a place to offer that in life? If you know what you want and are very clear with others, you can save yourself a lot of confusion, pain, and time.
Once I got to a place in life where I knew I wanted a serious partner, marriage, and ultimately a family - I made that very clear. Did it scare off some people? Of course. But those are people who would have been scared off whenever I decided to tell them, regardless of how early or late that happened.
The Right Person at the Right Time
Someone who is exactly where you are now will not be afraid to hear what you want in life. Especially if you approach it in a way that takes the pressure off of them. How you deliver this message really does matter. Again, don’t make it about them - like wanting to marry them or start a family with them.
Instead, consider telling them that these are things you are ready for. And exactly what you are looking for with someone who is compatible enough with you. This type of delivery shows that you are not trying to fill the role of spouse, parent to your children, or any other placeholder in your life. It shows them you are truly looking for the right partner, with the same desires, to walk into that life with you.
Surprise, surprise, tip #5 is still about you. You know I’m all about continually growing throughout life. And while you are dating is no exception. You can learn a lot about yourself through your experiences with others, especially such vulnerable experiences such as dating. Having a trusted source to turn to during this time can be really beneficial.
Yes, I’m talking about therapy. You see, a lot of us develop relationship patterns once we’ve been out in the dating pool for a while. Or even if we’ve been in the same relationship for a long time before dating again. It can be helpful to have someone assess those patterns to see if there is anything else that can help you find healthier relationships.
Therapy Dating Tips for New Relationships
And now for the uncomfortable part, a therapist can also help you to work out your own personal issues you might be bringing into a relationship. I hate the term “baggage” when it comes to relationships so let’s turn it into “life experiences”. We all have our own life experiences that we are bringing into relationships. Some help us to be the beautiful and wonderful partners that we are. And some can create some conflict or discomfort.
No one is perfect. If you or your potential partner were named as perfect, I’d be really concerned. It’s ok to have personal issues that you need to work through. And it’s actually really normal to have these come up in relationships. This is a beautiful opportunity for relational healing. And a therapist might just be the perfect guide for that journey.
#6 Attachment Styles
This next tip is to look into what your attachment style might be. Or just educating yourself on the different attachment styles people can have in relationships. I talked about this in my episode on The Mother Wound and how your relationship (or lack thereof) with your parents or caregivers in early childhood can impact how you show up in relationships later on in life. Though that’s not the only way these attachment styles are formed.
From my episode on mother wounds, I spoke about how attachment disorderscan be formed with mother wounds. We will find ourselves seeking out validation in similar relationship patterns. Not necessarily because we like them. But because it is how we identify love or what feels the most comfortable for us. And I don’t mean comfortable in an enjoyable sense - but in a familiar sense.
Examples of Attachment Styles
For example, if you have an anxious attachment style, you might be needing more reassurance that you are good enough, pretty enough, or worthy of sticking around. Because you don’t believe it yourself. You might feel very dependent on your partner for having your needs met. And incredibly anxious worrying about them leaving you or being upset with you.
Or you might be like me and have an avoidant attachment style. You might be social and easy to be around but are overly independent. You don’t like relying on others and prefer to meet your own needs. The avoidant part of the attachment is that this keeps you from letting people in too far or getting vulnerable with others. You keep them at a safe distance to try to prevent yourself from getting hurt.
Understanding both your own attachment style and potential future partners can help you better understand the types of partners you attract, the way you both interact, and why some of these dating experiences end. It was a real game-changer for me in my dating life.
#7 Ask Yourself THIS Question
Tip #7 in my dating tips for new relationships is simple yet wildly impactful. This piece of advice was actually passed along to me by my dear friend, Walter Cardona, a counselor in Seattle. He told me that if it’s not a fuck yes then it’s a fuck no. This means that if you aren’t excited, invested, or completely in it - it’s a no. I don’t want to be someone’s “maybe” and you certainly don’t deserve to be someone’s “maybe”. So why would you ever settle for someone you aren’t truly sure of?
If you find yourself at any given point not really feeling into it, remove yourself from it. Spare their feelings and don’t drag it out. The right person will have you continually looking forward to what’s next. Even in the hard times. Because the hard times are inevitable. But you need to be invested and completely on board to work through those times to survive them.
This is one of my top dating tips for new relationships.
#8 Gauging Compatibility in Relationships
I have an article called Planning a Marriage that helped me ensure I was setting myself up for a successful future with my partner. It can be used to determine compatibility, even if you are not looking into marriage with your partner right now. Take your time with this. These are not easily digested questions. You will need some time to really consider your answers.
And don’t panic if you don’t answer every question the same. You are unique and beautiful in all of your own ways - as is your partner. When you come across any differences in opinion on topics like politics, parenting, or finances, consider what things are deal breakers and what differences you are truly, honestly, able to live with peacefully.
Using these Dating Tips for New Relationships
So what do you think about these tips? What insight are you taking into your dating life moving forward? And how do you think it will change the way you show up on dates or in relationships?
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