When you’re starting a new relationship with someone it’s easy to be excited and focus on all the good things. But it’s also important to reflect on what changes when you become a we instead of a me, and what to be ready for. Most people won’t give you this new relationship advice, but sometimes the reality of the relationship isn’t going to meet your expectations. To help prepare you for what being in a relationship is really like, here are a few things that change and what you can expect when you start something new.
Be prepared to compromise
One of the glorious aspects of being single, which often gets overlooked, is that you only have to follow your own agenda—you can travel where you want to, get to choose your own bedding, or decide how you spend your time. According to sex and relationship coach, Colby Marie Z. “When you decide to be in a relationship, you have to make decisions jointly about many of these things,” Marie adds. In other words, you won’t always get your way.
Your group of friends may change
The friends you spent so much time with while single… Well, you may see less of them or form new friendships altogether. You might be spending time with your partner’s friends and after a few days, weeks, or months you realize that you haven’t been hanging out with your old friends, explains relationship expert, Cheryl Hunter. “Their world has become yours and now you can’t even get out of that world.”
You might start to take advantage
It’s really hard to find a good connection these days. With so many singles out there, it’s a wonderful feeling when we finally find the one. DON’T take that connection for granted. Continue to say thank you for dates, don’t assume your partner should automatically do nice things for you, and always be considerate of your partner’s time and feelings.
Your commitments will change
You may never feel as overcommitted as you will when you get into a serious relationship. “You essentially double your social group, which means twice as many social obligations (birthdays, weddings, baby showers, family celebrations, etc.) so be prepared for your calendar to fill up twice as fast,” says Marie.
Your likes change
In addition to friends, Hunter says that even the things you like will start to change. “You start liking what your partner likes and hate what your partner hates. At times, you and partner will want different things, but you will likely compromise your needs and do what your partner likes. No one will tell you that, you will understand it yourself and manage it.”
More frustrations in your life
Relationships are hard, and most people won’t tell you about the hard parts. We all have a tendency to share our happier moments, the rosier side of love, on social media. We don’t usually see the conflict, the struggles, or the tough conversations. “We don’t tend to divulge to our support systems when times are rough, because we want to protect the relationship. While this makes sense, it sometimes provides un unrealistic expectation for those who are just getting into a relationship. Be prepared for tough times and conflict, which are perfectly normal in a relationship,” says Marie.
You may get clingy/possessive
Though you say you’re not that type of person, often we find ourselves texting a lot and wanting to know what our new person is doing 24/7. These days, with everyone so busy with work (both during and after hours) and other responsibilities, getting too clingy too fast can be a huge turnoff. Chances are if your new partner is equally infatuated, they won’t mind, but you can still show your partner you’re really interested in them without texting/calling all the time and giving up your individuality or independence.
Your past relationship experience can impact your new one
You might think you left the past behind, but sometimes old feelings from experiences can come back to haunt you. Relationship Coach, Chris Armstrong says that carrying baggage from old relationships can affect how we respond to, and trust, our new partner. “Remember, your new partner is just that, and you can’t judge them based on things that have happened to you in the past. It’s not fair to them or you.”
Your professional life can get impacted in both good and bad ways
When you’re in a new relationship, suddenly everything seems better, even the job you sometimes hate. But, there are times when a new relationship might impact you in a negative way. “What typically happens is that when you’re in a new commitment, you want to spend more time with your partner and because of that you start day-dreaming, or forget your morning meetings, and you can even forget to do your homework which could decrease your performance,” says Hunter.
You’ll learn to be more open-minded
Even if you are already, people in new relationships should prepare for partners that listen differently, cope differently, and, quite frankly, are motivated by different things, explains Armstrong. If you’re someone that emotes with their heart, you may be dating someone who emotes with their head and your immediate perception may be that they are emotionally unavailable. Be open-minded about the fact that while you share similar interests, you may both show love differently. That’s ok.
New relationships are fun and exciting, but when you’re caught up in the excitement it’s easy to forget that they also bring a lot of change into your life. These changes can be wonderful. As long as you keep an open mind and are ready for what comes you way, you can focus on enjoying the moment you’re in and the change that comes with it.