So someone just popped the big Will you be my girlfriend/boyfriend? question and you couldn’t be more ecstatic. That dating scene was getting old and, more importantly, you found someone who you really enjoy being around. No more wondering how the other person feels about you. No more worrying about whether or not he or she will call. What a relief to be off the market! But when you’re transitioning from dating to being in a relationship, there are still some things to worry about. It can be confusing to know how to progress onto the next stage without moving too fast, so here’s some new relationship advice to keep in mind:
Take off your mask.
It’s hard to show someone the more vulnerable part of yourself, but now that you’ve committed to an exclusive relationship, you should feel more comfortable showing your true colors. When you look at your relationship through a more authentic lens, you’ll start to establish a more genuine friendship with the person you’re with. In most cases, we start a relationship with someone who is attractive, who we feel chemistry with, and who seems like a good person. Now is the time to let you significant other get know you for you and connect on subjects that are real and raw. Look for opportunities to share more personal stories about yourself and your background. If this relationship is going to progress past the exclusive step into something more long-term, or even marriage, you owe it to yourself to see if you’re compatible when the masks are off.
Be a good, stand up person.
Just because you have a new, more official label on your relationship, doesn’t give you license to start forgetting to call or show up on time. One of the most important pieces of new relationship advice is that you’re still accountable to the other person. If you’re really interested in being in a serious and committed relationship, your character and integrity is the most important aspect of all. Everyone wants to feel respected and cherished so while things can get more relaxed when you’re in a new relationship versus on the dating scene, it doesn’t mean you can do what you want when you want.
Develop your physical intimacy.
Physical intimacy plays a role in each stage of your relationship, and the more committed you become, the more it should grow in ways that you and your significant other are both comfortable with. For example, while you were dating maybe you didn’t want to hold hands in public for fear of running into another dating prospect. After you have used the boyfriend/girlfriend label, a little PDA can be a great thing. The physical nature of your relationship should be a conversation you’re comfortable having with your significant other now that you’re exclusive.
Deepen your connection.
Getting to know one another after the initial newness of your dating relationship has worn off can take more work. You already know about your significant other’s job, and about his or her day-to-day life and friends. At this point, the “how was your day” question no longer unveils anything new or exciting about your special someone. That doesn’t mean the two of you aren’t compatible, it means you have
to dig deeper to learn more. That takes some work and ingenuity and it’s absolutely necessary to keep the spark alive in your committed relationship.
Bring on the romance.
At this stage in your relationship, your partner still needs to feel wanted by you. That means you need to keep your foot on the pedal in the romance department. What’s exciting about being romantic in an exclusive relationship is that while you’re building your emotional and physical intimacy, you will have new ideas for romantic dates and gestures. It’s not always the grand gestures that matter either, the little things can mean just as much.
The more you transition from a strictly dating relationship, to one that’s more exclusive, close, and comfortable, the more rewards you’ll discover. Sometimes things like intimacy or caring don’t always look the way you think it will, so keep an eye out! Take this time to learn more about the person you’re with and enjoy the process of getting closer.