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Relationships in 2016 Part 1: Dating happily

Starting, repairing or enhancing a relationship is a great New Year resolution. The beginning of the New Year offers hope and the ability to change. We make choices to start new relationships, bring back youth to our marriages, or just learn how to let go.  Then time goes by and we get busy! Less thought goes into the relationships and more into how to make money, take care of our obligations, and just survive.

Just surviving and relationships should not even be in the same sentence. Dating should be the best roller coaster ride you have ever been on. It is the moment to figure out if the behaviors being newly introduced to you enhance your life or make it worse. Marriage should be amazing. We get married to share our love and to add more happiness to our already happy lives. Sometimes neither of these work, boundaries are crossed and need to just let go.

There are 3 types of Daters.

The type of people that love dating: These are the ones who are either falling in love or just having so much fun.

The type of people that hate dating: These people hate it because, they are sticking too long with the wrong guys/girls or spending too much time changing themselves. Maybe they tried Match.com and weren’t happy with the results or sadly, they just don’t know how to put themselves out there to find a date.

Then there is the final type: The ones who just dont care. They have it the easiest!

No matter what type you are this New Year, let’s start by helping you create a solid beginning. You want to be able to be real in your new relationship, love freely and when the time comes commit with open arms.

1. Be YOURSELF. The first moment you meet, how you eat your food, the way you dress, smell, wear your makeup, things you can afford, and so on. Don’t pretend, this just wastes 3 months and then the true you always shows up.

2. Love what you do. Do not give up things you love for the other person. Missing Sunday football or yoga for a few weeks is a choice. Set the precedent early so that you don’t lose what you love doing. Keep your schedule. It’s great for each partner to have their own lifestyle choices. Not to mention it offers much more to talk about.

3. Don’t accept ANY crazy. If something makes you uncomfortable OPEN YOUR MOUTH. You should feel free to speak your feelings. She leaves drawers open, he always loses his keys, her room is messy, he chews with his mouth open are all things that may make YOU go crazy. If you start to notice annoyances, see if they are worth the compromise, weigh the good and bad or get out!

4. Set Boundaries. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend coined the word “boundaries” in relationships. Did something they do make you uncomfortable and you know you want to say something? Do it, Tell them. Is she too touchy in public, did he flirt with your friend, has she gotten too drunk and created drama? Whatever the issue is it’s important to set those “boundaries” in the beginning. It goes like this…” Hey so …… happened. It made me feel….. And I don’t think that’s what I want for my future. Is that something you can work on?” If it happens again you now have a choice to make because you set that boundary.

5. Don’t be afraid to say “No!”: Sometimes you aren’t going to be able to meet up or it will kill your whole day if you try to force it. If you feel stuck between two decisions go with the one that creates independence for YOU. Your boyfriend/girlfriend should be protecting themselves the same way. Obviously if you have her/his grandmas 85th birthday, you can’t be selfish and you better go. You should know the difference between selfish and putting yourself first!

6. Text, FB, Twitter, Call like normal: Obsessive people should show that up front. Some people love that type of relationship. I talk to my boyfriend 15 minutes in the am, 15 minutes when he leaves work and 30 minutes before we go to bed. Sometimes we chat in between if it’s something interesting. I’m obsessive with this! OWN IT! If the person you are with thinks it is too much or that they need more then you can choose to adjust that together.

7. Understand your Needs; While learning theirs: Kinda like above, Own your needs. And make sure you both are able to meet them. If there are RED Flags… run away. Don’t force yourself to meet needs that you just can’t. Listen to your gut, don’t conform.

8. Love the way you normally love: If you are a touchy, feely person who kisses in public and loves holding hands – OWN IT! Be that person. If the person you want needs to be touchy feely back. Find that person! If you are not a touchy person don’t pretend to be! False advertisement is not funny. Don’t be embarrassed if you love kissing, hugging or sex.

Your needs are yours and if they’re not met you won’t be happy!   While you enjoy your quest of dating remember… This is all supposed to be fun!

Next article: Relationships in 2016 Part 2: Bring back goofy to your marriage

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