When you get into a new relationship, it’s important to start as you mean to go on. Establishing healthy habits when you’re in the first flush of love can help you to avoid a number of pitfalls later down the line and can prevent your blossoming romance from turning sour.
Discuss contraception openly
There’s no getting around the fact that if you aren’t ready to become a parent but want to be sexually active, you need to use some method of contraception. Being reticent about what you want and expect when it comes to birth control can lead to unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Set the status quo by talking to your partner openly and honestly (ideally before your relationship reaches the bedroom) and encourage them to be open and honest too. If you don’t know which method of birth control is right for you, why not educate yourselves by using trusted resources such as the NHS Choices website and https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/ and by visiting your local family planning clinic together? Although these activities may not exactly get you in the mood for love, you’ll have set a healthy precedent and when the time for intimacy comes, you’ll both feel relaxed enough to really enjoy it.
Give compliments and show appreciation
Think your other half is drop dead gorgeous, an amazing cook or the kindest person in the world? Love the way they brought your mum a bottle of her favourite wine when they came for dinner, texted you to make sure you got home okay or picked up that packaged you missed? Tell them. Giving small, specific, meaningful compliments and thanking your partner for the little things they do can really bolster your relationship. These actions demonstrate that you don’t take them for granted and can actually trigger hormonal changes in your other half that can improve mood and strengthen your emotional bond.
Use positive conflict resolution tactics
No matter how similar or in sync you and your beloved are, there will inevitably be times when you don’t agree. Having a disagreement or argument doesn’t mean that it’s the end of road for your relationship. However, if you don’t handle these situations correctly from the outset, you might find that you and your other half get into bad habits such as shouting, name calling or avoidance, which may create anger and resentment and ultimately spell the end of your romance.
Instead, be sure to practise healthy conflict resolution tactics, such as picking an appropriate time to talk, starting conversations in an amicable manner, discussing issues calmly and constructively, using ‘I’ statements rather than ‘you’ statements and trying to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. It’s also important to treat your other half with respect during a disagreement and set boundaries so that you are treated with respect as well.
While new romances can be all hearts and flowers at the beginning, if you want your relationship to go the distance, it’s important to get into good habits early on and stick to them. Treating your partner with consistency and showing them how you expect to be treated in return can be the difference between a lasting relationship and another ex.