Before You Start a New Relationship, Try These 5 Tips

Before you start a new relationship, you have to learn how to be alone. Don't look for a partner to fill the emptiness or because you're lonely. A healthy relationship is based on freedom and maturity. Instead of looking, allow yourself to be found.
Before You Start a New Relationship, Try These 5 Tips
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 15 November, 2021

Wouldn’t it be great to have a manual that told you everything you should do before you start a new relationship? Some tips that would help you get it right, avoid pain and disappointment, and finally find the person that’ll bring you joy and absolute happiness?

But that’s all impossible. If someone tried to sell you those promises, you’d never believe them. We all know that starting a new relationship is risky. You’re leaping into the unknown, hoping that this person you just met will meet your needs. Sometimes you’re wrong. Other times you have a wonderful but short-lived experience that was worth it anyway. However, what most people want is to be in a stable and satisfying relationship.

Can some strategies or guidelines help in this quest? The short answer is yes, but they’re psychological tools that aren’t designed to help you find an ideal partner per se. The best tips teach you to focus on yourself first because personal development is usually good for your love life.

“Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it’s a practice.”

-Erich Fromm-

A couple about to start a new relationship.

What you need to do before you start a new relationship

Humanist psychologist Carl Rogers said that happiness is accepting yourself exactly as you are. It’s making contact with who you are and what defines you. That’s the best way to start a new romantic adventure with another person. After all, if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that love often arrives when you least expect it. Thus, it’s important to be prepared.

In fact, developing these skills won’t only help you have more mature and satisfying relationships but will also allow you to improve your overall well-being. Let’s delve right in.

1. Don’t start a relationship to avoid being alone or to forget your ex

You’ve met someone interesting, that’s great! You went on a few dates and they went well, there’s chemistry there. Now, some people jump right into a new relationship just because they don’t want to be alone anymore. Or there’s the rebound effect. You badly want to forget the bad experience you had with your ex, so you try to distract yourself with a new relationship.

Although you probably know these aren’t good strategies, sometimes they’re hard to avoid. Try your best, though, because they often just make the problem worse. Be mature and avoid seeking someone’s company to fill an emotional need. If you want to be with someone, it should be because you genuinely care about them not just because you’re trying to heal old wounds.

2. Stay independent, don’t stop exploring and discovering new things

Keep learning and growing, don’t limit your ability to enjoy and discover new things. Finding a significant other shouldn’t be your only goal in life. Ideally, your partner will find you while you’re enjoying what the world and all its possibilities have to offer.

In every experience, you gain knowledge, skills, psychological tools, and emotional maturity that’ll help you be a better partner and lover.

3. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not

Before you start a new relationship, you should have a clear idea of who you are, what you want, and what your deal breakers are. If you don’t take the time to get in touch with your authentic self, you’ll end up pretending to be something you’re not.

That becomes especially problematic when you meet someone you’re interested in because you’re willing to change yourself to fit their mold. You might end up acting very differently from how you normally would.

You plant the seed of unhappiness when you pretend to be something you’re not.

4. Deal with your baggage

When you start a new relationship with someone, sometimes you end up feeling like there’s a third party involved. It could be your family or baggage from past relationships. That’s uncomfortable for both you and your partner. If you want to have a healthy relationship, try to address those issues before you get romantically involved.

Your family might have certain expectations about what you should do with your life (and who you should love), but you have to live on your terms. It’s also important to be able to move on from old relationships. Instead of letting these things shape your present, learn what you can from them, and let the rest go.

A couple getting coffee together.

5. What do you really want?

What do you really want? Although the question might seem naive, answering it is crucial-

Do you want something stable, or are you just looking for fun and good sex? Are you looking for an exclusive relationship or more of an open or polyamorous situation? Do you need your space? Are you trying to take things slow?

All of these questions are crucial to finding a compatible match. Knowing what you want is just as important as knowing what you don’t want.

In conclusion, instead of trusting trite and shallow advice about how to find “the perfect match”, try looking inward. You’ll be able to have a fulfilling and healthy relationship when you’re mature, authentic, and know what you want. You’ll find lasting love when you stop desperately looking and, instead, let yourself be found while you’re living your life to the fullest.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.