So… you’ve met someone. Congratulations! You can’t stop smiling, you’re excited to have a new partner who just gets you, and you can’t seem to spend enough time together. As glorious as these early moments can be, it can be all too easy to brush off red flags or even lose sight of your convictions and values when building a budding relationship.
Want to survive your relationship’s honeymoon phase? Here are five tips for how to be true to yourself in a new relationship.
How to Be In a Relationship Without Losing Yourself
1. Stay close to your friends and family.
Don’t be afraid of accountability. Your friends and family know you well, and they can remind you how to be true to yourself in a relationship. Listen to them! Even if you don’t fully agree with their relationship advice, their perspective can help you think critically about your actions.
And remember: your family and friends have been there for you long before this new person came into your life. And they’ll be there if things go by the wayside with your new partner—but only if you continue to nurture your relationships with them.
2. Be realistic (and open) about any red flags.
Maybe you have four furry friends, but your partner doesn’t like animals. Maybe you love the city you live in, but your new partner is seriously considering a cross-country move. If you’re seeing red flags (or even small things) pop up in your new relationship, talk about them.
Know what you will or will not compromise on (see #5 for more about that!), and keep your expectations realistic about changes you’d like to see. From small things (like your favorite coffee shop) to the bigger ones (like the future of your relationship), don’t rush into something serious before you and your partner are on the same page.
3. Plan dates where you can talk.
There’s no denying the chemistry between you and your new boo, but don’t rush the “getting to know you” process! Instead of traditional “dinner and a movie” dates, plan outings that encourage conversation (like a couples’ paint night!). Ask questions, and answer their questions honestly to keep things on the right track.
4. Remember your self-care.
In any relationship, it’s natural (and admirable!) to want to please your partner. Even so, don’t forget about caring for yourself. The long-term health of your relationship depends on both you and your partner being healthy and content, and neglecting your own care is a recipe for disaster. Don’t skip that weekly yoga class, keep your journaling routine intact, and make time for your own hobbies and interests.
5. Establish (and talk about) your boundaries as necessary.
Not good at saying “no”? Maybe it’s time to change that. Healthy boundaries can help keep you from losing your identity in a new relationship. If you feel like you’re not being yourself in a relationship, take a step back and evaluate where you’ve compromised your own wants, needs, values, and interests. If need be, write down your specific boundaries or talk them out with a trusted friend. And be sure to communicate them clearly with your partner as things come up!
How to Be Yourself In a New Relationship
Starting a new relationship is invigorating—nothing beats those butterflies you feel! Sure, it’s easy to lose sight of things when you’re caught up in the excitement, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Find activities that both you and your new boo can enjoy at your local Painting With a Twist studio. From Couples’ Nights to Trivia Nights and everything in between, you’ll love getting to know your partner better than ever at a paint date night event near you.