Relationships have so many stages. We all know this. And yet, we tend to give more energy to the euphoric ‘honeymoon phase’ because it is so, well, euphoric. The best relationship advice for new couples takes this exciting time into account but also prepares new, marriage-minded couples for a long-term path to eternal happiness.
It’s easy to focus on the wonderful feelings that come with being in a new relationship. Everything feels easy and somehow possible.
If you are in the early days of a relationship, you have probably noticed that there’s also a little bit of stress that goes along with all those light and airy feelings. That’s because your body is pumping out a lot of different hormones.
Some, like oxytocin, the “attachment hormone”, make you feel happy and loved. Others, like cortisol, help to buffer the stress that goes along with trying to impress a new love and build the foundation of a new relationship.
As you might expect, all those hormones level out with time. And when they do, it’s common to feel a bit of confusion or boredom in an early relationship, making it falsely seem as if the relationship is over.
However, by following good relationship advice for new couples with marriage in mind, this calmer time can actually lead to something great…and lasting.
Here are some of my favorite pieces of relationship advice. For new couples, most of them will seem natural and easy. And some, because everything seems so “perfect” during this time, will take a little more discipline. For marriage-minded people, they will all help the couple solidify their relationship for long term commitment.
- Pace your relationship.This is easier said than done, especially when you just can’t get enough of this amazing new person in your life. But it’s really important to allow each stage of your new relationship to develop before jumping into the next one.You can always go forward, but you can never go back and re-create the early stages in the same way. Take your time and enjoy getting to know each other, and allow each stage to build on the strength of the one before. Remember, the story of your beginning as a couple will be told for years and generations to come!
- Don’t rush into sex.Of all my relationship advice for new couples — especially those who are marriage-minded — this is probably the most important.There are certain things you can never undo or pretend you didn’t do, and sex is one of them. If you have “forever” as a relationship goal, you want all your choices to set you up to succeed.Even though our society tends to take sex for granted in dating relationships, sex has a lot of responsibility attached to it. You have a responsibility to your own heart and body as well as to your partner’s. And you have responsibility to the potential consequences of having sex. And you don’t want the sex to become the focus of the relationship.
If you really care about this new person in your life and believe there is potential for marriage, be wise about the timing of sex. Both partners have to be ready emotionally and mentally to become physically involved. Remember, you can always add this level of intimacy to your relationship, but you can never take it back.
- Don’t compare this relationship to your previous ones.No one wants to go on a date and hear all about the other person’s exes. There’ll be plenty of time to weave experiences you had in your previous relationships into your conversations, so don’t rush to do it. Be present with your new love, focus on this person fully and leave the past in the past.
- Don’t give up your friends and interests.A lot of my relationship advice for new couples focuses on spending intention-filled time together. However, it’s important to remind yourself to keep your time with your new boyfriend or girlfriend in balance.It’s natural to want to spend every possible moment together in an effort to learn and experience everything you can about one another. But it’s just as important that you hold onto your sense of self and nurture the relationships that have been important to you for a long time.Don’t be that person who forgets about his or her friends when the new love interest shows up. Your friends will appreciate you not forgetting about them.
- Try some new things together.Finding a new activity or adventure that is outside the comfort zone for both of you will put you on a level playing field. Both of you can be vulnerable, be willing to make a fool of yourself, and enjoy learning something new without fear of comparison or failure.Also, you’ll learn about your partner’s sense of adventure and willing to try something new and if he or she is a good sport about it.
- Laugh…a lot!There are so many relationship benefits to laughter that you may just want to find reasons to laugh all the time! Laughing relieves stress, makes you physically feel better, makes you a better communicator, and provides you with inside jokes that will deepen your intimacy.
- Go to relationship school and beef up your knowledge.Learning how to be a “we” and proven relationship skills will only help you in the long run. Who says your relationship has to be falling apart before you do something to make it stronger? If you and your new love are marriage-minded, there is no time like the present to learn new ways to be better partners and communicators.The process doesn’t have to be heavy — remember my advice about laughter? It’s a lot easier and more effective to learn new skills when a relationship isn’t in crisis mode. Try taking the 5 Love Languages Quiz together. Or work with a relationship coach who can help bring out the best in you, your partner and your new relationship.
- Ask, don’t assume about what makes your partner happy.Different people appreciate different things. It’s best to not assume and ask what they really like. You’ll see that one small, thoughtful gesture can do wonders to build trust and appreciation in a relationship, especially if it’s what your partner values.Whether it’s a special gift or taking care of an inconvenient chore, actively seeking little ways to make your partner happy pays big dividends. It delivers the message that you are truly listening and paying attention to what makes them feel happy, safe and loved.
- Compromise.Learning to compromise in a relationship isn’t about lowering your standards for character, respect or any other essential quality. It’s really about placing your relationship first and recognizing when and where you can lovingly prioritize your partner’s needs and wants for the good of the relationship.When it goes both ways, you learn to trust one another’s intentions, judgment and love. You’re in it for the big picture…and hopefully the long haul.
- Say thank you…a lot.Just like laughter, saying thank you is one of those little things that can deepen and strengthen your relationship from the very beginning. Being appreciative shows awareness, humility and gratitude. It’s one of those rare things in life where more is better.
- Learn to say I’m sorry.You may not think “sorry” has a place in a new relationship when everything is going so perfectly. However, no one is perfect, and no one is above delivering a sincere apology when one is warranted.It’s one thing to wait until your partner expresses hurt over something you have said or done. It’s another thing to recognize when you could have done better and are willing to take the first step to mend things.You may regret something you said or did, but you’ll never regret being proactive with an apology.
Falling in love is an exciting part of life, and is usually the easy part of a relationship. Staying in love takes intention, constant effort and commitment.
By following the above relationship advice for new couples, you’ll have a great start to a relationship that can lead to a happily ever after partnership or marriage.