Important Things To Keep In Mind For Your First Relationship

Updated March 19, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Relationships can be inherently complex and sometimes tricky. There are a series of factors that can impact the dynamics of a relationship over time. 

When you're an adult and entering into a relationship for the first time, you may have some questions, concerns, and reservations. This is perfectly OK, and there's nothing wrong with reaching adulthood before being in a romantic relationship. Everyone moves and grows at their own pace. Still, keeping in mind some important details can prove to be beneficial as you navigate through your relationship.

A quick word 

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First, relationships are typically different for everyone, and there's nothing wrong with that. No two people will have the same experiences; however, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't go into your relationship with a few things to keep in mind. All relationships can vary in regards to intensity and longevity.

Ultimately, time and life experiences can help you determine what type of relationship you want.

Six things to keep in mind for your relationship

The first time you enter a relationship can mark a major milestone in your adult life, and it's likely something that you'll remember for quite some time. There are a series of details that can impact the trajectory of your relationship. The following points can be helpful considerations when entering a relationship for the first time.

It should contribute to, not determine, your happiness

It's not uncommon for people to claim that their significant other makes them happy in life. Of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with this; after all, relationships should contribute to your happiness. With that being said, there is a huge difference between a relationship contributing to your happiness and a relationship determining whether or not you are happy.

This can be tough to recognize at first, but try not to place your happiness solely in the hands of your significant other. Having interests, activities, goals, and hobbies outside of your relationship can be paramount, and your significant other should also follow suit. To start, relationships comprised of happy and fulfilled individuals are much more likely to last than partnerships involving emotional co-dependency on one another.

Standards matter

When dealing with a romantic partner, determine what you'll accept and what you won't accept. This can include your significant other's treatment of you, how they speak to and about you, etc. For better or worse, your first relationship can be a pivotal part of your life; it also comes with the power to impact other relationships that you may have later down the line. 

Having standards in your relationship doesn't necessarily mean that there will never be rough patches or disagreements with your significant other. But standards can also play an important role in determining whether or not a fight is just a fight, or if the person you’re with isn’t a  good match. In any relationship, your significant other should always respect your standards and bring their own to the table.

Honesty is paramount

When you're going into a relationship for the first time, honesty can make all the difference in the world. Not only is it linked to better health on an individual level, but it can also contribute to the foundation that your relationship is built upon.

When you're in your relationship, be honest with your significant other, even when you think telling a little white lie might be easier. Being honest in your relationship can build your character and allow your partner to know the real you.

Communication is everything

Learning to communicate with your significant other can be deeply important for your relationship. A lack of communication often breeds confusion, misunderstandings, and bitter feelings, none of which are conducive to a healthy relationship. Communicating with your significant other can mean letting them know how you feel, telling them when something bothers you, and otherwise being forthcoming. Speaking plainly and not fearing vulnerability can greatly contribute to how your relationship turns out.

Communication is also a two-way street. Just as you should be honest with your significant other, they should also return the favor. 

Don't ignore red flags

Be cognizant of certain red flags and warning signs. Keeping an eye out for troubling behaviors such as name-calling, a short temper, extreme jealousy, possessiveness, etc., can be deeply important. For the sake of your health, safety, and wellness, heeding these red flags and exiting the relationship if they materialize is imperative.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence scenario, seek immediate help by dialing the following number: 800.799.SAFE (7233).

There's no rush

Entering a relationship for the first time can be a major milestone, and timing is everything.

You are not less of a person for entering a relationship at a later time than others. In life, various events have a way of playing out in due season. Besides, rushing into your relationship can cause problems and contribute to you overlooking certain details. Take your time, and don't be afraid to work on yourself before entering a relationship.

The importance of balance

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In your beginning relationship (and any others that may follow), you alone cannot determine the trajectory of events. The success of a relationship happens when both parties reciprocate love, care, and compassion and are willing to work for the relationship.

Imbalances in any relationship can be unhealthy. As you keep important things in mind, your significant other should do the same. This can create a healthy two-way street where both partners have equal investments in the relationship and equal commitment levels. In many ways, your relationship can teach you a lot about mutual effort, along with what to look for and avoid.

Online therapy for navigating relationships

If you're having challenges with a relationship or something else entirely, you must know that you are not alone. There are existing resources for support and guidance, which can be of value to you. Although it may not seem this way in the heat of the moment, you can turn challenges into opportunities for you to grow and evolve as an individual.

If you're willing and open to it, signing up for online therapy with Regain can help you on this journey. Working with an online therapist can provide you with the benefits of having someone to confide in and getting unique advice that is specifically applicable to your situation. Online therapy does not automatically mean that your problems will go away; however, with time, consistency, and dedication, an online therapist can help you find solutions to your problems. In fact, 95% of couples who engage in online therapy say that the process has been helpful to their relationship. Another benefit is that online therapy tends to be cheaper than traditional, in-person therapy.

We are each different, but online therapy with Regain can give you the ability to turn setbacks into stepping stones, which can lead to a brighter future.

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