Who and how you date can influence the quality and direction of your life. Take the time to honestly evaluate your current or potential relationship. Whether you are dating with the intention of making it last or just want to prevent yourself from getting hurt again, here are three key ways you can be set up for success.
#1 Before diving in, do your homework.
This might seem like a strange one to begin with, however, if you don’t really know much about the person’s character, your relationship may be doomed from the start. Whether you met online, at an event, or through a mutual friend or family member, you can never be too careful. Take it slow down and get to know them first.
In the beginning of a relationship, the excitement is high and the “love hormone” (known as oxytocin) is even higher, it can alter our perception of the person we’re dating. If you hook up early on, this can even increase your oxytocin levels and could cause you to miss potential red flags in a relationship.
Ask, what do your trusted friends say about your partner? Do they view him or her as a person of character, or are you continually defending your relationship? Be open to credible counsel. True friends and mentors will speak with transparency and honesty because they value the trajectory of your life more than offending you or hurting your feelings.
#2 Know your worth and who you are (outside of the relationship).
Your relationship status is not a measuring rod for your beauty, desirability, or value. You hold significance whether or not you have a date on Friday night. Ask yourself, “Am I secure in who I am without this relationship?” We’ve all felt those insecurities at one time or another. But know this - your worth is in who you are, not who you’re with. If you are currently in a relationship, here are some questions to ask yourself.
Do you change around the person you’re dating? It may be tempting to shift who you are to please another, but lasting relationships are built on trust and genuine connection.
Does your partner push or protect your boundaries? At the beginning of a relationship, physical attraction can overcompensate for a lack of mental or emotional connection. Remember, love gives but lust just takes.
How does your partner react when you say no or express discomfort? If your physical connection takes priority or you have ever felt used for sex or sexual acts by your partner, it’s time to reevaluate that relationship.
Remember, you always deserve to be seen, heard, respected, and loved in any relationship.
#3 Choose someone with the same values and goals.
When the allure of physical attraction fades, will you still enjoy the companionship of your partner? While it’s often true that opposites attract, having common ground with the things you value most is one of the key areas to a long-lasting relationship. Are you able to be honest about your likes, dislikes, passions, boundaries, faith, politics, and ambitions?
A healthy relationship means you feel free to be outspoken about your desires and beliefs and comfortably talk about them together. It’s important to agree on the things you care about deeply.
We’re Here - If and When You Need Us
If you are trying to build a relationship that lasts and you find out you’re unexpectedly pregnant, it can definitely change things. We are here to help you navigate your options, provide cost-free pregnancy services, offer a safe space where you can process, and share incredible resources and support with you here and in our community.
Whether or not you decide to continue your relationship or pregnancy, we can provide the answers and support you need during this time.