8 ways to get ready for a new relationship
When you start dating and later move into a relationship, your life will change and that means a change of mindset too. There must be a shift as you prepare your life for a new relationship – before and after you meet someone. Afterwards, there will be personal adjustments from both sides to make the shift work. The good news is there are simple things you can do to get ready for a new relationship while you are still single.
Think about how your life might change once you are in a relationship. What would you do differently? Are there habits that you need to attend to before meeting that special someone? How can you prepare to adjust your mindset and lifestyle to move from singlehood to being in a couple? What does it mean practically to get ready for a new relationship? Here are some useful things to consider.
How much time will you be prepared to give up for dating? In order to make it succeed, you need to invest time into new connections. This may mean that you will see do some things a little less in order to make room for the new person in your life, or to meet new people. On the flip side, how much time would you want and expect your prospective partner to have with you? Thinking about how much time and attention you would want helps to work out the amount you could put aside for dating. Once you’ve worked this out – and it will change over time – you will then need to work out your priorities and what can put aside or changed to make the time. Socially it may mean less gaming, less time on social media, or fewer cinema trips. Practically, maybe you’ll cut down on overtime at work, ask for help with childcare if you’re a busy single parent or reduce other commitments.
It’s worth working out prior to starting the dating process the boundaries that you have for a relationship. It’s also good to know your own boundaries and expectations of how the relationship will affect your life. How much do you want to focus on your work or career? How much time on your own will you need? How much do you want to continue current activities in your life? There will be changes once you have met someone, but how much you change and how much can be slotted into your life is down to you. Compromise is a word you will hear a lot but it’s worth working out what things you are not happy to compromise on. This makes it easier when the tricky conversations come up later on.
When single, thinking of others and giving people time is a good preparation for a shared life. The same is true of God. It is often as we serve God that our attitudes change. Walking with God will also help to set healthy boundaries even as singles. Having a godly worldview will help change the mindset for yourself, but also prepare you better for the type of person that you will want to meet.
Work out what your expectations are financially – how much are you willing to spend on dates? (Maybe start saving or budgeting now!) Are you expecting to pay or share the cost? Expecting your date to pay for everything all the time is unrealistic, no matter what you’ve been taught about dating! Decide what you’re willing to pay for the level of date – perhaps the first date would be a coffee, the second date dinner, and the third date an activity. Consider having a ‘dating fund’ put aside.
Know your boundaries and expectations within the different ‘love languages’ too. Think about how much physical touch is appropriate and godly, how much you want to give or receive compliments, what you would spend on gifts, how often you’d be prepared to do acts of service, like changing a tyre or writing a CV. These ‘love languages’ are great as relationships develop but switching from singlehood and being independent to suddenly having someone paying you compliments or buying flowers can sometimes be overwhelming. How much are you prepared to give these things as well as receive these acts of love?