8 Things to do before entering a relationship
February is the shortest month, but usually quite eventful. Not only does it have a holiday to celebrate a day to show people you care about them, but also it is black history month. I have a lot of exciting things planned for this month, but I figured the best way to kick it off would be to speak about things we should know before getting into a relationship. Last February, I wrote my thoughts on relationships. This year I wanted to talk about a different aspect.
Before entering a relationship:
1. Ask what do you need out of it
Most of us blindly go into relationships without a clear understanding of what we want. Some personalities will not blend well with yours. While having expectations will only lead to disappointment and having a type will only limit you, having standards is healthy. For instance, some people like more of a complex, chase relationship. In my experience, I ultimately get hurt, and my mental health cannot handle something like that. Relationships, to me, should not make me feel more stressed out. I already get stressed easily. This is not the case for everyone, and they need the rush of it while others may need the security.
2. Learn your love language.
The five love languages are quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, and gifts. This is important since your love language is, how you show love and how you feel the most loved.
3. Have a strong sense of individuality.
This one is extremely important! Some people change their personality when they get into relationships. No one should feel like they have to be a fake version of themself to be loved. A person should want you to be the best version of yourself, but that doesn’t mean they should strip you of things that make you, essentially, you. A person also should be able to have time and space away from their partner.
4. Make sure you are on the same page.
Some relationships are just for fun. That is okay, as long as it is disclosed and no one is led on. In some relationships, you want to be more serious, and that is okay too. As long as you and your person are on the same page and know what type of relationship you have, it doesn’t matter what others think as long as it’s healthy and makes you happy.
5. Know your boundaries and your worth
This is something you need to do with family, friends, and your family. If someone is offended by you having a limit for what is comfortable for you, they will not respect you. If they feel like they can overstep your boundaries, they don’t value you. This is always how toxic relationships form because people manipulate, gaslight, and devalue you until they break you down. Be strong before entering a relationship so they know they can’t take advantage of you.
6. Watch for red flags and patterns.
This one is an obvious one to avoid toxic relationships.
7. Take care of your past.
Of course, the right person can help you as you work through trauma and things that damaged you in the past. However, putting that responsibility on someone is unfair unless they want to be there for you during your healing process. Additionally, if you don’t recognize whatever negative patterns you have in your life, that is more likely to carry into the relationship.
8. Learn how to communicate
Communicating is more than just being clear about things. It's also being open to hearing the other person, understanding their perspective, and being respectful, even if you disagree. This goes for all parties involved.
Why it can be better to wait
Back in middle school and high school, February was one of the harder months for me. As a hopeless romantic who also didn’t have many friends, seeing people receive flowers and carry their gifts around just made me a bit sad. Mainly because my views at the time were shaped by what I saw on television. I remember wanting to date someone I knew from meeting in person, grow with them and say I’ve been with someone for a long time. While there’s nothing wrong with online dating or hooking up with someone, it’s just something not right for me because of how my personality is. So, going through high school without someone liking me or finding me attractive (as far as I knew) was extremely painful, and my self-esteem took a hit. Love and Romance wasn’t my first priority, but it was part of my vision for my life. I wanted to go to college ( due to where I wanted to go I knew meeting someone would be difficult given the majority of the school is female, and in college, I wanted to focus on where I am heading career-wise).
The following college, my focus would be my career and traveling. Then at 25-26 years old, I wanted to be engaged/ married. Very descriptive for someone at a young age, but I honestly think my uncertainty of the future played a role in my planning. As I got older, especially after the year we had, I learned there will be things out of my control, and I just needed to learn how to flow with the changes. Looking back now, I was unevolved, so being in a relationship at that time would have been detrimental to my growth. It would’ve been extremely easy for a guy to take advantage of me because of my mindset, people-pleasing tendencies, and overall me not setting boundaries because I didn’t respect myself to do so. I also had insecurities due to the discrimination I faced. Learning to love me through the bullying, the discrimination, and other insecurities that I spoke about in the past was difficult, but honestly, the most important thing I did.
That is why I want to make this a bit of a series in February and make sure the blog posts connect. Next week, I want to continue the conversation of self-love.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share. Remember to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and follow my Instagram and Twitter to connect and stay up to date. I am excited about next week's blog post so make sure you come back next Saturday. Until then, there is a lot more content on my youtube channel. I hope you have a good day, evening or night.
Until next time,
xoxo Lay 💋