Dating someone new is great and fun because it’s a chance to remind yourself that there are actually good people in this world who are capable of love. But readjusting to a new relationship — and the new life schedule and boundaries that come with it — can be really hard. Luckily, all these feelings are pretty universal.
1. Striking a good balance between hanging out together and spending time alone. You’re in a fancy new relationship and want to spend every waking moment together, but also know it wouldn’t be healthy to do so.
2. Incorporating your new partner into group hangs with friends you’ve had for years. Tough, because you want to remain a loyal friend who doesn’t bail on things to be with bae, but you also want to make sure your new partner has a good time with your friends.
3. Trying super hard not to become the girl who always brings her partner with her. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have an automatic plus-one to everything.
4. Staying on top of personal responsibilities, like sleeping enough and cleaning your room and still exercising. Hard to keep all your shit together when all of a sudden you have this extra thing on your calendar pretty much all the time.
5. Realizing your new partner is not anyone else you’ve dated. Everyone is different! No two relationships are exactly alike, which you logically know to be true, but your heart is never logical. Just because someone else hurt you, doesn’t mean this person will.
6. Figuring out when to start introducing them as “my boyfriend/girlfriend.” Because at a certain point “my friend” sounds ridiculous.
7. Defining the damn thing. This should be the literal easiest part of the entire relationship but it really isn’t.
8. Encountering your First Big Fight. I know, it would be amazing if this relationship could live forever in the magical pre-first fight days, but everyone fights. It’s inevitable when you spend a lot of time with someone.
9. Realizing you’re not the only person in this relationship who has a history. Unless you’re 12 and this is the first relationship you’ve ever had, everyone you date will have baggage of their own, and you have to be able to handle it if this thing’s gonna last.
10. Figuring out how your new partner responds to certain situations. Do they have a hard time opening up about things where previous partners were open books? People contain multitudes — you can’t know these things until you encounter them for the first time.
11. Trying to be yourself but also be likable around all of their friends. Because you’re essentially mini-dating all their friends when you’re dating them, and you don’t want to be the girl no one wants around at group hangouts.
12. Just trying to make sure you stay true to yourself, in general. It’s so easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement of a new relationship with a new person, and if you’re not careful, you might find yourself changing to better suit your new partner. Be careful, because the last thing you want is to be unrecognizable to yourself if or when this relationships ends.
13. Getting vulnerable with someone new. All those rough stories from your past that you’ve told a million times already? This new partner doesn’t know them yet, and re-covering that ground can be hard and scary.
14. Letting go and reminding yourself that it’s OK to be happy. Things are so great at the beginning that it can often feel like you’re just sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop. But really try not to do this! Enjoy your halcyon days of ~fresh love~. They’re rare and wonderful.
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