Let’s face it; dating is hard! You meet someone, start to get to know them, and before you know it, you’re seeing them all the time, and calling each other those adorably gross pet names like cuddly bear and baby cakes. Ok, maybe not those two, but you get my point. After the honeymoon phase of your partner being nothing but amazing in your eyes, there comes that period of wondering and questioning. Is this real? Is this really how they are all the time? How would they handle a fight? It’s the time I like to refer to as the hardest part of early on dating. It’s the part where you figure out who the person truly is. It’s what can make or break the relationship in the beginning.
Now, let me preface this by saying I am not an expert. In fact, I’m going through this right now. My boyfriend and I have only been together a few short months, and I learn more about who he actually is every day. I have been working hard to come up with ways to find out more about him, and the relationship in general, and I would like to share a few of them with you, dear reader. I feel like they’ve worked well for us, and I would love if they could help you too.
1: Do something out of the ordinary.
This can be about anything. Normally wear jeans and a t-shirt? Wear black slacks and a button down or a dress. Normally do the same things when you two hang out? Do some google research and find something neither of you have experienced. It’s a fun way to see how the other person reacts, and how adventurous they can get! Also, revisiting what you did on your first date can be a great reminder of why you decided to give things a shot. Even if all you did was sit in the park and talk in the dark, going back to it can bring back memories, and even spark new conversations.
2. Listen to each other.
Did your man have a bad day at work? Let him vent. You’ll learn about how he handles himself in certain situations. You don’t always have to offer advice. Listening with some eye contact will show your partner you care. Did your girl have an awesome video game session? Give her a high-five! Getting enthusiastic about their interests, even if they aren’t your interests, will show you’re supportive and like seeing them happy. And you never know what you might get into thanks to them!
3. Ask each other questions.
They don’t always have to be serious ones either. Sure, the tried and true “where is this going” and “what do you want from this” are always good. Personally though, I love asking silly questions like “If you were a tree, which tree would you be?” It may sound dumb at first, but hearing their answers may give you some really good insight to their personality. It can also show you their reaction time, and how fast they can think on their feet. Other questions I like are “If you could see any 5 bands or artists, living or dead, in one super concert, who would it be?” and “If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?”
4. Talk about your concerns.
Sometimes this can be really difficult, but it’s important. There’s nothing worse than having a concern about a relationship, especially in the beginning. In my experience, bringing up that concern to your partner right away, rather than letting it fester, is the way to handle it. Let them know what’s up, talk it out, and ask them if they have any concerns. The best thing to note here though is try not to place blame. That’s a surefire way to start a fight. And no one wants that.
5. Laugh together.
This may seem silly, but honestly, laughing together can really strengthen your bond and show you what kind of sense of humor the person has. Catch a comedy show, see a funny movie, or even just tell each other some of your favorite jokes and puns. Plus, laughter is healthy!
There are always going to be hard parts in relationships. Every person that has ever been in one knows it. I think the tl;dr of all of this simply is just to be open with each other, talk things out, and have some fun.