If you’re used to being single, transitioning from “I” to “we” might be more of a shock than you were expecting. Now someone is around when you want to watch your trashy reality tv shows and they’re judging you. Hard. They have quirks, you have quirks, and none of it is secret anymore. Gone are the days of flirting to get free drinks from boys and then avoiding them for the rest of the night. It can be difficult to keep your independence while honoring your new commitment, but it’s important to value your personal identity while also including your partner in your life and being mindful of their wants and needs. Here are 10 things to consider when leaving the single life for being (*deep breath*) monogamous.
1. Take it slow
It can be so exciting leaving the single life in the beginning of a relationship when everything is new and it might seem difficult to slow down because you are so happily in love. You may be elated that you’ve finally found the person you’ve been looking for after what seems like a lifetime of bad tinder dates and lonely Saturday nights. Beware, as the honeymoon phase usually lasts around six months. So before you jump a commitment that will be shocking (like moving in together or getting engaged), take a step back and breathe. You’ll be glad you did later.
2. Put playing games behind you
There are so many games that single people play to get the attention of their crush or hook up buddy. Psychological games should have no place in a monogamous relationship and will lead to trust issues that could be irreversible. If you want to be with someone enough to make a commitment to them, be honest and open.
3. Learn to compromise and put your pride aside
It’s true, sometimes you do have to compromise in a relationship. You’re leaving the single life where you could have it all. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, you also can’t always get your way. Relationships take work and if you want the good you have to deal with some situations that may aggravate you. Don’t be prideful in disagreements and make sure you respect each other while considering the bigger picture.
4. Don’t lose sight of your individuality
Successful and lasting long-term relationships do not take away from personal freedom, but they also value their partner’s feelings. When a person loses sight of who they are apart from the relationship, it becomes toxic. You cannot lose yourself, your values, or your opinions when you date someone because at the end of the day you only have yourself and nothing lasts forever. You risk losing important people in your life, your identity, and your self-worth, so keep doing everything that makes you who you are.
5. Make time for your friends
You may be so infatuated that you want to spend every minute together, but no one likes that person who disappears into their relationship never to be seen again. People equally dislike the person who drags their significant other with them whether they’re invited or not. Make time for your friends that doesn’t involve them third wheeling. Of course your significant other should be friends with your friends, but they don’t have to come to every brunch or bachelor viewing party with you.
6. Make your partner feel valued
It’s important to realize that you’re now in a relationship where you have decided to take your partner’s feelings into consideration and make them feel like a priority. If you aren’t making them feel wanted (by focusing only on yourself and not caring about their opinions and feelings), then you shouldn’t be in that relationship.
7. Keep the promises you make to the best of your ability
Just because you’re used to being alone doesn’t mean it’s cool to blow your boyfriend/girlfriend off and think it’s not a huge deal, especially if it was something important to them. You need to understand each other and keep their feelings in mind. It’s a matter of respect, and respect is key to any healthy relationship.
8. Include each other in the things you love
Share your hobbies! If you love to work out, work out together. If you like going to comedy shows plan date nights that show that interest and make them feel like a part of your life. Your significant other should be someone you want around to share your passions, activities, and interests with.
9. Accept them for who they are
You may have an idea in your head about the kind of person you want to date when you’re finally leaving the single life. You think about who your type is, and how you want your relationship to go. But you have to understand that you cannot control everything, and being with someone includes accepting them for who they are and working together. If he loves to go out and you hate it, you have to try and come to a middle ground. If he loves Star Wars and you think it’s dorky, you can’t try to make him unlike it.
10. Always communicate
We’re all so aware that communication is key, so I won’t waste time harping on it. When you’re single you may feel you don’t have to share certain feelings and it can be hard to open up, but if you communicate and understand each other your relationship will be stronger for it.