6 Things Every New Couple Should Discuss (If You Want Your Love to Last)

New relationship, new rules.

We are setting boundaries every day.

We drive in our own lane. We obey the limits marked by a colleague’s desk or cubicle. We maintain a respectable distance in a queue. Yet, many of us think that boundaries are unnecessary and even offensive in a romantic relationship.

Many women don’t set healthy boundaries in their relationships. Instead, they think their partner should be able to anticipate their wants and needs. Some even fear that setting boundaries in relationships will interfere with the romance and spontaneity. Others feel that boundaries are downright callous.

Why should you set boundaries in new relationships from the get-go?

A healthy relationship, like every other area of your life, requires boundaries. Boundaries define responsibility in the relationship and create natural limits. These limits work to your mutual benefit since the overall expectations are clearly worked out.

Learning how to set boundaries is essential for eliminating blame in the relationship. According to clinical psychologist Ryan Howes, clear boundaries determine where you end, and your partner begins. When you are both clear on which responsibilities are yours and which ones are his, you have less conflict and fewer misunderstandings.

Boundaries communicate your tolerances to each other. You and your partner have different emotional thresholds. When you set boundaries, you are letting your boyfriend know there are certain things you will not tolerate: being lied to, shouted at, being silenced or mistreated. Limits make more healthy and peaceful relationships.

Not all men are going to have the same values as you so it’s important to get it right from the start.

What happens when you don’t set healthy boundaries?

Not only will you be in an unhealthy relationship, but you also cannot hope to be a woman of high self-esteem as you mourn the behavior of a man who is crossing boundaries and treating you indecently.

Failure to set boundaries means that you will have to deal with:

  • Messy habits
  • Jealous spying
  • Broken promises
  • Dangerous lifestyle: alcohol or drug abuse
  • Angry behavior
  • Oppression and resentment
  • Power struggles

If you do not believe in boundaries and accept anything and everything, the problems that may arise in future are yours, not your boyfriend’s.

The core determinant when establishing patterns of behavior in your relationship is acceptance and rejection. Boundaries help you to clearly communicate with your boyfriend what things you accept and which ones you reject. If you don’t do one, you do the other.

Here are 6 healthy boundaries all new couples need to discuss.

1. Sexual expression

You and your boyfriend will have some different ideas about sex. For example:

  • You may like sex in the morning while he enjoys it in the evening.
  • He may love sex in odd places while you may enjoy sex more in the comfort of your home.
  • You may be wild, he may like it slow and sensual.

The point is, if you and your boyfriend don’t know where your sexual boundaries lie, one of you will spend their time in the relationship faking sexual satisfaction.

Determine your sexual needs and preferences as well as how much wiggle room for adventure exists within your relationship. Violating sexual boundaries in a relationship is not just unhealthy, it can be abusive.

2. Money

There’s typically no more of a sensitive topic in any relationship. Money is powerful and can turn a good relationship sour. Your incomes, spending methods, saving patterns: all these could bring some significant trust issues in the relationship.

You and your boyfriend should regularly sit down and discuss financial boundaries. Ask each other, “What dollar figure is the limit that we need to discuss together before we decide to buy or not buy it?”

It is also important to decide how you will spend your money, create a budget, and be on the same page where financial goals are concerned.

The above is easy to understand and get the message across that money is a shared topic. You are a team, and you must operate as such to be successful in your relationship.

Discussing financial boundaries is not an expectancy of a failed relationship; it is a matter of convenience which will help you avoid sticky entanglements later in the relationship.

3. How you settle disagreements

All relationships have conflict,

If you adequately address how you will fight in your relationship, you can quickly solve all your problems. According to an article on Psychology Today, conflicts and arguments do not necessarily jeopardize your relationship.

Indeed, there are times when disagreements can bring you and your boyfriend together. The key is how you and your boyfriend decide to handle your conflict.

Do you:

  • Give the silent treatment?
  • Laugh when there is conflict?
  • Make underhanded comments?
  • Get the person out of your physical space?

Once you are aware of how you both handle conflict, then you can set up a rule in advance when you are both more level headed. (For example, agree that if one gives the silent treatment for two days, tell them that they are being silly and the point has been made.)

Conflicts, when mishandled, can ultimately break the relationship up. Work together with your boyfriend to determine the appropriate way for you to deal with anger and how you will treat each other when you are upset.

4. Social media

Social media has completely permeated romantic relationships. Jordan Gray, a sex and dating coach, indicates that as of late, relationship therapy sessions are filled with stories about social media interference with relationships like snooping on partners’ Facebook accounts, a lot of suspicions, and anger when partners follow their exes on Instagram.

A survey by Pew Research Center in 2014 revealed that 45 percent of the respondents said that their social media account had a major impact on their relationships.

You may be hesitant to discuss boundaries on social media usage since you may think that social media is too frivolous to argue over. However, you must realize that social media stirs up real feelings, and those feelings matter.

As such, agree with your boyfriend on:

  • How to prioritize quality time together without social media
  • What you should and should not post.
  • To what extent you should engage your exes online.

5. How you spend your time

Your relationship will thrive when you spend quality time together — and separately. Therefore, you need to set boundaries on how you will not only spend time together but also have some solo time scheduled with friends and family.

If you do not set up time boundaries in your relationship, you will have problems in your relationship and also in the relationships with your family and friends. Talk with your partner about your expectations for time together and time alone and you will have a more fulfilling relationship.

6. Your limits

Bear in mind that the concept of boundaries may be unnatural to your boyfriend. Therefore, to make your boundaries efficient:

  • Be firm, yet kind. Do not be mean or hurtful when you set a boundary. The more you approach the boundary conversation with love and compassion, the better the conversation will go.
  • Be consistent. Once you set a boundary, do not dismiss it or ignore it. When you undermine the boundaries, you will have taught your boyfriend to disrespect them too. As such, stand behind your words at all times.

Remember the signs of a healthy relationship include boundaries and boundaries are not static. The types of boundaries in relationships can change as your relationship progresses or as you find out more information about each other.

Feel free to revisit the boundaries when the need arises.

 

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The Top First-Date Ideas That Lead To Marriage, According to PlentyOfFish

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When it comes to first-date ideas, there’s a lot of options out there, from the standard dinner-and-a-movie to more atypical ideas, like going for a walk or hike. But you may wonder what the best first-date idea is if you want a long-term relationship. Luckily, one dating platform found out the top first dates that lead to marriage.

Between August 16-20, 2018, PlentyOfFish (POF) surveyed more than 400 former users from the U.S. who married partners they met on the app. After all, it’s best to go straight to the source and see what date ideas worked best.

“It’s important to pick a first-date location that encourages conversation,” Kate MacLean, resident dating expert at POF, tells Bustle.“Dates that foster conversation will help you get to know someone better and will determine whether or not date #2 is in your future.” She also suggests selecting a location you’ve been to before so you’re relaxed and familiar with your surroundings. “That way, when you’re at ease on a first date, there’s less room for any awkward interactions,” MacLean says.

So, when you think about your own first-date locations, do you do the same type of activity with each date? Do you have a go-to first-date spot? Or does the location vary depending on the other person? In any case, the below are good #firstdateinspo, so take note.

1. A Sit-Down Meal At A Restaurant

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Having a sit-down meal at a restaurant was the #1 first date that lead to marriage, popular with 55.1 percent of respondents. Yes, with someone you meet online or through an app, a dinner date may seem like a bigger first-date commitment than, say, meeting for drinks. However, it seemed to work for more than half of those surveyed, so food for thought — literally and figuratively.

2. A Romantic Walk

Going for a romantic walk came in second place as far as first-date ideas go, with 29.9 percent of those surveyed doing this as their first date — and now they’re married, so… it works! You can either walk to another location if you two click, but if you’re not feeling the person, you can just walk away. Plus, if you prefer dates that don’t involve alcohol, a walking date is perfect for that, too!

3. Drinks At A Bar

Hannah Burton/Bustle

Having drinks at a bar came in third place, with 27.7 percent of people doing this for their first date, and it makes sense — you can limit the date to one drink or have more if things are going well. And with rooftop bars so popular, you can also have drinks-with-a-view.

4. A Movie

If you’re looking for a first date where you don’t have to talk much — at least, not right away — a movie may be your best bet. It was for 18 percent of those surveyed, at least, and then it’ll be a natural conversation-starter — you’ll have plenty to discuss about the movie afterwards.

5. A Quick Coffee

Jacob Lund/Fotolia

Having a quick coffee was the fifth most popular first-date activity among those surveyed — 15 percent of them, at least. Just like meeting for a drink at a bar, meeting for coffee is easy, and you can always add dinner or dessert to the date if it’s going well.

6. The Beach

For summer first-date ideas, the beach also came in the top nine, in sixth place, with 10.3 percent of respondents choosing it for their date. And why not, right? It’s usually free (unless you have to rent chairs or an umbrella), it’s beautiful, and also romantic. Who can ask for more than that?

7. A Music Festival Or Concert

Jacob Lund/Fotolia

Going to a music festival or concert with somebody is also a great first-date idea, and 5.6 percent of those surveyed agreed. Just like a movie date, the music performance will be a conversation-starter for you two.

8. A Sporting Event & A Bike Ride

There was a tie for eighth place: watching a sporting event and going for a bike ride; each came in at 4.7 percent of respondents choosing them as summer first-date activities that led to them getting married.

While some people are definitely sports fanatics more than others, sporting events, like a baseball game, are great for first dates — not only can you enjoy the game, but you can also eat, drink, and talk. Plus, you can bond over your favorite team — or tease your date if they’re rooting for the other team.

As for going on a bike ride, renting bikes is getting more and more popular and economical in many cities, whether you rent them for a half-hour, an hour, or all day. Plus, like some of the other date ideas on this list, you can extend the bike ride if you and your date are enjoying each other’s company, and even ride to some of the other date suggestions, too.

9. Amusement Park Or Carnival

Going to an amusement park or carnival came in ninth place in popularity, with 1.9 percent of people who married their POF date choosing this as their first-date activity. Plus, you can stay at an amusement park or carnival as long as you want, making a day (and night) of it, or not. And both settings provide built-in, child-like fun. Who doesn’t like when their date plays Skee-Ball and wins them a prize?

As you can see, many of the above first-date ideas that led to marriage can also be done year-round — depending on where you live, of course. As MacLean said, it’s good to choose a date location that encourages conversation, then take it from there.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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