With the world slowly opening up, it is a good time to get out and mingle – of course within the stipulated guidelines.
New relationships come with so much excitement and plans for the future and the thrill to know each other better.
But what will keep you together many months (and years) from now?
Over the past few (or many) years, I have been in relationships that have helped me know what to do or not do in my next relationship, especially during the early stages.
So to help you navigate through the early stages of yours, or prepare you for your next relationship, or even see what to do in your current relationship, I gathered a few things that’ll be of help to you:
Actions matter more than words
I am sure you have heard of the saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” yes? Exactly. This applies here as well.
I was in a relationship that lasted two months. Within those two months, I had seen little red flags that I ignored. I would, for example, ask him to meet my friends and he always had an excuse. Mara, he doesn’t have clothes, mara sijui nini. I realized it wasn’t working for me two months in, and called it quits.
To be honest, it doesn’t matter if your partner is promising to take you on vacation or that they want to introduce you to their parents, if they are not making consistent plans, making you feel special, and showing you how they feel about you.
When actions are not matching the words coming out of their mouth, it will bring about confusion. And that’s not what we are after.
Make sure you’re attracted to the person, not the idea of a relationship
I feel like sometimes we get to a certain age where all we want is to be in a relationship so badly, that we don’t even realize we are more attracted to the idea of a relationship than the person we are in a relationship with.
Remember the two-month relationship I talked about apo juu? Yes. That same one. At first, I thought I was attracted to the person because wueh! He was TDH 100%. But it turns out, I was trying to get over the previous relationship and I thought it would be a good idea to get into a relationship.
Well, it didn’t last long.
If you are too focused on getting into a relationship, you run the risk of pushing other people into boxes that they don’t want to be in. You may overlook flaws and red flags because, in your head, you are convinced that whatever you have, must work.
Take your partner at face value and assume that they are not “the one.” Would you still want to spend time with them?
Communicate how you feel often
I believe communication is the foundation that should exist in ALL relationships. Pay attention to how you talk to each other and work through problems.
That said, I am one person who is not so comfortable when it comes to talking about my feelings. Almost in all my relationships, I have struggled with communicating how I feel, until I am literally at the edge of a breakdown. It is something I am constantly working on and well, I’m getting there.
Keep in mind that your partner is no angel, and will therefore not know how you feel or what is on your mind until you tell them. Tell them everything – your wants, needs, hopes, desires, dreams, fears….EVERYTHING. This way, you will create a healthy relationship.
Don’t have important conversations over text or call
Texting is a blessing when it comes to checking-in regularly and sending memes and other videos to make your partner’s day at work a little easier (I don’t even know how our parents survived when they were dating).
However, texting should not be used for anything deeper than making plans or making each other laugh.
One of the people I really loved broke up with me over text. It hit differently. We had been together just a few minutes before and then I get a text asking if we had outlived the relationship. The next thing I knew, I was a single girl ?
Discussing your feelings for one another or maybe handling an argument should be done in person (unless of course, it’s a long-distance relationship). A lot can be lost in translation and cause even more misunderstanding between you two.
If you can, leave the important stuff for when you are together.
One thing I would tell the younger me is not to try to be “chill” and “cool” at the beginning of relationships, but to be absolutely myself.
I pretended I could eat spicy food just because my then-boyfriend loved spicy food and well, it eventually became a part of me but did I really need to do that? Na bado tuliwachana.
There is usually so much pressure to act right, say the right things, and do everything in what you perceive to be the right way that more often than not, you may find that you are not yourself around the person you are in a relationship with.
Be honest and upfront with your likes, dislikes, and who you are. Not only will it save you time and heartbreak with the people who aren’t a good match, but it will help the right person find you.
Let your partner see you for who you are.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in a new relationship?
See You Next Week!