What’s worth finding out before giving up single status
Admit it, you’ve been on dates where you felt like a rom-com heroine: he’s better than a Tinder photo, he’s effusive in his sex appeal, he’s charismatic as hell, he jokes funny, he listens honestly, and you feel the chemistry brewing between you – from the tip of your nose to your G-spot – so good that you can kiss him without leaving the bar stool.
The best thing about successful dates (apart from the temptation to believe in real men again) is that they awaken hope for love at first sight, which lasts longer than a few cocktails or fiery encounters. The rosy unfolding of events unfolds in the imagination so vividly that one can’t wait to cast aside any doubts.
Be that as it may, seasoned experts advise against rushing into dreams of a happy future. If you really want a serious relationship and not a short fling, it will take at least five weeks to determine real compatibility. The romantic and domestic experiences gained during this revealing period will suggest answers to important questions, which, in turn, will determine the promise of your romance. Want to know what those questions are?
1. How do you communicate and how open are you to each other?
Sexting, exchanging flirty emoji, sweet words, declarations of love are all fine, but are you happy with your communication outside of jokes and hearts? How honest and open are you in your conversations? Do you discuss how you feel? Talk to each other about what’s bothering you? What do you want out of the relationship? What would you like to change? Is he or she able to listen when you need to talk without being preachy or overburdened with advice? Let’s say you value his opinion, and does he? Respects yours?
“Of the basic ingredients on which successful unions are built, the ability to talk is the most essential,” explains relationship expert Katharina Kirchen, who practices in Berlin. – It is very important to pay attention to how you and your new partner communicate in the first weeks. The ability to talk is the main tell-tale sign of compatibility, determining the degree of affection, the ability to listen to each other, and to understand and accept personal needs”.
2. How do you overcome conflict?
Even in the “honeymoon” stage, you’re bound to have disagreements. According to psychologists, arguments and even quarrels are good for a developing relationship and can bring you closer – as long as you’re objective in your opinions and don’t go to emotional extremes.
“Most couples avoid conflict early on, but I advise testing the relationship in spats,” insists Dr Kirchen. – Knowing how to argue is a useful skill that is learned by practice, and the earlier you start defending your points of view, the earlier you will understand how you resolve disagreements. You have a temper and he’s too soft? Does he believe he’s always right and you give in? He avoids arguing, and you need to vent? Don’t pass up the opportunity to practice your advocacy skills and find out what he’s like in an argument.
3 How compatible are you sexually?
This point is very important if you don’t want to switch your intimacy to tolerance mode by accepting sex without pleasure for some reason. Of course, it can be awkward the first time, and it may take a few attempts to realise how good you are together. However, don’t let the situation go to waste, ignoring the fact that there’s a huge difference between sex that can get better and sex that chronically fails.
“Many couples underestimate the importance of sex in the early weeks of the relationship, putting off dialogue about what goes wrong and what they truly enjoy. The truth is that by ignoring the difficulties of making love, you are going against your own needs. If you really want to enjoy each other, a sincere exchange is necessary,” explains Katharina Kirchen.
4. How do you deal with stress?
There’s no getting away from stress – it fills life in one way or another. Take, for example, the nerve-wracking moments at the beginning of a relationship – first dates or packing for a holiday together. And, rest assured, if you plan to be together seriously and for a long time, you’ll encounter much more stressful situations – from planning a wedding and having a baby to discussing joint spending and buying a flat.
“The earlier you find out how your partner deals with stress, the better,” says Dr Kirchen. – Does he work out at the gym, hang out at the TV, binge on doughnuts, smoke something forbidden? Consider whether you can put up with what your boyfriend is doing to regain his composure and how he feels about your measures to combat nervousness.”
5. Do you share common goals and values?
Let’s say you have great sex and get along on everything, but if you don’t share the same values, happiness as a couple risks being stuck in the unattainable dream stage. Differences in lifestyle, level of education, religious views, plans for the future can seriously affect a couple’s compatibility.
“You may not want to bring up these topics in the first few weeks because they sound too serious, but by pretending they don’t exist, you’re doing yourself a disservice,” says the psychologist. – Don’t force them, but don’t put them off putting them into your everyday conversations either. Do not worry in advance – if it is just as important to your partner, he will take the initiative and adapt to such discussions. Just be sure that you listen to each other while respecting the principles you are used to following.