New Beginnings: Romantic Relationship Etiquette

Not to say that we are all guilty of these things, but in my past unhealthy relationships, all or some of these issues arose. If the two of you are having issues with one or more of the items on this list, you may not be speaking up about it either. These are my humble six steps to cultivating a happier, healthier relationship--applicable to everyone, but necessary for those in college and younger loves.

1. Let them live their life. Acknowledge that this person had a life before you and will always continue to. They will always have preoccupations and plans that do not involve you--and that's good! Encourage them to have hobbies, take time away for themselves, and enjoy these explorations!

2. Don't get too attached. Perhaps you've gone through a really shitty relationship where you or the other person gets really attached (or "clingy") really fast! Let it go this time and see how the new relationship functions without a need for constant texts, Facebook messages, Snapchats, and Skype sessions.

3. Make it known that you care. While you aren't constantly in contact, make sure your sweetie knows that you care and truly look out for their well-being. Send them little surprise greetings and create little handmade gifts, DIY, etc. Treat them justly and importantly as your partner--special!

4. Open and honest communication. Communicating openly doesn't come naturally for everyone. Honesty is always the best policy if you're having issues with something they said or something that happened, or if you're going through something harsh and need some support--tell them and leave it open to discussion. Being able to openly communicate is the #1 factor that will make or break your bond.

5. Take it slow. Ever rushed into a relationship without truly knowing someone? I have once or twice before! Instead of setting yourself up for failure this time around, give this relationship time to blossom and work itself out on its own. Things will happen the way they are supposed to by the forces of the universe.

6. Respect each other's differences. Differences are what space up the relationship. "Opposites attract!", they always say. When you have small differences, maybe he or she likes a different TV show or has different communication skills, so what!? As long as these don't become serious conflicts, respect each other's unique preferences and hobbies. It's good to have some variety and a challenge to like or do things out of your norm (don't forget to compromise!).