When you’re in the ‘new relationship energy’ stage of a new relationship, it can feel like everything is right with the world. Maybe you’re in a long-term relationship and this phase feels like it happened an eon ago, or maybe you are a serial dater always chasing that high.
No matter what, for most of us, our 20s is a time for experimenting with different relationships and learning what works – and what doesn’t
Here are 10 things that you should learn about romantic relationships while you are in your 20s.
- Learn how to watch out for red flags – Some of us call it our gut instinct, while others like to say ‘red flags.’ You usually know when something is off and doesn’t feel quite right – listen to your gut.
- Fighting can be healthy – While your first reaction might be to avoid fighting as much as possible, fighting in a healthy, constructive way is a key skill. After all, 2 people are always going to have disagreements – they key is to deal with them in a respectful way that empowers both parties.
- But too much fighting is a warning sign – If they make you cry on the regular, they aren’t the one. In fact, they might be downright abusive. You should also check yourself – are you engaging in toxic fighting behaviour?
- Don’t be afraid to seek counselling – Counselling is not just for people experiencing acute bouts of mental anguish. It is a good idea for anyone entering into a serious relationship to visit a counsellor in order to ‘check in’ and address any niggling issues.
- Don’t move in with someone to save money – In an expensive housing market it can seem like a good idea to move in together after just a few months. After all, you’re spending all your time together anyway! This is a huge mistake, as you don’t really know a person until you’ve been dating for more than a year. You can also sour an otherwise promising relationship by moving too fast.
- Living together is no reason to stay together – Similar to the above, it can feel overwhelming to end a relationship with whom you share a home. However, letting things drag on for months or even years solely because you live together is a tragic mistake that too many people make. It leads to resentment, anger and emotional suffering.
- If someone wants to spend time with you, they will – Are you getting the feeling that the person you’re dating is brushing you off? They are.
- Things are not always what they seem – It can be easy to want to compare your relationship to those of your friends (or influencers on Instagram). Just remember that everything is not always what it seems behind closed doors. While you might be jealous of a friend’s picture perfect #couplesgoals, the reality can be very different.