It's that time of the year again. Where love is in the air, and florists do roaring business. Ah, young love. In the early days of a fresh, new relationship, many couples are willing to move heaven and earth to do things they wouldn’t normally do just to please their sweetheart.
You might be that girl who goes to lectures with no make-up on every morning, but now you spare no expense in Sephora stocking up on the latest lip colours and volumizing mascara.
You might be the guy who have no idea what to do with the multiple forks and knives at fine dining restaurants, but now you've watched at least ten YouTube videos on proper dining etiquette just so you can impress your date at that fancy restaurant.
Assuming you both actually go on to have a long-term relationship, be prepared for lots of conflicts over unmet expectations if you keep this up. Here are three things to avoid doing in a new relationship:
1. Trying to impress your partner with expensive dates & gifts
First dates can be nerve-wracking, and it’s understandable that you want to show yourself in the best light possible. But remember that showing yourself in the best light means being the best version of yourself, and not the best version of someone else.
If you’re always lavishing your date with expensive restaurant meals and Pandora bracelet charms, followed by Gold Class movies and going to chic bars where a bespoke cocktail costs $30, you’re either going to go broke keeping up this image; or you’ll revert to your former self after a while and your date, having built up certain expectations, will wonder why you no “longer put in effort”.
In life, there are going to be people whose lifestyles aren’t compatible with yours. It's always better to find out sooner rather than later, instead of trying to build a relationship on pretence.
2. Not being honest about your lifestyle
You don't need to tell your date how much you have in your bank account in the early stages of getting to know each other. But you do need to be upfront about your lifestyle.
If you’re not the sort of person who goes to fine dining restaurants often, and the most expensive restaurant you’ve been to so far is Swensen’s, there's nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t pretend to have a life that you don't. When you do that, you rob yourself of the chance to be authentic in a developing relationship with someone you genuinely like. The last thing you want is to start getting serious, but deep down knowing that your other half have no idea of who you truly are.
Being evasive can also mislead others about who you really are, such as nodding your head when your date talks about travelling to countries you've never heard of. It's totally normal to ask, even better can a great way to kick start a relationship is open communication.
3. Being financially responsible for the other person
I've seen people get their partners to pay for their phone bills, their meals, and think nothing of getting them to foot the bill for all their friends at outings.
You might think your relationship is as solid as a rock simply because your other half is crazy about you, but that is never an excuse to start becoming financially responsible for him or her at early stages in your relationship. If you’re wondering why you seem to be paying for so many aspects of your new partner’s life and it bugs you, stop being a doormat and put a stop to it.
Unless you are from a super wealthy family and probably don't have to work for the rest of your life, and are willing to support your partner with both your eyes wide open. But that’s different from if your partner is making use of you to live in a way that they are not able to afford themselves.