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14 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Entering a New Relationship

14 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Entering a New Relationship

Entering a new relationship is a big deal, particularly when your past relationships have continually failed. If you’re having reservations about starting fresh with someone new, it might be best to reflect on your dating habits first.

Here are 14 questions to ask yourself to ensure that your next relationship is the happiest, healthiest one yet.

1. Am I ready?

Relationships take time and energy. Make sure your current lifestyle is ready for the commitment. If you have a new job, if you’re in pursuit of a dream, or if you are endearing a family emergency, it might not be best to throw another human being into the mix.  Wait until the storm has passed before inviting another ship into the water with you.

2. Am I truly over my ex?

To make #1 more specific, ask yourself this. Do not enter a new relationship if your answer is no, and you secretly want your ex back. Rebound relationships are not only destined to fail, they’re destined to bruise the ego and emotions of your new partner. No one wants to feel like they’re a rebound, and no one deserves to be one.

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The best way to get over an ex is to work on YOU. Decide what didn’t work in your last relationship, and what personal aspects of your own life need adjusting to make your next relationship a success.

3. What did not work in past relationships?

Perhaps you sacrificed too much for your last partner. Perhaps it lacked trust or honesty. Maybe your relationship didn’t work because of the distance. Make a list of all the things that went wrong in your prior relationships and find solutions.

4. What worked in my past relationships?

If you don’t recognize the positive aspects of a healthy, functional relationship, it will be difficult to transfer those ideas into a new one. If your own relationships lack insight, look at the couples around you. Perhaps your own parents or friends have harbored long-term relationships, and can lend some advice. 

5. What kind of relationship am I looking for?

In other words, how serious do you want it to be? This is important, not only for your own sake, but for the sake of your new, potential partner. Are you looking for a fun fling? Or are you ready to settle down? Be sure to discuss your answer with them before the two of you get in too deep. Avoid wasting time by making sure you’re on the same page.

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6. Do they share my morals?

When I began dating, my grandmother would ask, “how’s your love life going?” Her next question was always, “do you have the same morals?” I never really understood what she meant until I got older. Just because someone likes the same activities, or the same movies or books or food, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right for you. You have to dig deeper.

Do they have the same beliefs? And I’m not even talking about religion or politics. How do they treat other people in their life? How do they look at the world? What are they passionate about? And if you’re looking to settle down with this person: What will they teach their children? Is it the same thing you would want your own children to learn?

7. What do I want out of this relationship?

Maybe you’re looking for support. Maybe you’re looking for companionship or love. Maybe you’re looking for a best friend. Maybe you’re simply looking for a “good time.” Again, it’s important to determine these things before entering into a new relationship. It’s the only way to decipher whether you’re in it for the right reasons, and whether or not this person can provide what you desire.

8. Do I love myself?

This is the biggest cliché in the book. You cannot love someone else if you don’t love yourself. I personally think you can love someone else even if you don’t love yourself; however, problems will still exist. If you don’t feel deserving of love, you might doubt or deny the love you receive from someone else, which can be extremely frustrating for them.

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9. What characteristics am I looking for in a partner?

Confidence? Sense of humor? Humility? Kindness? Motivation? Hard work? Does your prospective partner embody most of these characteristics?

10. Does this person bring out the best in me?

How do you feel when you’re with them? How do you behave? Are you able to be your complete self?

11. Am I really interested in this person?

I, for one, have made the mistake of dating someone just because. I was bored and confused and blinded to the fact that they were completely wrong for me. They were great; they just weren’t great for me. I was more interested in telling them about myself, than learning about them.

12. Would I be proud to introduce this person as my partner?

When you get into a new relationship, eventually, you’ll have to introduce them to everyone in your life. Are you excited about this? If the answer is no, I’d run.

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13. Do my friends and family like this person?

Usually, the people who know you best also know what’s best for you. If they don’t like your new partner, it’s probably because they’re seeing something you can’t yet.

14. Do I even want to be in a relationship?

If you’ve been in lots of relationships, if you’ve recently gotten out of a draining one, or if you just love being single, maybe you should be. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you’ve considered all of these questions above and feel that you’re ready, then go for it! We’re all rooting for you.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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