Entering a relationship is a pretty serious decision.
It requires commitment, loyalty and vulnerability, not to mention plenty of time and emotional energy. Plus, no one wants to deal with the messy process of ending a romance if it turns out you and your partner just aren’t compatible.
If you want to limit your emotional pain as much as possible, you can start by being careful about who you get into a relationship with. A little introspection before your romance even begins can go a long way in limiting the pain of heartbreak, both for yourself and others.
In the interest of building the healthiest relationships possible, keep scrolling for nine questions you should always ask yourself before you get into a relationship.
Before you can even think about diving into a new romance, you need to be sure that you’re completely past your last instance of heartbreak. If you can’t say that you’re 100% over your ex, you have no business starting a relationship with anyone else, as you won’t be able to fully commit your energy to them. They don’t deserve that, and you deserve to take the time you need to heal before you wrap yourself up in a new relationship.
Even if you’ve determined that your heart is totally open, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready for a relationship. Perhaps you have other things going on in your life and very little free time, or you just don’t feel like expending your excess energy on another person. Even if you really like someone, it’s still possible that you’re not in the right place for a relationship. That’s perfectly okay, but it also means you need to walk away until you are ready.
Even though past relationships can be hurtful and frustrating, each romance we participate in can have powerful lessons about what we do and don’t want in our partnerships. Before you enter a new relationship, take a moment to reflect on what did and didn’t work in your past relationships. Then, question whether this new partner can meet the positives and overcome the negatives. Once you outline what you want from a relationship, you’ll be much more capable of determining if your new partner can give you everything you’re looking for, or if you’re just going to fall back into old patterns that will inevitably lead to another painful breakup.
When you feel really strongly about someone, it’s hard to take any time to focus on their negative qualities. However, it’s likely their shortcomings will eventually lead to the demise of your relationship, so it’s worth taking a few moments to think about the areas where they might lack. If you notice large red flags, like controlling behavior or a bad temper, this might not be the relationship for you. Either way, it’s worth thinking about before you officially define your relationship, so that you know exactly what you’re getting into before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, there are times when we get into relationships simply out of convenience. Someone has expressed interest in you and you don’t dislike their company, so you agree to date because it seems like the easiest route. However, down the line it’s only going to result in more pain and frustration because you were never fully committed to begin with.
You don’t have to be head over heels in love before you enter a relationship, but you should have a genuine affection for the person you date. Before you get into a relationship, take a moment to reflect on your feelings. If you find you’re not all that interested in them, it’s probably an indication that this isn’t the right relationship for you.
It’s another sad fact of life that sometimes the people we feel strongly about aren’t necessarily good for us. You can be all about another person, but they may be the exact trigger for feelings of anxiety, anger and irritation. If that’s the case, your relationship is only going to get worse down the line, creating a lot of pain for both of you. Hard as it may be to accept, if someone doesn’t bring out the best in you, the relationship just isn’t worth it.
This one can be a little difficult to answer. After all, you can’t be inside another person’s head, so you can never truly know the reasons they’re interested in you. However, sometimes just asking the question makes the answer abundantly clear. If you don’t feel like your new partner likes you for everything you are and not just the parts that are convenient for them, the relationship will never work. You shouldn’t settle for that, nor should you indulge those kinds of feelings by starting a relationship with someone who only appreciates the surface-level parts of your personality.
Not every relationship has to be moving towards an ultimate happily ever after. As we said before, every romance teaches you something, so it’s perfectly fine to date someone who you know you won’t end up with. However, it’s also important to be on the same page with your partner about what the relationship is. If one of you thinks that you’re going to be together forever and the other one knows that the romance will end eventually, it’s going to result in a painful and problem-riddled split.
Even if things change down the line, you should both go into the relationship with the same overall idea of what this romance really is. That way, neither of you will be totally blindsided as the relationship moves forward.
Even though it’s a fairly cynical approach, it’s also an undeniable truth that all relationships involve risk. You’re risking the emotional pain of heartbreak every time you invest in a new person, so you have to ask yourself—is it worth it? If you don’t feel like the answer is yes, you’re either not with the right person or you’re not yet ready for a new romance. However, if you’re positive you’ll gain something from this relationship, even if it ends painfully, then it’s completely worth it to dive in and see where things go.
Looking for more dating advice? Click HERE For seven green flags that indicate your relationship should go full steam ahead.