Six Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a New Relationship

How can you ensure that the relationships you enter are safe, healthy, and long-lasting? As humans, we thrive on relationships with others. Here are six questions to ask yourself when considering a new relationship.

Why do I want a relationship?

A healthy relationship begins with two mature individuals. One mistake you can make is starting a relationship because you feel bored, insecure, or lonely. Relationships can encourage growth, but relying on someone else to provide emotional stability will only lead to heartbreak. If you were struggling with the fear of being single before you jumped into a relationship, you will feel just as alone if it ends poorly. Good reasons for entering a relationship include wanting to share life experiences together, learn from each other, offer and receive support, and start a future with another person.

Am I prepared for the responsibility of a relationship?

Good relationships require effort. A great deal of responsibility comes with a relationship, like contributing to your partner’s happiness and preserving their safety. There are a few misconceptions about responsibility in a relationship. You are not accountable for your partner’s actions or any decisions they might make. Unhealthy relationships begin when you feel completely responsible for your significant other. Both people should be accountable for their own actions and should be willing to put in equal efforts to grow your relationship—relationships need to be balanced and supportive in order to thrive.

What are my deal-breakers?

Have you ever sat down to write a list of qualities you are looking for in a significant other? We tend to write characteristics like funny, nice, attractive, ambitious, and so on. On top of the list of attributes you are looking for, create another list of qualities you will not tolerate in a relationship. Setting boundaries, in the beginning, will help you to discern if a relationship is worth pursuing and when you need to end an unhealthy one. What values and morals do you admire? Would you tolerate cheating? Asking yourself the hard questions before you decide to date will help you to find the right match.

What do I expect from this relationship?

Do not ignore the red flags you perceive early on in your relationship simply because you want it to work. Communication (and realization) of your expectations for any relationship is key and can save you a lot of heartbreak. It is also unhealthy to have expectations that even you could not meet. Do you hold your partner to unrealistic expectations? Here is a list of some basic relationship expectations.

What Should You Expect?

  • Trust
  • Encouragement
  • Respect
  • Safety
  • Friendship
  • Honesty
  • Love

What Should You Not Expect?

  • Fairy tales
  • No more problems
  • Finding your identity in your partner
  • Perfection
  • To never feel hurt or disappointed
  • To get everything you want
  • To always receive what you put in

Am I bringing baggage into this relationship?

Taking past hurt and insecurities into a new relationship is an indication of lingering emotions and thoughts that have not fully healed. This can cause distraction and even prevent any potential relationship to grow. Struggling with your past is normal, but it is unhealthy to project your hurt onto another human being. Discussing your past with your partner at the right time will allow them (and you) to understand any burdens you are carrying. Give your relationship a chance to grow, and give your partner a chance to be someone different than your past.

Can I Still Pursue My Dreams?

Even though two people constitute a relationship, do not forget your own identities. You both came into this relationship with different talents, abilities, and dreams. You should encourage individuality and each of your unique perspectives and opinions because you did not enter into a relationship with yourself. Ask yourself if your partner truly encourages your dreams and desires.

It can be tough to evaluate a relationship’s potential in the beginning, but asking yourself these questions will give a better idea of the future you will have with your significant other. For information about and support for healthy relationship-building, contact Avail to meet with a client advocate.

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy, seeking support after an abortion, or striving to build healthy relationships. We are not a medical provider.