Published in Press Releases by Tavistock Relationships on January 30th 2023
Romance is in the air and Valentine’s Day can be the nudge many people need to start a new relationship. So, how do you know if your chosen Valentine has real potential? Marian O’Connor, a therapist with Tavistock Relationships, the charity helping individuals and couples to have better relationships, offers some key questions for people ask to themselves to assess if their romance measures up.
We all have ideas about what we need, want or deserve out of life, including our relationships. But do your ideas align with your partner’s? Does your internal model of what a couple is (learnt from the experience of growing up in your particular family) differ from that of your partner? Are you looking for something different? It’s worth finding out sooner rather than later.
It’s helpful to understand one another’s values around money, family, culture, career and religion. If you like to plan your finances, but your partner likes to blow their cash on pay day, this could be a problem further down the line. Or it could be an opportunity for growth, where you become less anxious about money and your partner becomes more careful.
Your partner will have an equivalent set of hopes and values which may be different to yours. These could be around children, religion and where you want to live. It’s worth comparing notes early in the relationship to see if you can negotiate differences in a creative way, rather than in an ugly battle.
In the first few months of a relationship, you will be intoxicated on a cocktail of hormones that keep you infatuated with your new love. Remember, the real work of the relationship starts when you come down from the high clouds of early love and into the reality of bills, bins and finding time to have fun.
Couples rarely move through a relationship at the same pace, so don’t feel rushed. Be aware of any kind of coercion. For example, “if you love me then you will...” has no place in a conversation about commitment. If, on the other hand, you’re the one planning the wedding after the second date, take a breath. There’s plenty of time.
If you are looking for relationship advice at any stage in your relationship, Tavistock Relationships therapists offer a range of services for couples, individuals and families. Find out more here or call 020 7380 1960.