Starting a new relationship is always exciting. But when things are going really well and you want it to turn into something serious, it's easy to start losing some of that confidence you had during your first few dates. Fortunately, there are some small things you can do to keep your confidence up when you're in a new relationship.
"A new relationship can feel fragile," Chelsea Leigh Trescott, breakup coach certified in solution-focused life coaching and podcast host, tells Bustle. "Not only is it fresh, but there’s no history keeping you together as a couple. As a result, it’s easy to make assumptions early on about why your partner is or is not doing something and, therein, what that means."
For instance, if your partner started off the relationship by texting you "goodnight" every night, it can cause you to panic a bit if they forget to do it. Since you're still in the early stages of learning about your partner, it's easy to automatically assume something negative. "But where others become pessimistic, a confident person remains realistic," Trescott says.
They remember that life can sometimes get in the way. Some might even step up and text their partner goodnight themselves. According to Trescott, this shows that the relationship isn’t one-sided. "Neither them or you are solely responsible for the habits you are creating in the relationship, and you’re not overthinking your communication," she says.
Staying confident early on will help your relationship get off to a good start. So here are some small things that will help you be more confident in a new relationship, according to experts.
Sticking To The "Rule Of Three"
One strategy you can use to stay confident is using the rule of three. "If you get feedback from your partner that's got you unsettled (e.g. they didn't return a call quickly, they didn't like a post you geared toward them, etc.) remember that on the first negative instance it might not mean anything," Heather Z. Lyons, PhD, couples counselor and owner of the Baltimore Therapy Group, tells Bustle. On the second instance, tell yourself that it might just be a coincidence. Finally on the third occurrence, it's OK to check in and say something. This is a good strategy to use early on because it gives you a chance to see what kind of patterns your partner has. It's a lot better for you and your relationship than immediately jumping to conclusions.
Having Fun Doing Things You Genuinely Enjoy With Your New Partner
The early days of a relationship are supposed to be fun. So enjoy spending time with your partner. Now you have a partner to explore and have fun adventures with, so take advantage of that. "Do things together that you both like," relationship expert and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport, tells Bustle. "The more fun things you do together, the easier it will be for you relax and not worry needlessly." Basically, if you're having fun, you can stay in the moment, and you're less likely to stress about the future.
Seeing Your New Partner As A New Friend First
If you look at your partner as a friend, in addition to potentially being "The One," you'll have different expectations of them and your relationship. For instance, most people tend to forgive their friends when they do or say things that make them angry. They automatically assume that a friendship is over because of one small thing. "If your partner’s heart is in the right place, you will know it," Rappaport says. "Take the time to get to know their good qualities and bad ones, too. We readily forgive our friends but not our partners." So try establishing a good friendship with your new partner first. When you have a solid foundation of friendship, your relationship is more likely to last.
Reminding Yourself That You Get To Decide Whether They're Really A Good Match For You
"Far too often we become so focused on making sure that we're likeable enough that we end up completely overlooking red flags and other signs that this might not be a relationship worth our time and energy," Jenna Palumbo, licensed clinical professional counselor who specializes in helping young people grow confidence, tells Bustle. There's also a tendency to overthink the little things and worry about your partner's interest. But you have just as much input into whether you two end up together or not. So as Palumbo says, "Remember that you have power here, too."
Being Honest About Who You Really Are
Since you have the power to decide who you want to spend your life with, there's no need to feel like you have to oversell yourself. "Talking a big talk in order to captivate your partner, only sets you up for disappointment because not even you can compete with a larger than life version of yourself," Trescott says. If you want the relationship to evolve into something more serious, it's important to be honest with your partner about where you’re at in life and where you’re looking to go.
Being Your Own Biggest Fan
"Early on, we get too hooked in needing a new partner’s validation in order to feel like we matter and are worthy," Christine Scott-Hudson, family and marriage therapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells Bustle. "But you have to remember that your worth is independent upon whether or not the new partner values you, or not." If you really want to stay confident, keep reminding yourself how amazing you are. According to Scott-Hudson, the most powerful affirmation you can use is the phrase, "I love myself." A person who truly loves themselves won't fall apart if the person they started dating doesn't see their value and behaves poorly. "In the beginning, say it even if you don’t believe it," she says. "Soon you will come to embody it and truly believe it."
A new relationship can make anyone anxious. It's not always easy to keep it cool, especially when it comes to love. But having confidence really comes down to having the right mindset. These small things can help you remain confident as you navigate the early days of your relationship.