Tips for a new dating relationship

For many of us, our emotional baggage can make finding the right romantic partner a difficult journey.

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Whether it's someone you're meeting online or it's someone your friends know, aim to drop the things you know about them and start fresh.

Don't ask your friends to tell you everything they can because you can end up with a tainted view of what to expect.

A relationship has much more in common with the plants in a garden than with the decorative statues meant to look good but little else. Likewise, you can’t rush a relationship into reaching its full potential.

In other words, having a healthy romance takes more than just showing up. Here are five tips for helping your new relationship flourish: 1. Most of the attributes necessary for a healthy, lasting romance take time to develop—trust; understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses; and compatibility demonstrated through both good times and hard times.

Not so, says University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor Nicholas Epley.

In his study of 104 couples, he asked one partner to predict how the other would respond to questions on everything from the use of cash to biggest life regret.

Life as a single person offers many rewards, such as being free to pursue your own hobbies and interests, learning how to enjoy your own company, and appreciating the quiet moments of solitude.

However, if you’re ready to share your life with someone and want to build a lasting, worthwhile relationship, life as a single person can also be frustrating.

If you try to load the relationship with too much emotional weight before it is able to handle it, you risk ruining what was almost ready. Garden plants need plenty of room to set down roots—and so do new relationships.

Be patient and, soon enough, you’ll reap what you have sown. A common mistake is to try and cram romance into a life that is already too full. A budding romance needs a steady diet of some key nutrients.

Season your romance with the fresh and memorable flavor of originality. At the other end of the spectrum, it is possible to smother a seedling relationship with excessive “care and feeding.” Pace yourself to be sure you aren’t overwhelming your potential partner with expectations neither of you are ready for. Simply being human guarantees you will both find the rough edges in each other and in yourselves.

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