Getting Relationship Ready: How to show support to your new partner
Posted by John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert onSo the second episode of the new series Making Couples Happy aired last night and the journey of the four distressed couples through their 8-week happiness boot-camp is underway. In this episode, we really focused on the importance of showing support to your partner.
This is absolutely vital at all stages of a relationship - particularly early on when you're dating. You need to start out how you mean to go on, and showing your new love interest that you're there for them builds trust and makes them see you as having long-term potential.
Now, there are many different ways you can be supportive when dating someone new. There are of course the practical ways of doing this. Changing your plans to fit in with them, running an errand for them, offering to pay when out on a date, making the effort to meet their friends and ignoring your mobile phone when they're talking to you.
Then there's the emotional ways of showing support. Listening to them when they're talking to you without offering advice, giving them a hug when they're upset, standing beside them in a daunting social situation, complimenting them in front of others and giving them space when they want to be left alone.
At the end of the day, your new partner needs to know that you're there for them. That you have their back. So that when things get tough, when they have doubts or fears, you're always going to step up and be there for them.
So in keeping with this, here's 5 key ways to be supportive when dating:
1. Share the decision-making:
Rather than stepping in and taking over all the decision making with your new love interest - share it around. Both take turns in making plans, coming up with suggestions and organising dates. And be open to saying 'yes' to each other.
2. Take an interest in their day:
It's important that you show interest in your partner on a daily basis. Ask them questions about their day and understand how they're coping with things. This will make them feel special and important.
3. Send thoughtful texts:
Make a point of sending little thoughtful texts to your love interest on a regular basis. It sends a message that you're thinking of them and that you consider them to be a priority.
4. Celebrate their accomplishments/dreams:
Be a cheerleader with your partner and at every opportunity celebrate their accomplishments. Also, when they talk about their future goals - be positive, interested and optimistic. There's nothing they can't do!
5. Encourage independent time:
Be open to the idea of encouraging each other to have independent time on a weekly basis. You can both then catch-up with your friends separately, pursue your own hobbies and interests and keep your own sense of identity. It's a great way of being supportive to one another.
John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, currently seen on ABC's new series Making Couples Happy, and author of the new book Making Couples Happy: How science can help get relationships back on track (www.johnaiken.com.au)
Catch up on the series here.
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