Helping you get through tough times

Starting a relationship

Deciding to start a relationship with someone is a big deal. You’re making a pact to be there for them, spend time with them, be affectionate towards them and be loyal.

love heart sweetsDon’t start a relationship because you’re tired of being single, or because everyone around you has paired off.

There’s a lot of great things about being single and happy.

Take your time

Think about whether the other person is right for you. Remember, if you don’t feel the same way about them that they do about you, you could end up hurting them later.

Just because someone really likes you, doesn’t necessarily mean a relationship would work. Perhaps you’re better off just staying friends.

Are they right for me?

If you’re definitely interested in someone, think about whether they have qualities that would make them a good boyfriend or girlfriend.

They don’t have to be a saint, but it’s important to admire and respect someone you choose to start a relationship with.

Everyone wants something different from a relationship, but general questions to consider before going out with someone include:

Do you share common interests?

Liking the same things can make going out with someone more fun. You don’t have to feel the same about everything, but it’s nice to enjoy some things together, like movies, music or dancing.

Will he/she make you feel comfortable?

You should be able to relax around the person you’re thinking about going out with. Starting a relationship with someone is exciting, but you need to feel comfortable being around them.

Will he/she be respectful?

The person you go out with should treat you well. This involves not making you do anything you’re not comfortable with and listening to your views.

A good relationship can bring you:

  • romance
  • sexual closeness
  • intimacy
  • friendship
  • excitement
  • honesty
  • affection
  • respect
  • love
  • happiness.

What now?

It’s important to spend time getting to know the person you’re attracted to. You’ll discover more about each other the more time you spend together.

If you’re friends with the person, think about how it will affect the friendship if you make a move. See sex – am I ready? for more on having sex for the first time.

Starting a conversation

For even the most self-confident, starting a conversation with someone you’re attracted to is scary.

Everyone feels self-conscious at first around people they like and worry they won’t sound intelligent or interesting.

Ask open-ended questions to get the person talking about themselves. Start with general questions that aren’t too personal.

This shows you’re interested in the person’s views and want to know more about them.

Body language

Body language can also let someone know you’re attracted to them. Making eye contact with the person and moving closer to them are positive signals, but make sure not to overcrowd them.

If they return these signals, it can be a sign they’re into you too. If you get a good vibe, ask for their number or invite them for coffee.

Asking them out

If you want to sound more casual, try and include them in a group activity, like going to the cinema with mutual friends.

Be careful not to pressure them into going out with you though. Invite them for coffee or to the cinema, then leave the ball in their court.

If the first date is successful, ask them to go on another.

Then, if you find yourself enjoying their company and wanting to see more of them, a relationship could be on the cards. See meeting new people for more.

If they’re not into you

It’s hard when you realise a person you’re interested in doesn’t feel the same way. You can feel a bit rejected and embarrassed.

Remember that it doesn’t reflect on your worth as a person, it just wasn’t right this time. We all have to face a bit of rejection now and then.

You’ve got loads to offer, it’s just about finding the right person.

Don’t keep trying to get the person to go out with you. If they’ve made it clear they’re not interested in a relationship, accept that fact and move on.

Stay polite and suggest being friends instead, if that’s something you’re comfortable with.

If you still feel down about the fact they’re not into you, talk to someone you trust. If you find your feelings are getting in the way of doing everyday stuff, talk to a counsellor. See getting help for more.

Personal details

Make sure you trust someone before you give them your phone number or address.

If you decide to meet someone you don’t know very well, do it somewhere public and think about bringing a friend along.

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This article was last reviewed on 01 May 2017

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