Think about how your life might change once you are in a relationship. What would you do differently? Are there habits that you need to attend to before meeting that special someone? How can you prepare to adjust your mindset and lifestyle to move from singlehood to being in a couple? What does it mean practically to get ready for a new relationship? Here are some useful things to consider.
How much time will you be prepared to give up for dating? In order to make it succeed, you need to invest time into new connections. This may mean that you will see do some things a little less in order to make room for the new person in your life, or to meet new people.
On the flip side, how much time would you want and expect your prospective partner to have with you? Thinking about how much time and attention you would want helps to work out the amount you could put aside for dating.
Once you’ve worked this out – and it will change over time – you will then need to work out your priorities and what can put aside or changed to make the time. Socially it may mean less gaming, less time on social media, or fewer cinema trips.
Practically, maybe you’ll cut down on overtime at work, ask for help with childcare if you’re a busy single parent or reduce other commitments.
Working out what you are prepared to sacrifice makes it a lot easier to transition to making time for dating, and will help you focus to use that time well.
It’s worth working out prior to starting the dating process the boundaries that you have for a relationship. It’s also good to know your own boundaries and expectations of how the relationship will affect your life.
How much do you want to focus on your work or career? How much time on your own will you need? How much do you want to continue current activities in your life? There will be changes once you have met someone, but how much you change and how much can be slotted into your life is down to you.
Compromise is a word you will hear a lot but it’s worth working out what things you are not happy to compromise on. This makes it easier when the tricky conversations come up later on.
When single, thinking of others and giving people time is a good preparation for a shared life. The same is true of God.
It is often as we serve God that our attitudes change. Walking with God will also help to set healthy boundaries even as singles. Having a godly worldview will help change the mindset for yourself, but also prepare you better for the type of person that you will want to meet.
Work out what your expectations are financially – how much are you willing to spend on dates? (Maybe start saving or budgeting now!) Are you expecting to pay or share the cost? Expecting your date to pay for everything all the time is unrealistic, no matter what you’ve been taught about dating!
Decide what you’re willing to pay for the level of date – perhaps the first date would be a coffee, the second date dinner, and the third date an activity. Consider having a ‘dating fund’ put aside.
Know your boundaries and expectations within the different ‘love languages’ too. Think about how much physical touch is appropriate and godly, how much you want to give or receive compliments, what you would spend on gifts, how often you’d be prepared to do acts of service, like changing a tyre or writing a CV.
These ‘love languages’ are great as relationships develop but switching from singlehood and being independent to suddenly having someone paying you compliments or buying flowers can sometimes be overwhelming.
How much are you prepared to give these things as well as receive these acts of love?
Now is a good time to work on not being judgmental and instead being open minded! I found the longer I was single, the longer my checklist for a partner became – and it became unrealistic.
Dating and meeting a partner can open your eyes to something new. Perhaps you’ve always had the same flavour milkshake and a partner introduces you to a new flavour! In what ways can you go out of your comfort zone prior to dating in order to help this shift in perspective?
A relationship can shake you up in a good way but if you are too stuck in routine and your own ways and habits, it can be very hard to merge two different lives into one unit. Think about how you can get ready for a new relationship by being open to new things now.
Sometimes we can be gloomy about the future whilst we are single, but we need to allow ourselves to be optimistic about it as negativity can affect dates and how we are viewed.
It’s wise to try to see the good in situations and the positive things in the future, as otherwise a bitter version of yourself will turn up to dates!
You want to be the best version of you when you do start dating, rather than bringing in extra baggage and past hurts.
See each date as an optimistic encounter, you never know what may happen. Start by finding things each day that you can thank God for, look around and see the beauty of God’s creation, look up and stretch your eyes.
It’s good to start thinking now about who you seek advice from. For example, a date may not appreciate you seeking help or wisdom from an ex-partner.
The hardest transition for me was going from seeking advice and wisdom from my parents for many years to having to seek the counsel of my partner who I hadn’t known for long. This was especially evident when ‘leaving and cleaving’ in marriage.
God can renew our minds for the better if we seek Him and His will. Spending time with God is the best way to renew your mind and prepare yourself for the shift from singleness to dating when His timing is right.
How would you get ready for a new relationship?
Enjoyed ‘8 ways to get ready for a new relationship’? Read more by Hannah Grace here.