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Brook guest blogger Sophie, 25, shares her thoughts on starting a new relationship; the high, the lows and the meeting-of-the-family.
Entering a brand new relationship can be weird. It’s scary but exciting. It gives you stomach ache in a really nice way, like you’ve swallowed a thousand butterflies, and it makes you feel and do all sorts of things you might not have felt or done a few months ago. If you’re in this situation – or know what it’s like to be – maybe you’ll nod along to a few of these…
You’ll be watching an advert for dentures on TV and all of a sudden you’re in happy-tears. WHAT A CUTE OLD MAN. Your dad asking you to vacuum the living room or drive your little sister to her ballet class isn’t so annoying, either. You feel a bit like a character in a movie who spontaneously decides to dance in the street and just happens to have friends who know all the moves as well.
One minute you’re so happy you can’t remember what it feels like to be sad, but the next minute you’re freaking out because you realise you haven’t had a reply to your message yet. You begin to wonder if you’re about to be dumped for a ridiculously attractive person named Charlie. Isn’t it weird how your happiness levels seem to be so reliant on this one person? We all experience this kind of thing, but if you’re regularly checking WhatsApp for those pesky blue ticks and wanting to cry when they’ve been there for eight hours with no response, maybe it’s time to hide your phone in the other room for a bit or distract yourself with some trashy TV.
For most people, the idea of coming round for a formal, sit-down meal at their new girlfriend or boyfriend’s house is a little bit terrifying – we picture unfriendly faces and intrusive questions. This is rarely the case (most people’s mums/dads/guardians/grandmas are lovely in their own way!) but that doesn’t stop the idea of ‘meeting the parents’ from being SCARY. To avoid this meticulously-planned event, why not invite a group of friends round and include your bf/gf in this? That way, they’ve met the people who matter to you early on, and the next time they come to your house it won’t be such a big deal.
How did FOUR HOURS pass by that quickly? Time is a right old nuisance when you’re in a new relationship – all you want to do is talk to them, think about them, obsess over what their favourite colour might be and stalk their Facebook photos. But hours turn to seconds and before you know it, it’s time to go to bed, say goodbye, or eat a roast with your family and aunty June who isn’t really an aunty but actually a mate of your mum’s. Sigh.
Don’t forget the other fun stuff – and people – in your life, though. Try to think of your nearest and dearest as a little support network – some of them make you laugh, some of them help you when you’re low, some of them give the best advice ever. It’s not fair to expect one person to be all of those things for you, even if you reckon they could manage it – let your friends and family help out too!
Friends are often the ones who are there for you through thick and thin, especially when you’re at school or college and you get to see them every day. Although it can be frustrating when they get the hump about you being busy when they want to hang out, try to see things from their point of view. Maybe they’re worried they’re going to lose you, or that things will be different from now on. Take the time to reassure ’em that you’re still going to be around.
That said, it’s not all about your pals – your new boyfriend/girlfriend is a part of your life now and they want to spend time with you too. This is one of those tricky situations where you have to dip a toe in the water and see what works for you as a couple or a group, but remember that you’re capable of making your own decisions – and that saying “I’m sorry, I’ve already made plans on Saturday! What about Sunday?” from time to time is okay.
Is ‘Facebook official’ lame? Does anyone do the ‘in a relationship’ thing anymore? Are you supposed to acknowledge them in your Twitter bio? Are you ‘seeing’ each other? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Does ‘seeing’ each other mean you can also ‘see’ other people? Are you supposed to be asked out? Do the asking out? Are you just meant to KNOW when you’re official? UGH. As you can see, this kind of thing confuses just about everyone, so don’t worry if you’re perplexed by it all. It sounds cheesy but honesty probably is the best policy – have a chat and decide what this all means for you as a couple.
What makes total sense to you might baffle your friends, and vice versa. One of my friends used to bring her boyfriend to EVERY event possible and although I liked him, it got to the point where I resented him a little bit because it felt like either he was really clingy or she couldn’t be without him for two hours, which didn’t make me feel overly enthusiastic about their relationship. But she felt like her behaviour was totally normal, which made things tricky.
Even who you decide to date in the first place might confuse some pals, especially if you have completely different tastes. But none of us are the same, which is what makes things interesting! This relationship stuff is complicated – but as long as you’re doing what you feel comfortable with while trying your best not to hurt anyone’s feelings, you should be golden.
Sophie’s blog can be found here.
Thanks to Cassie, 22, for explaining how she learned the importance of setting boundaries in her relationships and why that is an act of self-love.
Thanks to Hannah, 20, for sharing why she’s currently choosing to be single and explaining why it’s important to ensure you make time for your friends when you’re in a relationship.
Adam, 21, shares how he approached his first break up and the key things he learned from that experience.
Rachel, 19, explains why prioritising time for yourself when you’re in a relationship is essential. She shares how investing energy into self-growth has allowed both her and her relationship to flourish.
Em, 22, tells us how their consumption of romance-based films and TV from an early age led to an unhelpful obsession with finding ‘The One’. They share how learning to fall out of love with love has improved their relationship with themself.
Nicole, 21, shares how her first relationship was a truly happy and formative experience but why she’s happy to now be single.
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