In the first year of our relationship, we lay the foundation for our partnership. These tips from a couple of therapists can help us put our love on a particular solid foundation.
Statistically, most couples split up in their first year of the relationship. Those who stay together, usually without actually realizing it, form the foundation for the further partnership and establish groundbreaking basic features of the common future. It is all the more important that we try to make our first year of relationship positive and, if possible, in such a way that it offers our love the best conditions to develop and last for a long time. Without stressing us too much, of course. The two couples therapists Salvatore Garanzini and Alapaki Yee have been in a happy relationship for 16 years, so they survived their first year together well, and share their personal and professional tips on the "Gottman Institute" blog.
4 tips for the first year of a relationship that will strengthen your love in the long term
1. Promote shared experiences
For the first date as a couple or for the first joint ventures in a relationship, Salvatore Garanzini and Alapaki Yee recommend that you take on something that focuses on a concrete experience, not the people. So z. B. A bike ride, go climbing, stand-up paddling, bungee jumping or even a musical visit. But don't sit in a café and talk. On the one hand, we get to know the other directly in action during a shared adventure and see how the person deals with challenges and whether they are open to new things, etc. On the other hand, we create memories in this way that will stay in our memories forever connect us in the long term.
2. Leave space
"Relationships are about allowing the other to flourish, develop and interact with the world," says Salvatore Garanzini. If we take this into account right from the start, i.e. even in our first year of relationship, and live in our partnership, it will be easier for us to respect the independence and individuality of our: s partners: in principle and in the long term. Especially in the first phase of the relationship, many couples tend to cling to each other and constantly crouch together. But at the latest when the phase of being in love is over, both usually need and want more space and distance again. This is completely normal, because in the long term a partnership cannot work without individual freedom. In order to save us the difficult and sometimes problematic transition phase between the initial clinging and long-term, healthy freedom of movement, the experts advise shaping the partnership from the outset with a liberal spirit and allowing each other to explore the world and ourselves individually. After all, it not only enriches every single person, but also the relationship.
3. Establish healthy behavior patterns
No matter how harmonious a dream team we are, sooner or later there will be conflicts and a bad mood in every relationship. In order to prepare for this as early as possible and in the best possible way, Salvatore Garanzini and Alapaki Yee recommend consciously looking for strategies that solve problems as early as the first year. Instead of ignoring them and setting them out, which is not atypical for many couples in the phase of being in love. This does not mean that we should purposefully exaggerate small conflicts, in the beginning, on the contrary: getting used to discrepancies from the outset, concentrating on what we love and appreciate about the other person, can be a possible strategy or part of a strategy to calm us down in a specific situation and to focus on the big picture. If we then find a way to communicate healthy and openly with one another at such a moment, we are best prepared for future conflicts - and if we are lucky, that is good enough.
4. "Yes, and ..." setting
In our relationships and for our entire life, the two therapists suggest a "yes, and..." attitude - instead of a "no" attitude. With this advice, they are ultimately paying into this wisdom that in the end, we do not regret what we have done, but rather what we have not done. Partnerships in particular, but also friendships, are ideal connections in order to strengthen each other and to give courage to believe in our ideas, to follow our intuition, to try out our own paths and to take risks. And if we start right at the beginning of our relationship, we create the best conditions for an exciting, long and fulfilling journey together.