10 Promises To Make To Yourself The Next Time You Start A Relationship

If you’ve had a string of bad relationships, you may start thinking that the common problem is you. No offense, but you may be right. Here are a few things to promise yourself before your next relationship to ensure that this one will go better.

  1. Promise you won’t forget about your own interests and hobbies. This happens way more often than you may think. Since you’re so obsessed with having things in common with your new guy, you ditch your interests for his. You’ll never be happy if this is the case. Plus, he started dating you because of your varied interests. It’s nice to have hobbies in common, but don’t forget who you are in the meantime.
  2. Tell yourself you won’t ditch your friends. When you meet a new guy, you’ll literally want to spend every waking moment with him. At this age, most of your girlfriends will get i, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be OK with it. It’s important to always try and maintain your relationship with your friends while strengthening your relationship with your boyfriend. They’ll be the ones who are there for you if it all doesn’t work out.
  3. Promise you won’t shy away from new adventures. New guys come with fresh energy. If he wants to take you on a hike but you’ve never considered yourself an outdoorsy gal, don’t let that stop you. In fact, compromise—say you’ll go if there’s a clear walking path. Maybe you’ll like it more than you think.
  4. Vow to listen to your parents’ opinions. Some parents may be vindictive, but the majority have no problem with offering us good advice and a kind ear. Those parents will want the best for us and won’t try to sabotage our happiness. They’ll also see red flags that we may not see in the beginning of a new relationship. If your mom pulls you aside and says she gets shady vibes from this guy, promise you won’t write her off or start a fight. Keep her opinions in mind for the future.
  5. Promise yourself you’ll can the marriage talk in the first few months. It’s good to know that you and your boyfriend are on the same page, but if you’re still in your early to mid-20s, the big serious talks can wait a few months. Just have fun with it for now. When you’re a little older, it’ll be more important to mention it sooner as time is more of a factor. However, attempting to settle down so early will only lead to disaster. Take it slow.
  6. Tell yourself you’ll be the real you. When you’re trying to impress your guy, you’ll probably go all out—hair curled (and burned) every time you go out, a new dress for every occasion, and a pound of makeup like you’re a celebrity. But eventually, this guy will probably see you in an old tee and boxer shorts and he’ll think it’s incredibly sexy. Try to relax around him when things start up. Otherwise, you’ll just put yourself under unnecessary pressure.
  7. Promise yourself that you’ll wise up to any big issues. He can be a wonderful guy 95% of the day, until 8 p.m. That’s when his rage gets out of control or he shotguns a half dozen beers every night and changes personalities. There are quirks and then there are massive personality flaws. You don’t have to instantly dump this guy, but at least take it seriously and demand a solution for improvement.
  8. Remind yourself that this guy isn’t your savior. Good relationships should make you want to be a better person. But remember, there’s no guy out there that’ll magically save you and fix your life. Prince Charming isn’t real. Putting too much faith in a new relationship to completely change your path is pretty unhealthy. You’ll still need to put the work in to make your life better.
  9. Promise yourself that you won’t drop everything for this guy. Say you’re in college and meet someone online who lives far away. Dropping out to be closer to him would literally be the worst mistake you could make. Never lose track of your own goals and education for someone else. You can make compromises, but they need to be just as beneficial to you as your old plan.
  10. Make the promise that you’ll be out the second he doubts your intelligence or drive. Some guys are intimidated by a woman’s success. It seems outdated (and definitely is) but it’s the one sign that your relationship will (and should) crash and burn. You worked hard for your achievements. Never let some guy make you feel like they’re worthless.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.