1. Avoid or keep the game playing to a minimum

If you start playing games it is likely that the relationship will become distorted due to manipulated outcomes. Either that or your partner will think you’re petty and childish which is hardly an attractive prospect if someone is trying to consider a long term relationship with you.

2. Get rid of the ex

If there is an ex still lurking around, get rid of them. Pronto! Having an ex in the picture screams BAGGAGE ALERT, ISSUES, HARD WORK, MAY NOT BE OVER HIM, HEADACHE. Don’t allow tensions with the ex or a cosy friendship to be to the detriment of your relationship. Ex’s are ex’s for a reason!

3. Have a life

You’ve met a man. Does that mean you roll over and stop having your own life? Don’t fall into the trap of sacrificing your own life, neglecting friends, family or even work just because you’ve met someone and are getting a bit of action. Having your own life and not instantly depending on your new partner give good indicators to him that you are independent, personally happy and with good self esteem levels. However…

4. Make time for the relationship

People have an annoying habit of going from one extreme to the other. They are either too dependent, or hear the words ‘be independent’ and understand them to mean ‘You don’t own me’ clickety, click of the fingers and seek to carry on with their lives as if the partner doesn’t exist. It is possible to have a man, and have your career, family and friends. It’s called balance. As the relationship grows, you tend to increase the time you spend with your partner and if you want it to progress, you will have to let your partner in.

5. Try to stick to arrangements

If you said you were going to call, then call. Likewise, don’t do standing up, or rolling up late all of the time as it creates unnecessary tensions and creates insecurity. Be respectful of each others time as it shows a healthy respect for each other.

6. Get to know each other, not just your body parts

I’m delighted you’re getting laid but if the relationship is going to survive and grow, you need to be doing more than shagging and actually getting to know each other. Spend time hanging out, talking and building a connection. Remember these all help the sexual chemistry.

7. Acknowledge and confront any red flags or dubious behaviour

Trust me when I say that the things that you fight about or eventually break up over are often things that could have easily been found out in the early stages of the relationship – if only you’d opened your eyes and taken off the rose tinted glasses. Rather than play happy honeymoon all the time, don’t be afraid to call him on behaviour that you’re not comfortable with as you need to know if he is worth your energy.

8. Remember the little things go a long way

I’m not talking about penis size! It’s not just big gestures but being complimentary towards each other, the out of the blue email or phonecall just to say hi, a note, a thoughtful small present, remembering that special thing that they really like to eat and surprising them with it, breakfast in bed (although be careful he doesn’t get any hausfrau ideas) and just being thoughtful and considerate.

9. Be as nice as you’re supposed to be

Don’t pretend to be nicer than you are so that you end up with jaw ache from gritting your teeth and strained smiling. Be yourself and don’t end up being so much of a giver that you start to feel resentful about who’s doing the giving and taking in the relationship. Be yourself. Be yourself. Be yourself.

10. Put both feet forward

Relationships do not blossom or grow as a result of keeping one or both feet out. You’re either in or you’re out.

11. Save the drama

We have all had bad relationship experiences but don’t carry them like cumbersome luggage with you to every relationship. Treat your new partner as you find them. Have good sense of judgment but don’t treat him like a social pariah that is bound to cheat on you because your last guy was a cheat. If you spend most of your time cynical, negative and insecure, there is no point in being in a relationship.

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