My boyfriend and I are celebrating an anniversary.
It isn't a big one — like a year of marriage, or five years of dating — but in a society of casual dating, it is an anniversary nonetheless.
Before meeting my boyfriend, I did everything wrong when it came to guys — everything.
I killed romances before they were off the ground. It wasn't a thing I intentionally did — it just sort of happened.
I don't know about you, but for me, when I'm in a new relationship, it's scary. The thought of all of the responsibility and commitment always used to make me a little crazy.
I did things a little differently this time around.
I felt more comfortable, more open and willing to share what I was thinking and feeling. I was less panicked and concerned with all the what-ifs.
As someone who is happy, confident and excited in my current relationship, here's what I did to learn how to relax and let go when in a new relationship:
1. Don't panic about whether or not you're doing things “right.”
I used to be concerned about what was right or wrong in a relationship.
I'd wonder, "Was I texting the right thing?" "Was I saying the right thing?"
I cannot tell you how many drafts of texts I wrote: One had too many emojis, another had too many words.
In-person sucked too.
I've been stuck there in that moment after something crazy slips out of your mouth, and you feel beads of sweat on your brow and your tongue growing dry.
WHY DID I SAY THAT?! This is it. He thinks I'm an idiot. It's over.
I used to panic all the time about whether or not I was doing things right.
People who are comfortable in their relationships will tell you: The second you let go and you stop worrying about the right thing to do and start thinking about what you want to do, you'll be a lot happier.
2. Don't analyze with your friends.
I was once notorious for analyzing boys with my friends.
"He did this what does it mean?" "How do I respond?" "What do you think?"
Unless your friends are part of your relationship, they don't really need to be involved in analyzing what your guy is doing. They are nowhere near as qualified as you are on him.
My past relationships have always been between the person I'm seeing, myself ... and then all the friends that I talk to about how things are going.
I now understand the value of sharing experiences with just one person. I have been able to relax and enjoy things we do together without thinking about what I am going to turn around and tell my friends afterward.
3. Don't worry about the people who came before you.
I hate in movies or TV shows when a couple is talking and one says to the other “So how many people have you slept with?”
I mean, those relationships have shaped your relationship in some ways for sure — your first time, your first heart break, the first person you brought home, all of those people and all of the experiences in between shape how a person interacts with significant others.
But what is the point in obsessing and worrying about the people who came before you?
In the end, you are the one who is in your relationship, not them. You will never be completely confident or comfortable in your relationship if you are comparing your relationship to your partner's past relationships.
4. Say what you're feeling.
You'll be a lot happier in your relationship if you take a deep breath and say how you feel the minute you feel it.
5. Fall in love, in your own way, in your own time.
I didn't plan to fall in love with my boyfriend.
Our relationship fell together in a chaotic series of events at what would seem like the wrong time. But it is everything I never knew that I wanted and needed.