RULES OF ENGAGEMENT: How to proceed when beginning a new relationship
By: Megan Nikole
You lock eyes, slowly moving in for the kiss and BOOM! Sparks fly. You have finally found someone you want to be with. Everything seems to be wonderful and magical and it can only get better, right? Not always. No one person can tell you how you should feel and there is no set time frame for having sex, moving in and so on. But there are some key points that tend to come up when first meeting someone. You always want to make sure you know that the person you want to spend your life with is the right person and they want the same thing.
I know people that have moved in together after 2 ½ months of meeting and ending up getting married, and living happily ever after. However, this is the exception. Time will allow you to learn a lot about a person and their habits that you may not like. I am referring to worse habits than just forgetting to put the toilet seat down. If your lease is coming up shortly after meeting the person you fall in love with, and you want to eventually move in together, see if you can sign a 6 month lease, or a month to month lease. This will give you some time to truly see who they are and a chance to grow a strong healthy foundation.
No one is ever really in the position to hand out money, and sharing money in an established relationship is common, even being on the same credit cards or bank accounts. HOWEVER, if the person you are newly with, begins asking you for money within the first few weeks of being together, they may have ulterior motives. This is a possible red flag. Women as well as men, prey on people that they find overly giving and vulnerable. Be sure you set your boundaries right from the beginning so there is no confusion, and no one has the chance to take advantage of you. Sometimes we need to be reminded that money doesn't equal affection.
As my mother always says, there is a lid for every pot, meaning there is someone for everyone. Some women may like a bad boy, and some men my like a sassy women; HOWEVER within the boundaries of social norms, it is important to make sure they know how to conduct themselves in public. Someone could be the nicest person to you, but when you go out, they treat the waiter like shit. Or you take a girl out and she gets so drunk that her behavior starts a fight at the bar. It is important that the person you are with can be taken out in the social circles, and locations that you are accustom to attending. If not, it could be a short lived courtship once you realize that there isn't much you are comfortable doing with them.
Time is the most important part to this tricky puzzle. You could meet someone, and fall in love right away. Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning of a relationship, but you need to make sure they are who they project themselves to be. It is very easy to put on a show for a little while, but eventually their true colors will shine through. What is meant to be will eventually come out and you will be able to see it for yourself. Again there is no magic number on the amount of time that is needed to make sure. This is something you will have to use your intuition and gut for.
Only you know the ins and outs of how you feel towards someone else. And it is possible that you can do all of these things right away and be the happiest couple around. Just be cautious about jumping into anything too fast. You want to have time to build a healthy and firm foundation to your relationship so the "forever" that you are planning to spend with them makes it that long.