Before jumping into things with a new partner – no matter how awesome he or she is – check out these questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship. And remember: start as you mean to go.
In How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving, David Richo teaches how to move away from judgment, fear, and blame to a position of openness, compassion, and realism about life and relationships. It’s a Buddhist perspective of starting a new relationship, and includes questions to ask yourself. The central focus is being mindful and present – not obsessing about your past breakup or dwelling on your fears for a future relationship.
I love writing about starting new relationships because they’re so exciting! Often, the most important time of your whole relationship is the start. The most important tip in How Long to Wait Before Starting a New Relationship is to go at your own pace. If you feel pressured to date or see a new relationship, then you may not be over your breakup. Take time to grieve the end of your last relationship, and slowly start to encourage yourself to let go of the hurtful and move on. Once you feel you are ready, try dating for fun without needing a relationship right away.
Starting a New Relationship? Questions to Ask Yourself
Think about the following questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship. I encourage you to write the answers down in your journal, and take time to explore you really think and feel. Don’t just say “yes” or “no” without giving each questions some thought.
Why do you want to start a new relationship?
If you’re lonely and bored with your life, you’re not ready to start a healthy relationship. If you’re depressed and can’t stand being alone, then you’re not ready for a new partner. Good reasons for starting a new relationship include wanting to share your already full and happy life with someone, and feeling like you want to be emotionally and physically intimate with a partner because you have a lot to offer.
If you’re still hurt about a recent or long-ago breakup, read How to Know If You’re Ready for a New Relationship.
What are you hoping a relationship brings to your life?
Think about your last partner. What were the best and worst parts of being in that relationship? What do you hope will be different in a new relationship? Is there anything you need to take care of in your life before starting a new relationship?
The first few first questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship revolve around what you feel you’re lacking in your life. Are you hoping a partner can fill the emptiness in your heart and life? If so, then you’re setting yourself up for an unhealthy relationship. The best relationships involve two people who are healthy, happy, and whole.
What are your expectations of a new relationship?
If you experienced a painful breakup or betrayal in your last relationship, now’s the time to think about what you expect from a new partner. This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship. When did you feel let down in the past, and what would make you feel supported and loved in a new relationship? Be specific when you answer this question in your journal. Maybe you expect your new partner to spend time with your kids, or visit your parents with you every weekend. Maybe you expect him to pay for all your dates, or you want him to remember what’s happening in your life – and ask you how you’re feeling and doing.
Where do you want to be in one year, five years, 10 years?
Of all the questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship, this is the most difficult! Most of us don’t have our futures all planned out. I’ve never met anyone who actually has a “five year plan”, though I’ve seen them in movies and books. You don’t need specific details to answer this question before you start a relationship, but it’s good to have an idea of where you want your life to go.
Areas of your life to think about:
- Financial plans
- Emotional and spiritual health
- Parents’ and other family members’ care and well-being
- Volunteer work
Those aspects of life will affect your future, and your future relationships. Give each area some thought. This is a great time to allow yourself to dream a little bit. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? (I’d go to St Petersburg, Russia) If you had an extra $2,000 a month to spend any way you like, what would you buy? (I’d….have to think about this question some more!).
Who is God to you?
This is one of my favorite questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship, because I love God more than life itself. I owe Jesus Christ my life, my freedom, my joy, and everything I have and am and will be. Every day – sometimes every hour – I hand my life over to Him. I want the Holy Spirit to lead and guide my life, and to emanate from everything I say, do, and write. What is your relationship with God like, and how will it affect a new relationship?
Sometimes our relationship with God is negatively affected by a breakup with a partner. If you’re still struggling with your past, read Prayer for Healing After a Breakup.
What is your partner’s heart focused on?
If I was starting a new relationship, one of my first questions would be about my potential partner’s spiritual life. Asking if he’s a Christian goes without saying. I’m very interested in his spirit and soul, and if God has changed his heart. There’s a huge difference between being a Christian and having a converted heart. I didn’t realize this until about a year ago. I’ve been a Christian for a long time, but it wasn’t until last year that I was brought to my knees by Jesus Christ. I’ve always loved God, but my heart is now in a totally different place than ever before.
What are the desires of your heart?
Here’s one of the more creative questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship: what are the deep secret desires of your heart? Get out your pen and journal, and start writing down all the things you’d love to see happen in your life, body, and soul. I’d sell my house, find loving homes for my dog, and travel the world like a gypsy with my laptop in my backpack. That’s what I would do with my life if I was starting a new relationship…and would a new guy be part of this life? It depends on how adventurous he is, how willing to travel.
If you’re eager to start a new relationship, read How to Find a Boyfriend. Don’t forget about these questions, though. Don’t lose who you are when you’re dating, and don’t forget your answers to these questions.
I welcome your thoughts on these questions to ask yourself before starting a new relationship, but I can’t offer advice or counseling.
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My prayer is that you find the right partner for your life. May he complement you, and may he encourage and support you to be the best woman you can be. May God be in the middle of your relationship, and may you trust Him for guidance and wisdom in every step. Amen.