Romantic Relationship Howto: The Very First Steps

By this article I am opening a series of posts about relationships – the topic which I have been studying for decades now. Having spent many years assisting the westerners in their trips to the Russian speaking world, I have seen hundreds of couples set up and develop romantic relationships. Some of those stories were so captivating that I still keep rolling them over in my memory now and then. Now, I am glad to share my observations, they might be beneficial to the new venturers, whose tribe does not seem to dry out with time.

Alright, to begin with, let us see what precedes a relationship and what are the first steps one should take before plunging into the world of soul-mate search.

1. Prepare yourself. This sounds a bit too indubitable to even mention it here, but in practical life many people behave impulsively, without bothering themselves to decide what they really want to achieve in the end. The word “romantic”, however, does not mean “spontaneous” or “completely out of control”, so you will need to focus even here. To prepare yourself for a romantic relationship, you need to simply open a beer and (slowly and honestly) go down the following checklist:

  • Define in one word what you want to obtain from your romantic relationship (Just one word! No paltering with yourself, okay? Just one word: is it “tenderness”, or “sex”, or “togetherness”, “time-killing”, or “adventure”? Don’t hurry, think well, your beer bottle is still nearly full);
  • Make sure you are entering the relationship with open mind and clear heart, you are not doing this as a revenge to your ex; you are not doing this because all of your friends are doing this; you are doing this for yourself. You should be very independent in your commitment this time;
  • Decide how much time you will need every day (every week) to proceed with your “relationship project”. It is good not to change your time habits in favor of the relationship. This is important because if it suddenly takes too much of your time, the situation will sooner or later go out of your control and the whole “project” will fail. (Yes, it is absolutely right to be business-like even in such thing as romance, not to mention that your women will love it);
  • Select an approach. Would you like an online romance or a real-time one? How will you do it in the very beginning? Are you about to try some previously developed first meeting “tricks” or would you rather try something new? Just think it over, slowly and calmly. Take another beer, if needed.
  • Make sure you understand yourself, sexually and emotionally. Just sort it out in your mind before you begin meeting someone.
  • Try to avoid any labels and avoid comparing. There is no need to compare the new relationship with any of your past experiences, it will anyway be different from anything you have known before.


2. You’ll need to be bold. As a Russian saying goes, Лучше сделать и жалеть, чем не сделать и жалеть (You’d better do something and regret it than not do it and regret it anyway.) Whatever you do, be yourself and never compromise your values and opinions.

3. You’ll need to be careful with such a thing as compromise. They say, compromising is good, but if you start to give in on issues early on, it sets a bad precedent for future dealings, so you’d better stay alert.

4. Also, it is good to find out about your romantic partner’s boundaries and let her know yours. During one of the first meetings, share casually about your likes and dislikes. I mean, if she or you are uncomfortable with hand-holding, public touching or anything else that may create an upsetting moment, just make sure that you are both aware of this.

5. Try to be objective with yourself and your partner; there is no need in pretending that your relationship is something more than it really is.

Well, these are very simple, general and seemingly obvious tips, but I have seen so many people who ignored them, and this caused complications at the early stages of relationships. Well, anyway, a bit of planning is not going to harm you. I hope these little tips will help.

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