16 Things You Wish You'd Known Before Your First Relationship

by April Maccario

The first relationship you ever have will be the most memorable (apart from obviously the final one that you find yourself in) and it’s one of the most exciting times in your life. 

You are young, you are new to love and all that it has to offer seems so invigorating and joyful. You have found someone that you actually feel you are undeniably head over heels about, someone you would do anything for, and someone you give your whole heart to.

The truth is though, that when you have your first relationship, you have no idea what to expect. You don’t have any previous experience to help you with the relationship, you might not actually be sure how to be a good significant other and you will most likely just believe it’s going to be a love story romance. 

At this tíme in your life, you’re definitely in need of some advice from the people that have already been there and done that.

That is exactly why this article has been put together. Not only is it fun for those that have already been through their first relationship to reminisce about that time and imagine how things could’ve worked out differently if they had known more, but it’s also vital that you learn some first relationship advice if you are just about to become a partner! 

So, let’s get started and get into the 16 things you wish you had known/should know before your first relationship.

What First Relationships Are Like

1. You Don’t Have To Change

One of the most important things you need to know before getting into your first relationship is that you do not have to change. You are exactly perfect just as you are and you are more than enough to make your boyfriend happy and content. At the end of the day, your partner obviously appreciates you for who you are otherwise they wouldn’t be with you, so there’s absolutely no reason to change. 

A lot of the time in someone’s first relationship, they think that they have to change and have to dedicate all of their time to live up to their own expectations of what a perfect partner is. Obviously, if you have your first relationship when you are still an adolescent, then you will change over time because you’ll be growing and maturing, but it should never be the relationship you’re in that’s causing you to change.

2. Don’t Become Your Partner

don't become your partner

One of the most common mistakes of someone that’s in love for the first time is that they try to become their partner, or perhaps even do so without really noticing. Over time, it’s no secret that we pick up on the habits of those around us. However, this is intensified the first time someone is in a relationship, and there you can easily and quickly lose sight of who you are

Many people take on all of their partner’s characteristics, their fashion sense, their opinions, their friends - all of it! This is actually really unhealthy because someday you will wake up and realize that you have completely lost sight of who you are. So, you need to make sure that you retain independence within the partnership and keep being yourself.

3. Communication Is Key

Once you have life experience, as well as experience in love, you realize that communication is one of the most important things in a relationship of any kind, and communication needs to be present if it is to succeed. However, a lot of first-time relationships often lack clear communication because it’s just simply not on the priority list.

If you don’t have clear, open communication with your partner, issues that arise will never be sorted out properly and can turn into much of a bigger deal than they really need to be. As well as this, personal needs in the relationship might not be fully met if neither of them has clear communication and tell the other what they want and need. 

If you were to ask “I have my first boyfriend, what do I do?” and only one answer was allowed, this would probably be the most important thing I would say you need to do. As long as you communicate well, you will understand each other on a deeper level, each person’s needs will be met and hopefully, the relationship will run smoothly, without any major problems.

4. Honesty Is Vital

Linked with communication, honesty is also an essential part of a relationship, and definitely needs to be present in a first-time relationship. You need to be honest with your partner because once you open an honest channel of communication, things can be said without fear about how the other person will react.

For example, if you are honest with each other, you can tell your partner if you’re not happy with something they have done without a fear that they will get angry or an argument will be started. If you both aim for 100% honesty in the relationship, it also allows you to trust your partner more, and as we all know, trust is vital for success.

5. Jealousy Doesn’t Look Good On Anyone

jealousy doesn't look good on anyone

In your first relationship, your partner means everything to you, and you never want anyone to take that away from you. Therefore, you might get extremely jealous whilst in this relationship. 

However, it would be highly recommended for you to try and curb any jealous feelings you have.

Of course, you have every right to be jealous, or rather, concerned if your boyfriend is spending every single night hanging out with his friend that’s a girl, alone, at her house- obviously! 

However, if your man has never given you a reason to be worried or feel jealous, try to crush any jealous emotions as soon as they come up. If you act jealous of your boyfriend if he’s hanging with friends, he might find it cute at first, but it’s just going to make him feel uncomfortable after a while, and it will cause problems.

6. It Won’t Be Like In The Films

Let’s not pretend, before we enter into the world of love and adult relationships, we envisage love being exactly like it is in the films. Unfortunately, you need to completely destroy this expectation that you have in your head, even if that sounds harsh.

Although you might have moments in a relationship where you feel like you’re a princess in a fairytale, most of the time you quite honestly won’t. You will still experience an abundance of joy and happiness, don’t worry, but you will still have to deal with everyday life together and responsibilities don’t just disappear when you’re in love. 

It’s best to just take the relationship exactly how it is, not try to change it or make it live up to your false expectations.

7. Make Sure There’s No Control In The Relationship

Unfortunately, one of the truths that you have to come to terms with when it comes to adult relationships is that sometimes people will try to control you, and the people that you love don’t always have your best intentions in mind. It’s important that you’re aware of this so that you never allow yourself to be in a relationship with someone that’s trying to control you.

If your partner is trying to control you, you might notice that:

They might be exceptionally jealous.

They tell you what you can and can’t wear.

They tell you what you can and can’t post on social media.

They tell you who you can and can’t hang out with.

If your partner does any of these things, get support from loved ones, gain advice, and leave the relationship. You don’t deserve to put up with someone that treats you like this, and the faster you leave the relationship the better. 

8. You Deserve Respect

you deserve respect

Although you might think that the only thing you need from your partner is love, that’s not true. One of the most important things your partner can give you is respect. If your partner respects you, it means that they really care about you, as a person, and not just for their benefit.

When someone respects you, they will let you live your own independent life, make your own decisions, support the fact it’s your decision how you take care of your body, what you wear, what your opinions are, and much more. 

On the flip side, you need to ensure that you are prioritizing respecting your partner too. If you both respect, support, and love each other, you’ll be sure to have a happy relationship.

9. Don’t Lose Touch With Your Friends

Pretty much everyone is guilty of this the first time they get into a relationship, and it’s one of the worst things you can do. Anyone who has given up friends for love will tell you that it’s never a good idea because at the end of the day, friends are there forever and boyfriends come and go

So, although you might feel like you only want to spend time with your boyfriend, make sure you still grab your weekly lunch with your best friend, or bare minimum, ensure you send a text message every few days to catch up with your friends.

If you ditch your friends to spend time with your boyfriend, they will most likely forgive you because they care about you and understand, but they will feel hurt by it, so just make sure you’re spreading love in all your relationships, not just your romantic one.

10. Still Live Out Your Dreams

You definitely don’t want to wake up one day and realize that you threw away your dreams for a boyfriend, no matter how much you think you love them. So, it’s absolutely essential that you keep on track with your personal goals whilst you’re in the relationship.

Although it might be difficult to not get sidetracked and distracted by the person you love, you need to keep doing what you want to. For example, if you want to go to college or you’re working towards a promotion at work, keep doing that. 

11. Don’t Feel Pressured To Have Sex

don't feel pressured to have sex

Some people wait until they’re in their first proper relationship to have sex, some wait for marriage, and others will have sex with friends or one night stands. Regardless of what your preferences are when it comes to having sex, you need to ensure you are not pressured into having sex.

This is especially important if you are a virgin, or if you are saving yourself for marriage. Whether or not you have sex with your boyfriend is completely up to you, and if he is trying to pressure you into sleeping with him, maybe he isn’t everything you’ve made him out to be in your head.

12. The Sex Might Not Be As Good As You Anticipate

When you’re head over heels for someone you might anticipate that the passion you feel for them will relate to the bedroom - sometimes it might, but sometimes it won’t. You need to be prepared for the sex not being as good as you think it will be.

When two people first have sex together, it can be absolutely amazing, but sometimes it takes a bit longer for the pair to actually get to know each other. You may have to work at your sex life to make it everything the two of you desire, but hey, at least it’s fun work!

13. Don’t Do Bad Things, Just Because Your Partner Does

An unfortunate truth you might have to come to terms with is that your partner might not actually be the best influence on you. Does your boyfriend get involved in any illegal activities? Perhaps he takes drugs or has a bit of a problem with alcohol? You need to ensure that you don’t get wrapped up in doing anything bad just because your partner is.

Too often people’s partners get brought into the trouble that that person is creating, and it often ends badly. So, if your boyfriend is doing something you don’t agree with, you can tell him your concerns and try to help him, but ultimately you need to stay out of the way and make sure you’re not involved.

14. Know You Have No Right To Judge Their Life Before You Came Into The Picture

know you have no right to judge their life before you came into the picture

If it’s your first time in a relationship, but not your partner’s, you might feel waves of jealousy flowing over you towards the other women they have been with. No one wants to think about their partner sleeping with another person or being even romantically involved with another person, but the truth is, it’s probably happened.

You can not be jealous or angry about those that your partner was with before they met you, and you also can’t judge the way in which they lived their life. Their past was their past, and you weren’t involved at all, so you have no place to pass judgment or even comment.

15. Gut Instincts Are Real

This is a really important point that’s super handy to know - you should trust your gut instincts. If you don’t really know what gut instincts are, it’s the feeling within your body that tells you something without an explanation

Usually, as long as you’re not a particularly nervous or insecure person, your gut instincts will tell you everything you need to know. For example, if you think the girl your boyfriend was hanging out with likes him because you feel it in your stomach, you’re most likely going to be right. You might not be correct about everything, but gut instincts are incredibly helpful in relationships to guide you.

16. There Will Be Tough Times

Most of us go into the world of relationships believing it’s all going to be rainbows and butterflies, happiness, magical fun, and joy, only to realize that in actual fact, although life can be incredibly happy and fulfilling, it can also be hard.

In all types of relationships, you will experience difficult times, whether the difficulty is caused by those in the relationship or from outside. So, you need to be aware that there will be times when things don’t seem so bright, or you need to pull together to gain strength.

In addition, you also need to understand the not all relationships end successfully, and therefore this relationship could end at any time, and cause you pain. Although this sounds exceptionally morbid, it’s really important that you acknowledge the reality of relationships, so that hopefully you learn a lot from each one you’re in.

FAQs

What should you expect in your first relationship?

Every relationship is different, but normally, you can expect to feel an array of every emotion during your first relationship. You will most likely feel head over heels in love with your first boyfriend because they’re your first and that’s special! You will probably spend most of your time with them, you might choose to spend time with them rather than with your other loved ones and you will most likely be really happy and having too much fun in your little love bubble.

How long does a first relationship last?

Once again, every relationship is different, and therefore some last weeks, others last years and some might even last a lifetime if you are one of those lucky people that find your soulmate within your first relationship. You do need to try and understand though that you might not stay together forever, and that is ok because you will learn a lot more about yourself and life than you could ever have imagined.

When should you get your first boyfriend?

It’s important to state that there is no age that you should get your first boyfriend. You shouldn’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, and while some girls might get their first serious boyfriend around 18 years old, others might wait until they’re in their twenties or even older. There’s no right age to get into your first serious relationship.

What to do when you first get a girlfriend?

There’s not much you need to do when you first get a girlfriend, you just need to show her how much you appreciate her, be kind towards her and shower her with love. You can surprise her with small gifts of love like flowers, or simply text her saying good morning and good night every day to put a smile on her face. But overall, just loving her, providing fun and joy for her, and being a caring, good partner is enough.

Why do first relationships fail?

Just like any relationship you have in your life, your first relationship can fail for a myriad of reasons. Best case scenario, you might split up because you want different things in life, or the sparks between you have disappeared. Worst case scenario, someone cheats or leaves the other person for someone else. Also, it’s important to mention that not every first relationship ends in failure, and sometimes people stay with their first love forever.

In A Nutshell

If you’re looking back and reminiscing about your first relationship then I really hope you enjoyed this article and you imagined just how different things would have been if you’d have had this knowledge at the time. If you are just entering into your first relationship, I hope that this advice has helped you and your partner.

Did you like this article? Let us know in the comments and share if you did!

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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