Starting a new relationship

Posted on: 09 July 2015 by Lynda Shaw

Dr Lynda Shaw looks at how to get over one of the big stress hurdles of beginning a new chapter in your life - starting a new relationship

starting a new relationship

Starting a new relationship can be a daunting prospect and having the courage to take your first steps into the unknown can be even harder, but don’t let your anxieties stand in the way of what could be an exciting time to kick start the beginnings of a new chapter in your life.

Extensive research strongly shows that personal relationships have an enormous impact on our physical and mental health.  Feeling appreciated and valued and to ultimately have someone who we can really rely on, trust and to have a secure hand to go through life together means that having a intimate relationship can have many health benefits that are vital to our sense of well-being.

Healthy relationships have been known to positively influence our life expectancy and happiness.  Research has found that close bonds can also significantly reduce symptoms such as stress, high blood pressure and depression, all of which can be caused by isolation and feeling alone.  According to the Mental Health Foundation, having friendships is crucial to protecting our general mental health.  Being able to share your worries and to have someone trustworthy to talk through any fears and anxieties can help lessen the pressures, as well as potentially help you view your situation from a different perspective. Studies have also found that singletons are more prone to experiencing psychological stresses compared to those who are either married or in a stable relationship.

Seeking a new companion might seem awkward or perhaps embarrassing at first, but in reality nothing has really changed compared to when we were dating in our twenties.  Spending time with other people, exploring and embracing new interests and widening your circle of friends is most often than not a wholly positive experience!  Whilst it is understandable and normal to feel apprehensive and cautious when stepping back into the dating scene, be kind to yourself, be patient and most of all, be optimistic.

A great way to meet new people is to actually spend as much time with your family and friends as you can. You never know who they can introduce you to but in the meanwhile enjoy those you love and laugh as much as possible.

Whilst of course it is not necessary to have a life-long companion to be happy, certainly one of the greatest joys in life is to have someone to share life experiences and grow old with, and who can be there for you through the good times and the bad, so if you would like to find a new relationship, don’t let anything stop you!

New relationship self-help tips

  1. Don’t feel pressured by other people to join an obvious dating scene unless you would like to.  There is no shame in meeting people through dating websites, these days it is quite the norm and many have found new relationships this way. Alternatively if you know of an event where you could potentially meet new friends but feel a little anxious, go along with a group of friends for moral support.
  2. Staying connected with your community and getting involved with local events, clubs or classes or voluntary roles are all a great starting block.
  3. You can never plan to find someone special, it happens naturally but you do need to give yourself the opportunity to meet people by going out and about.
  4. Sometimes you may have to make the first move if you feel there is a connection with someone. Don’t throw yourself at them but maybe just suggest going for a coffee or to a community event together.
  5. Never restrict yourself to a “type.” Broaden your horizons; you may not feel an initial bond because they aren’t like your previous love but you may find new traits of a new friend appealing.

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