You can't expect your relationship to be rainbows, butterflies and unicorns forever. Any relationship is going to turn into a more mature type of love over time. This can seem scary, boring or disappointing for many, but keep in mind that this is an inevitability, and for every part that you might not be looking forward to, there is a benefit that will come from the commitment you're making.
Keep Your Space
Some people race into spending every last second of the day with each other, but you need to remain who you are and who you always were. Many professionals call this differentiation. It's healthy for the two of you to have separate hobbies and to hang out with your own friends. This doesn't mean you can't grow your relationship - it's just pivotal to remember to be two separate people that grow together.
Know Your Speed
Of course, no matter what you do, there will always be moments where you and your loved one are on different speeds. So, you first need to know what your own speed is. For example, if you really do feel that you are ready to move in with your new boyfriend or girlfriend, then it is fine. However, if you feel rushed or pressured, then the situation will likely not work.
Changing Your Life
When you start dating someone new, you might be tempted to entirely change your life or attitude about life to suit them. In fact, you might even expect the boyfriend/girlfriend to change for you. If this is familiar, the relationship is already off to an unhealthy start. This is another part of differentiation - avoiding these pitfalls helps you avoid further worries, such as possessiveness, jealousy and unrealistic expectations.
Don't Start Nitpicking
Some people have a really bad habit of nitpicking a loved one's faults as soon as the relationship begins. Remember, you got into the relationship for a reason, and you must remember that no one person is perfect. This doesn't mean that you should settle and risk being truly unhappy, but you need to be reasonable.
Avoid Talk of Marriage
Unless some extenuating circumstances exist, you should never start talking about marriage the second you start going out with someone. In fact, it really shouldn't even be discussed in the first six months. It might seem like nothing can ever go wrong, but things change as relationships progress. There's no way to predict how your feelings will change. Furthermore, even if things are perfect to you, people can quickly be turned off by premature talk about marriage, so keep your feelings on the DL.
If you really don't know that you want to be exclusive with someone, then you shouldn't enter into a commitment. Honestly, it's just not fair to the other individual, and ultimately, it will not be fair to you either.
New relationships can certainly be exciting, but you can't get your head caught up in the clouds. It's important to remember that you are each unique people with flaws and strengths alike. Keeping this in mind will help you stay grounded as things progress.
Benny Gilmore writes about relationships, counseling and self-help. His recent work is about online counseling degrees.