5 Things to Discover About Your Partner in the First Year of Dating

A couple dancing on an urban rooftop.

The first year of dating is as important as it is exciting, especially if you’re looking to make it a long-term commitment. Yes, making it to your one-year anniversary will come with its fair share of challenges, but it will also be a journey of discovery, love, and fun. The trick is knowing which types of things you should be learning about your boyfriend or girlfriend. Here are five things you will want to discover about your partner in the first year of dating if you want your relationship to last.

1. How Do You Communicate Together?

This is probably the most important thing to know and understand about your partner since communication is the foundation all successful relationships are built upon. While it’s unrealistic to assume you’ll ever have perfect communication, it’s important to understand how your communication styles differ, and whether or not you’re able to work through your issues in a way that benefits both of you. How do you communicate when things are good? How do you communicate when you disagree or even argue? How often do you communicate? Can you communicate your true self to each other? These are questions you should ask yourself, and their answers will reflect your long-term compatibility.

2. How Do You Play Together?

A young man and woman laying on a blanket in the park.

Sex and physical intimacy aside, it’s important to know that you’re able to have fun together and enjoy each other’s company as friends. Being friends with your partner is the start of a solid base that includes companionship, shared values and goals, and indicates that you not only love each other, but like each other, too. Plus, being able to act goofy and uninhibited around your partner is a surefire sign you trust each other.

3. What’s Their Relationship History Like?

In order for your relationship to flourish in a healthy way, it’s vital to clear away any outstanding baggage from past relationships whether they be romantic or familial. While some stuff might never be truly gone or healed completely, especially if there’s been some trauma involved, it’s crucial to be able to talk about these issues with each other so that you’re both able to fully love and accept one another and both trust in the fact that you want this relationship to work out no matter what your past looks like.

4. What Are Their Interests?

A young couple on a camping trip, sitting by a campfire with a dog.

What does your partner like to do in their free time? What’s their passion in life? What are their favorite hobbies and activities? Even if you’re not super into their comic book obsession or can’t understand why they like rock climbing so much, taking the time to get to know their interests cements your relationship. Plus, if they’re into something that you really cannot stand or respect, then that might be a telltale sign they aren’t the one for you.

5. What Are Their Quirks?

Newsflash: your partner isn’t perfect. Sure, you mistook them for perfection when you first started dating, but that shiny veneer will soon wear off after a year and you will be able to see them for who they truly are: human. If you want your relationship to work, it’s important to accept your partner for who they are and not for who you want them to be. So what are their quirks? Do they sing off-key? Do they routinely forget to put their dishes in the dishwasher? If you want to have a lasting relationship, you’ll need to love them as-is and not want to change them.

Maintaining a long-term relationship, especially one that you hope will lead to saying “I do,” takes time, effort, and the willingness to show up authentically. But if it means leading you to the person you’re meant to be with, then it’s all worth it.

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