The “courting” stage of a new relationship is exciting. You’re slowly getting to know your partner and learn their likes, dislikes and habits. Over time, you get a sense of your compatibility and potential as a couple.

Once you’re involved with the other person, things can become a bit more complicated though. Poor communication is one of the most significant stumbling blocks that couples face, and it makes sense. You don’t want to disappoint them or negatively affect how they see you – especially when things are so new.

With that in mind, here are a few communication issues that couples face and some advice on managing them.  

1. You Don’t Act Like Yourselves

How much of a first date do you spend with the other person, and how much do you spend in your head? By this I mean, how often do you think about your hair, your clothes, your teeth and all the other tiny details that comprise the superficial “you.” It’s all too easy to obsess over how you appear to your partner.

This is where that age-old advice comes in. “Just be yourself.” When you accept who you are, others can do so as well. When you’re actively struggling to accept who you are, that dissonance can seem strange and unattractive. It helps no one to be painfully self-aware.

So crack that cheesy joke and rock those funky shoes. Communicate your most authentic self to your partner and hope for the best. If they’re not willing to accept the real you, they’re not a good fit anyway.

Couple having coffee.

2. There’s a Lack of Personal Space

When you find someone that you click with, you might want to spend every moment with them. That can create problems. New couples require time to get to know each other, but they also need to maintain their current lives. Try not to stalk their social media pages or schedule too many dates with them.

In short, don’t overwhelm your partner. Go slowly and enjoy the process. If things are right, you’ll have time. A relationship isn’t a rush to get as much done as soon as possible, it’s a gradual development that deserves respect. So respect your partner’s decision to spend time away from you. When they’re busy, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested – only that they have other priorities.

3. Goals Aren’t Talked About

Many of us are looking for that special someone. We want to find a person to spend our lives with. As such, you should make your priorities clear so that you know you’re on the right track. Try not to talk extensively about your desire for a family on the first date, but mention it sooner rather than later.

When partners don’t discuss their future goals, they ignore potential issues with incompatibility. Make it a point to discuss your priorities. Then, you’ll know that you’re both on the same page and can move forward.

4. You Don’t Show a Deeper Interest

The point of a relationship is to know the other person. You should want to learn about their past and what makes them them. In this age of hyper-convenient technology, it’s easy to send a short message and hope for a reply. But if you want to get to the bottom of your partner’s personality, you need to show that you care – online and in real life. 

These days, it’s easy to rack up a few pointers about the people you date. They’re from New York, they love dogs and their favorite show is “The Office.” These are all fine and factual, but what’s below the surface? Why do they like what they like? Be sure to ask specific questions so that you can know them on a deeper level. The communication should then flow back and forth.

Couple holding hands.

5. The Relationship Isn’t Defined

Decades ago, people would ask each other on dates. After a certain period, they would become an official couple. Fast forward to 2020 and that’s rarely the case, since the dynamic of dating has changed. Couples talk for a while and act like a couple, but they’re not exclusive.

There’s nothing wrong with that, and it isn’t any less genuine than a labeled relationship. But it’s important to discuss the parameters of what you’re doing. Don’t use the word “parameters,” but have a conversation about your intentions. That way, you can feel comfortable in your current situation, change it or call things off.

Be Open and Genuine

The best way to form a long-lasting connection is to approach this situation with your best self. Give your partner space early on. Talk about priorities as the opportunity presents itself.

Above all else, show an honest interest in their passions and hobbies. This way, you can communicate properly and enjoy the early stages instead of stressing over them.