What You Need to Know Before You Step into a Relationship

Whether you are reading this because you aren’t sure whether to ask that special person out or if you just left a relationship and are feeling unutterably miserable, then you came to the right spot: because this post is for you.

You may have heard of something known as the friendship pyramid (also referred to by other names) which describes the level of one person’s relationship level with another person. Here is a breakdown of the 4 levels starting from the bottom:

1. Acquaintance

This is someone who you see often and know a bit about, yet conversations tend to be simple and not reveal anything that would harm one’s own image.

2. Friend

At this stage, you make the effort to spend quality time with the other person, whether that’s going out shopping, participating in a recreational activity together, or even just talking about each other’s lives. Some emotions are discussed, but not in much detail as you still worry about your perceived image.

3. Good friend

Your other friends know who you’re spending with most of your time. You are not worried to make yourself vulnerable and admit to the emotional feelings and tendencies to seldom few know about.

4. Best friend

This is the one and only who you cannot live without and would give your heart to.

So why does this all matter? Well, ask yourself these questions before you dive in to your next relationship:

Have I opened up Emotionally?

Photo by: Garry Knight

It’s undoubtedly fun to always spend time joking around and go on adventures together, but there’s a point in time when you have to become more vulnerable. This means talking about ongoing stresses in your life and admitting when things are not okay. You need to find out how they will change when hearing about your roadblocks. How will they react? What advice will they give? Will they tell anyone?

These and many other questions are crucial to keep in mind because if they won’t open up about their emotions later down the road, or worse, are unconcerned for yours, don’t count on a lasting relationship.

Do we share the same values?

Photo by: jochicopaul

Let’s imagine a scenario where you find yourselves at a bar having a late night drink. Say you are the type who doesn’t like to drink to excess, but your potential partner does: how would that make you feel?

Now, I am not saying you should jump to conclusions and criticize them, but what I am saying is to watch out for opportunities like these to see where your personality differences begin to show.

Can we be apart?

Photo by: Patrick

That’s right. While you two can talk nonstop, there needs to be some space. This is not only an overlooked aspect of the relationship, but a tricky one to manage. If either of you can’t help putting down the phone to talk with each other for even a few days, then emotions are getting the better of you two. So before you decide to jump into a relationship, see if creating space changes the way you perceive one another.

Putting it together

If you decide to ask that one person you’ve set your sights on to be that special friend, your safest bet is to ask when both members are at the third level of the pyramid. Fear should not restrain either of you two from sharing emotions and being supportive of one another. As you identify the relationship a step lower on the pyramid each time, your chances of making a lasting relationship (or even one at all) begin to decrease in your favor.

Thank you for reading! Share this post with your friends and leave comments below.

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