How to start a relationship off on the right foot.

The Road To Mental Wellness > Mental Health > How to start a relationship off on the right foot.

Compatibility is a big deal when it comes to cultivating a new relationship. But in order to know for certain, we must be honest. How to start a relationship off on the right foot.

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Have you ever noticed that when we are dating, we try to put our best self out there? Essentially, we are selling our brand. A brand called ourselves. But like so many brands, you’re not always getting what you bargained for. In fact, we often don’t get what we paid for. A truth that reveals itself once we choose our person and decide to commit.

Further, I’d like to think that why we work so hard to “sell ourselves” is self-evident. I mean, a second date isn’t likely if you’re leaning a bit more on the crankier side.

But let’s say that they like your brand and you make it past the awkward game of dating. Now what? Many of us don’t know how to start a relationship off on the right foot. I know, you might say, “but Jonathan, it’s going so well.” Yes, of course it is, it’s called the honeymoon period. All is candy and rainbows until the euphoria of cupid’s arrow wears off.

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Sure, we often settle into this phase of a relationship – and we still love our partner, but now it’s different. Suddenly, our best selves’ cracks and we start to show our other more challenging dimensions. Now, that’s not to say that this is a terrible thing, far from it. What it does mean however, is that we need to learn the arts of negotiation, tolerance, and our partner’s love language.

Let me guess, you thought communication would be on the list? Well, it both belongs here and doesn’t in a sense. Of course, communication always matters. However, deciding it matters when your relationship is in trouble isn’t always wise. Rather, setting up the framework for effective communication early on can help us to employ the strategies mentioned above.

How to start a relationship off on the right foot.

Starting a relationship on the right foot can set the tone for a healthy and successful relationship. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. : Communication from the first date is key to building a relationship. Be open and honest with your partner about your feelings, expectations, and concerns. Listen actively to their response and try to understand their perspective.
  2. : Show respect to your potential partner and their opinions, beliefs, and boundaries. Be mindful of their feelings and avoid criticizing or belittling them.
  3. : Make time for each other and engage in activities you both enjoy. This can help build a deeper connection and strengthen your bond.
  4. : Try to see things from your partner’s perspective and show empathy towards their emotions and experiences.
  5. : Building a strong relationship takes time and effort. Be patient and give each other space to grow and develop.
  6. : Support your partner’s goals and aspirations. Encourage them to pursue their dreams and be there for them during challenging times.
  7. Pay attention to the mutual interests as well as similar communication styles. This is especially important in the beginning of a new relationship. Often there is a difference between our idealistic speak and our actions. so, keep note of your partner’s actions versus what they have told you. If they are all talk and no action this could potentially lead to incompatibility issues down the road. Keep in mind that relationships are basically all about putting your words into practice. if you don’t mean them, don’t say them.

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While it’s true that there are differences in relationships, and everyone’s situation is different, these tips are a good place to start. That said, they are far from the only things a couple can do to lay the groundwork. For starters, they are narrow and can be expanded.

For example, what does it mean to be open and honest? While it may sound self-explanatory, in reality, very few things are. What if your definition of being “open and honest” is; it’s ok to yell and say whatever you want in whatever way you want?

The sad truth about this reality is your partner probably won’t see you as approachable. And if one doesn’t feel like they can approach their partner, the effects can be devastating.

So, if this isn’t what you want in a partner, then lay it all out early. Setting this boundary can help you defuse such behaviours.


“You are raising your voice at me and being very hurtful with the words you are choosing. When we first met, I told you that this is not what I need from you.”

Let’s face it, yelling and frustration happen, but if it’s a pattern, it’s not a moment of frustration. “Telling it like it is” in this context invites conflict and more yelling. This, as you might imagine, is not good for relationships. What’s more, adopting an “I am who I am” approach could mean that one has little interest in growing. Yet another potential relationship killer.

Additionally, when people say one thing and do the opposite it will erode credibility and drive a wedge in between what could have been a wonderful union. While we may not see saying one thing and doing another as a big problem, it can be. For instance, if you say you like to hike and go on adventures and you prove overtime that you don’t actually go on hikes and adventures, you’ve essentially started the relationship out on a lie. So, you see the best policy is honesty right out the gate.

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When you think about it, the untruthful individual has made your relationship out to be a fantasy, a fantasy that the other person created based on what you said you like to do for example. In fact, what you are giving them is someone they never wanted to be with in the first place. In essence, you could consider it “the big lie” for couples.

Despite that, in most cases, this outcome is likely to be unintentional, it nonetheless misleads the other person. The end result may make the lied to partner feel lonely and unfulfilled. Perhaps this is why many people find themselves saying, “I don’t even know who you are anymore.” And perhaps that’s because they only got to know their partner after the words didn’t match up with who they really were over time.

So, now you see why it’s important to set up your wants and needs, likes and dislikes and so on in the initial stages. Doing this may save you a lot of time and needless suffering.

Compatibility really does matter.

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Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Reginald-Nixon Arenburg (Born January 14, 1976) is a Canadian mental health blogger, speaker, and published author. Retired from the fire service and long-term care fields, he has written and self-published an autobiographical account of his life-long battle with anxiety, depression and more recently, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Titled, The Road To Mental Wellness, he wrote it for what he calls “therapeutic release.” He published it in hopes it would help others going through similar mental health conditions. The sales of The Road To Mental Wellness have been steady selling over 300 copies since its release on October 10, 2021(World Mental Health Day). Arenburg has also been involved in a collaborative publication Called Lemonade Stand Volume III, a book featuring 20 authors who bravely tell their stories of PTSD. All authors where from the military and or emergency services. Published by Joshua Rivedal and Kathleen Myers for the i’Mpossible project, a mental health advocacy organization. Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health podcasts including The Depression Files, A New Dawn, and The Above Ground Podcast Arenburg has also consulted with the Government of Nova Scotia and the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Honorable Brian Comer and Candidates for the New Democratic Party of Canada, on improving the mental health care system in Canada. Additionally, Jonathan was recognized in The Nova Scotia Legislature by the Honorable, Chris Palmer, Kings-North MLA, for his Book, The Road To Mental Wellness, his fight to make the mental health care system better. In addition, Chis acknowledged the support he gives to others.

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