Every once in a while, you meet someone new and it feels like you have known each other forever. More often than not, though, awkwardness lingers in the beginning stages of a new romance, as you each strive to find your footing around one another. Getting over that awkwardness doesn't happen overnight, but ways exist so that you two can ease into your comfort zone.
Take Things Slow
It is normal to want to skip past the uncomfortable beginning stages of a new relationship. Rushing the romance, however, puts you at risk for losing sight of yourself and your own needs and passions, explains John Grohol, psychologist and researcher, in the Psych Central article, “5 Things Not to Do in Your New Relationship” Allow your relationship to progress at a slower pace, continuing to make time for yourself and your friends and family outside the confines of this new romance. Remember that the awkwardness will pass with time, and enjoy the butterflies and anticipation now while they last.
New relationship awkwardness is often fueled by a desire to win and maintain the affection of your partner, creating pressure to put your best foot forward at all times. When you relax a bit on attempting to maintain perfection, however, and instead embrace and even laugh at some of your more awkward moments, you stand a better chance of gaining your partners favor according to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in the Psychology Today article, “A Five Step Guide for Preventing Those Oops Moments." Perhaps you are prone to bouts of clumsiness, or maybe you have a habit of talking too much when you are nervous. Embrace moments of embarrassment as opportunities to reveal your sense of humor by poking a bit of fun at yourself. Showing that you are human can be an endearing quality, so rather than pretending to be forever flawless, laugh at your own mistakes and allow your new romantic interest to see your quirkier side.
Navigating the bedroom for the first time with someone new is sure to lead to some awkwardness along the way. As you search to learn what your new partner likes, having open communication and using encouraging phrases can help to circumvent some of that discomfort, according to Stephanie Buehler, psychologist and sex therapist, in the Woman’s Day article, “Dealing with Awkward Moments… in Bed." Bodily functions can be embarrassing, and there is always the potential for kids walking in on your or wrong names being uttered. Instead of allowing those moments to kill the mood, be willing to laugh, talk and learn from each other. Push past the awkwardness and embrace opportunities to learn more about your partner’s likes and dislikes.
It is possible that prolonged awkwardness could be caused by the negative thoughts you are carrying around towards yourself, explains Whitbourne. When you don’t feel as though you are worthy, you may begin projecting that upon your relationship, making it nearly impossible to break into a comfortable place in your relationship. If you are struggling with feelings of not being adequate or good enough, consider seeking the help of a professional as you work through some of your own negative self-imagery.
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Living in Alaska, Leah Campbell has traveled the world and written extensively on topics relating to infertility, dating, adoption and parenting. She recently released her first book, and holds a psychology degree (with an emphasis in child development and abnormal child psychology) from San Diego State University.