As well as being a cute icebreaker, it’s super common for people who meet for the first time to feel awkward when they first see each other.
Usually, this awkwardness is because you aren’t sure how to act in a new situation and it’s hard for you to establish a personal connection.
This means that you can’t necessarily explain your feelings because you don’t know how they’ll be received.
I’m sure you’ve seen lots of people do that in your life:
I give the awkward shrug that says, “I’m new and have no idea how to act in this situation, so maybe we should just go inside and talk about it.”
Or I say something like, “So, what do you think of me?”
I’ve found that one of the best ways to open up emotionally to someone you’re really into is to think about your past relationship with them.
This helps you to feel comfortable with your new partner because you know how they can make you feel.
More than that, it helps you to see how you felt when you were with them, and that helps you to open up emotionally to them.
When you’re in an established relationship, you don’t have to worry about how to act with them, so you can just relax and enjoy your new love.
Here’s how to open up emotionally to your new partner so you feel comfortable and can begin to love them.
1. Describe the feelings you had when you were together
Get comfortable by telling them a little story about the relationship and how it made you feel.
For example, let’s say you were in a long-distance relationship and it was difficult for you to talk on the phone because your boyfriend didn’t know how to text.
You were worried he would get bored of you, and you didn’t like the idea of driving back and forth for three hours.
Maybe you had to stay up super late to talk on the phone and try to stay positive because it was all you could do.
Maybe you hated your ex’s friends because they were unsupportive and made your relationship miserable.
Maybe you felt like you couldn’t speak to your boyfriend about these things because you knew you were being mean.
Try to focus on the feelings you had when you were together, and how you felt when you were apart.
Try to also point out the good parts of the relationship and describe the good times.
Let’s say you liked the thought of driving around and just talking all the time, or maybe you were happy to have someone who was always there for you or someone who really understood you.
2. Talk about the times when you were too busy with your life to spend time with them
Tell your partner how you would meet them in the lobby of their apartment building and they’d make you a drink in the kitchen.
Or you’d go to their house and they’d make you an extravagant meal.
You’d tell each other about how you were involved in the school play or about your friend’s baby shower and he’d tell you about the weird custom on the coast of Malaysia that involves the lady crawling on the ground.
Or maybe you’d just stay home and watch movies, drink a few beers, and sleep in a bed.
Tell them about these times you spent together and explain how you spent your time apart from each other.
3. Talk about when you were looking for someone
Tell your partner about when you were dating other people and how you felt at that time.
Maybe you got into a relationship and then had to break it off because it wasn’t going anywhere, or maybe you’d had a few girlfriends before your current one.
Tell your partner about the first time you got together, the day you went on your first date, and what your first date was like.
Tell them about the time you met in the lobby and got coffee, and how your new friend’s friends made you feel.
Explain to your partner that you have a mental image of the kind of person you’d be happy with dating, and you didn’t meet them during the right time, or at the right place.
4. Talk about how your new partner makes you feel
Tell your partner how you feel, about where they fit in the world, and what you want for your future together.
Discuss goals and expectations and if you would get married or how you’d like to have children.
Let’s say you and your partner had talked about getting married a few months ago and you both agreed that it was something you would like to do.
But now you have to discuss that there are a few things that would need to be improved on to make it possible.
Maybe you’d want to travel a bit more and you haven’t done that since your first trip together.
Or maybe you’d like to live in another city or another state, or maybe you want to have children and would like to wait for a few years.
Get creative and talk about those things you’d like to improve, but also discuss the things that are important to you and what you’d like to do together.
5. Let your partner know what you feel safe talking about
Let your partner know that you’re comfortable talking about some issues and that you’d prefer not to talk about others.
Don’t worry, you can’t bring up everything, but you should feel safe to bring up some issues.
6. Look at photos together and tell your partner why they’re important to you
Use a calendar app like Skitch or Photos and look through pictures together and explain why you chose the photos you did.
Maybe you’re seeing someone’s band play, or you went to a family party, or you saw your partner on their way to work.
Give your partner a chance to answer back with some things that meant something to them.
This is the fun part about photos; you can get creative with them.