New Relationships

New Relationships

How you decide to navigate this time will depend on your relationship, and personal circumstances. Check in with each other about how you’re feeling about this news and to talk through what it means for you emotionally and practically.  On the plus side this will be a good test for your relationship. You’ll find out some important things about your partner, like how they are in a crisis; whether they are supportive and perhaps what some of their biggest fears and hopes are.

We’ve put together some tips and advice for keeping your new relationship strong in these testing times:

If you’re living apart

  • Even if you’re not in the same house, it’s an opportunity to get to know each other better and have some deeper conversations. Dating over video call, maybe with a glass of wine, will be a good chance to have some really fun chats, undistracted from anything else.
  • Introducing your partner to some group chats/quizzes/games on Zoom or Houseparty could be a good way to hang out and take the pressure off you to do 1-2-1 chats.
  • Reading to each other is a really nice way to do something intimate and sensual without the expectation that you’re going to come up with any hilarious or fascinating insights yourself. Try short stories or funny books or blogs that will take your minds off events.
  • Some people are better at texting/communicating online than others. If you’re feeling like the traffic is all one way, perhaps agree a time each day that you’ll have a chat, rather than fixating about when your partner will reply.

If you’re self-isolating together

  • If you are isolating together, you’ll be able to see how compatible you are as cohabitees, although do cut your partner some slack and understand they are likely to be more stressed than usual.
  • Have a sit down and talk about what kind of person you are. Messy or tidy? Work in silence or with music? The more you can plan your behaviour in advance, the fewer awkward chats or arguments there will be.
  • When you’re not working, be creative about how you use your leisure time together. Could you volunteer for the NHS? Could you work on a creative project together? Maybe something simple like decorating your window for the neighbourhood to enjoy.
  • Give each other space. Even if just sitting in different rooms or taking your daily exercise outside, you’re both going to need an hour to yourselves to take the pressure off the situation.
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“How Relate NI helps people”

I felt the weekly questionnaire, couples with the counsellor's understanding of my needs help contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughout.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
I loved every session. Our counsellor listened to what we had to say and gave us helpful wee homework - would recommend this service to everybodyService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
Our counsellor was a fantastic support - we now feel strong enough to continue working on our relationship togetherService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Couples
I had a very good counsellor that helped me through a lot and it has made me come out the other side.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling for Individuals
Counselling took us from a bad place to a good one and I would return if neededService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
Been a lifeline to help us fall in love again - forever grateful!Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I would just like to say that when I first came for counselling I felt that I was drowning.  I have completed my sessions and I now feel that I can cope a lot better with everything.  Thank you for a brilliant service.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
Thank you Relate NI for a good nights sleep.Service Attended Relate NI Kids Counselling
Really enjoyed Relate NI and I'm actually going to miss counselling.  I Found it helpful to find myself again. Very fair and equal within our relationship.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I appreciated the straightforward, helpful and informed observations about situations. It really helped me cope during Christmas which is a difficult time for usService Attended Family Counselling
The counsellor was very pleasant to meet with.  They had the necessary skills to speak and listen when appropriate.  I liked their humour and good personality.Service Attended Family Counselling
Relate NI has helped me move on as well as understand myself and situation more.  My counsellor listened to me, facilitated me and was compassionate!Service Attended Relate NI Teen Counselling
I felt the weekly questionnaire, coupled with counsellor's understanding of my needs helped contribute to my own understanding of my mental health and needs throughoutService Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals
We had four funded sessions and cannot express how grateful we are for the help, guidance and knowledge. Our counsellor was incredibly professional, and her experience and obvious passion for helping couples like us was exceptional. She helped us to understand ourselves and each other like we otherwise never would have been able to.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Couples
I have tried counselling many times in the past. This time actually made a difference. I was able to complete online sessions as well as some face to face.Service Attended Adult Relationship Counselling For Individuals

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