If you've never been in a relationships before, it can be nerve wracking to start a one. So if you're staring love in the eyes, read this.

You're an adult, you're single, and you love your life. Perhaps you are going on dates occasionally but nothing seems to last. This could be in part because you're just too good looking for your own good (how horrible).

Or maybe you're looking for something more. Perhaps you are tired of being the third wheel to your best friends who are a couple. Perhaps you're tired of going home and getting in bed alone after a lovely evening of red wine with your friends who are in relationships.

Hey, maybe you've even found the new divorce rate improvements as an encouraging sign for love.

The good news is that just because you have never been in a relationship as an adult, does not mean you are a late bloomer.

You're simply preparing yourself by being awesome alone while you learn exactly who you are, what you need from a relationship, and what you have to offer.

Have no fear, the guide to finding an incredible relationship is here:

1. Being Independent is Good, But Stay Open

Because you've been single throughout the majority of your life, you've learned a lot of amazing things. You've most likely learned how to take care of yourself. You probably have a set routine that helps you stay productive.

Chances are high you've got a decent job, have friends you love, and you are paying your own bills. If this isn't the case then stop reading here and go get a job and start paying your own bills.

The great thing about being independent is that you are going to walk into your new relationship as a bonafide adult. You'll eliminate a plethora of problems by simply being a stable human being.

You cannot offer and contribute things to another person's life if you do not have your own life under control. Remember that your independence is a powerful tool. It also might be what attracts you to someone.

However, it is important to not become set in your ways as if you are a 75-year-old geezer in a geriatric home. If someone comes along who you think you like but they aren't exactly gelling with your lifestyle, be patient.

Be willing to try new things. Be willing to open your mind and heart to a journey with someone who perhaps didn't fit your idea of "perfect". Keep your independence, but let someone else in.

Luckily in 2017, relationships are headed toward equal partnerships instead of the whole "one partner makes the money, one does housework" (thankfully).

However, as humans, we need to feel needed. Maintain your independence while learning to share the ride that is life with another human.

2. If Heartbreak Occurs, Get Back Up Again

People who have never been in a long-term relationship are usually completely shattered when a shorter-term one they are in goes wrong. It is wonderful that you've opened yourself up and started a relationship with someone, even if it didn't turn out the way you'd hoped.

The truth is people make mistakes. Some of the mistakes are absolutely trivial and you can move past them. Others are deal breakers that will make you wish you still had never been in a relationship.

If your person has cheated on you, you will absolutely feel devastated for some time. And you should. If you don't allow yourself to grieve and feel the heartbreak, then when you feel ultimately happy again it will always be slightly tempered.

Most people have had their hearts shattered at one time or another. As cheesy and cliché as it sounds, heartbreaks will line your path to the one person who won't break your heart.

Don't become jaded and don't become bitter.

If you revel in your heartbreak and start assuming everyone is a jerk, then you'll never find your one true love. Let yourself feel the heartbreak, and then put on your sexiest outfit and get back out in the word with a cup of optimism in your hand (coffee... or beer).

3. Eliminate the Games If You've Never Been In A Relationship Before

Listen, you're a grown up now, even if you've never been in a relationship. And while no one wants a crazy person banging down their door if texts go unanswered, it's ok to be forthright about your feelings. Eliminate guessing games.

If someone wants to be with you, they will make the effort to do so. You cannot force someone into a relationship by games and manipulation. Do not post things on Instagram with other people just to make your desired one jealous.

If you want to talk to them, pick up the phone. There are no rules about who calls who and who needs to send the last text. Having said that...

4. Be The Salt Lick

While you don't need to play games, you do need to play it cool. After you've let your person know you're interested, you can know that you've done your work. Just because you've never been in a relationship, doesn't mean you need to wave a giant pink flag that says "novice", on it.

There's an analogy called "be the salt lick". A salt lick is essentially a block of salt. It's a deposit of salts and other minerals that attracts animals and livestock to it for licking. Guess what a salt lick does?

A salt lick stays stationary in all of its gorgeous mineral glory in the middle of a field. The salt lick literally has to just be to attract animals of all shapes and sizes to come give it a lick.

Want to get licked? Be the salt lick. Let them come to you.

Relationships Take Work

Any relationship that is worthwhile is going to require a little work and effort on everyone's part. What you get in return for working at cultivating love is well worth the blood, sweat, and tears that you'll put into it.

Coming home to your person on a daily basis as you unwind and spill about your day is just the beginning of the benefits. Building a life with someone and sharing our time on earth with another person is invaluable.

It's what the love songs, romantic novels, and movies are all about. For more tips and advice about getting into a beautiful, fulfilling relationship -- click here.

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   


Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS