Women gripe about this and that in their relationships. Maybe they feel like they’re stuck in a dead end. Maybe they would like more passion and less pragmatism. Maybe the romance has become routine. Maybe they just can’t find that Mr. Right for any relationship at all.

If you need a helping hand in the love department, these no-nonsense dating tips are for you. Initiate and cultivate a thriving romance with this practical advice! It’s all about respecting your own self-worth and that of your partner.

  • Relationship Tips #1: Find your own happiness first.

Being infatuated with someone can make you forget about your own needs and priorities. Put yourself first. Continue to seek and find your own happiness as an individual by spending time doing the things you loved even before you met your partner. Identify those facets of your life that are uniquely yours, and continue to pursue them with or without your man.

Prioritising yourself while in a relationship may sound a tad selfish. But it actually makes good sense. How can you expect to be happy in a relationship if you’re not happy on your own?

When you’re happy you’ll feel good on the inside, and that will be reflected in your good looks on the outside. When you’re radiant, your disposition will rub off on your partner, or even attract potential partners if you are still single.

  • Relationship Tips #2: Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

Do not step into a relationship for the wrong reasons, like feeling lonely, bored or lustful. Do not expect other people to fill any particular gap in your life. If you learn to love yourself, being alone will not necessarily mean that you feel lonely.

  • Relationship Tips #3: Do not compromise yourself just to be with a man.

Too many women make too many sacrifices for the sake of a romantic relationship. Some pull back on their dignity, education, career, finances and even safety to be with men whom they think they want to be with. If you compromise about who you are, you will relinquish your happiness, and the relationship will eventually suffer.

What are your life values? Do you want to forego premarital sex and save yourself for marriage? What are your short-term and long-term goals? Do you want to travel the world in your 20’s without worrying about settling down quite yet? Reflect on what you want in life. Then stick firmly to your decisions. Do not give up your principles and your dreams just to be with someone.

If you find that your partner is not respecting your body, your ideals and your sentiments, leave him and look for someone else who will.

  • Relationship Tips #4: Respect his sense of self too.

While you are busy being who you are, remember to also give him time and space to be himself. Don’t be hypocritical by refusing to change your values while forcing him to align with yours.

Everybody has their own way of making themselves happy. Does he want to spend every Saturday morning swimming and surfing at the beach? Let him devote that time to himself. Maybe you can spend the day without him while you do yoga. Does he want to further his education and spend a few more years at university? Lend him your moral support. If you want him to respect your happiness, life values and dreams, learn to respect his.

As She Said Singapore notes in a blog post, a mature relationship involves partners who exhibit high self-esteem and can make independent decisions. Appreciate that you and your partner are not co-dependent.

  • Relationship Tips #5: Be ready to accept his family.

Aside from accepting his sense of self, you must also be prepared to accept his family. Your partner may be an all-around awesome person, but take note that once you tie the knot, you marry not only him but his family as well. That includes his weird uncle and that long-lost cousin. Your family circle essentially doubles, meaning that the number of people who might show up uninvited on any particular holiday also doubles!

  • Relationship Tips #6: Do not settle for being his side dish.

You must be his one-and-only, his exclusive main course, or nothing at all. Infidelity is something you must never tolerate in a relationship. First and foremost, do not jeopardise your own health by staying with him if you are aware of affairs he is having. You never know what kind of nasty diseases he may pick up and bring home.

Second, do not be content being one of his many women. You deserve to be his one-and-only, the sole dish on his menu. Infidelity destroys the foundation of a relationship – trust. Do not endanger your own emotional well-being by staying with a cheater.

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).