Kate Moss famously said that her husband would not be happy if she “dressed like a wife”, which everyone took to mean slobbing about in trackie bottoms. Judgmental perhaps, but then actress Eva Mendes went further, describing “sweatpants” as the “number one cause of divorce in America”.
First, beware the curse of the jog pants – don’t let yourself go, so diet, exercise and dress as you did while you were still trying to appeal to a potential partner.
Don’t overshare on social media, as in quickly updating your Facebook status to “in a relationship”. It’s scary.
Don’t get needy – putting another person in charge of your happiness is a sure way to ruin a relationship.
Don’t try to force commitment – so try not to openly wonder “where this is going”, within weeks.
Don’t over-analyse every word and text.
Don’t see him/her as a project – people don’t like to be tweaked and really what you’re saying is that they are not good enough.
All useful advice, and not just for those in their first long-term relationship. A couple of my friends have recently gone back on the market and are quite merrily making all those mistakes, and more. In honour of one recently separated male friend, I’d like to add my own tip: Do not “update your wardrobe” with a pair of ridiculously skinny jeans. No only are they dangerous (we’ve learned this week that they can damage nerves), they also look really stupid on middle-aged legs, no matter how much weight you’ve lost or how fit you are belatedly becoming. Just don’t. You remind me of SpongeBob SquarePants. There, I’ve said it.
A female friend who split from her husband last year recently thought she had found her new mate and then made most of the classic relationship mistakes. He didn’t like it and cooled it. Good thing too because she’d have exhausted herself trying to sort him out and keep him happy. That’s not a relationship – it’s a self-imposed prison sentence.
Which is why I believe that, in a new relationship, you should only ever be yourself. If that means that you over-share, over-tweak, over-analyse, over-cling and wear jog pants, so be it. If your new partner doesn’t like it, they’ll finish it, so you can get on with finding the one who, in the words of Bridget Jones, likes you “just as you are”.