Your first relationship
So here it is, you've actually got a real live boy or girlfriend. Whether they're the first person you think of when you wake and the last when you go to sleep at night, or you just love the company of that person, here's what to expect, and the rules to follow.
1 Take it easy
Don't rush things. Relationships need time to grow - especially if you want yours to last. Undying declarations of mad, passionate love may sound romantic, but can overwhelm the other person, making them back off. It can also lead to unreal expectations which might not be fulfilled.
2 Give them space
Your new boyfriend/girlfriend does like you a lot, hence the fact you are in a relationship, but don't get angry or feel rejected if they want to spend time with their friends too. Give them enough space not to feel pressurised into seeing you the whole time otherwise it'll begin to get annoying for the other person.
3 Surprise them
Buying gifts can be really sweet and showing how much you care for them is lovely. Don't do it too often though - it gets expensive and too predictable. You're not buying love, remember, just showing you care.
4 Be supportive
If your other half has family problems or problems with work or friendships try and be there for them - on an emotional level you will help them just by showing them affection and support as well as being able to talk about things with them.
5 Do things with others
Even if you are both totally into each other, don't forget your friends who were there before - and who'll be there afterwards. Go and do stuff with them, as a couple. Having other people around can actually help you feel closer.
This is vital if a relationship is going to grow in a positive direction. Talk to each other about your feelings and it will decrease the chances of you growing apart from one another. If you have something to say to them, and especially about them, you can say it in a supportive, non-critical way, which isn't going to make them feel bad, and get what you want.
7 Be honest and show respect
Respect and honesty are also vital for relationships. If you catch yourself wanting to lie, something's wrong. If you do lie, chances are you'll be found out - and even if you aren't, you'll feel less close to your boyfriend or girlfriend than you could, as if something bad's come between you. Who wants to go out with a lier?
Whatever you decide to do in this department, take things slowly and do what you both feel comfortable doing. It's almost certainly best to wait. Enjoy the romance. Get to know each other better and better. Sex will change you and it will change the relationship.
9 Planning ahead
It's probably not the best idea to book a holiday with you new 'love' six months in advance at vast expense even if you what you are feeling is the greatest feeling you have ever felt - being in love.
That said, think about things you could do together. Booking tickets for gigs and concerts give you both something to look forward to - and if it all goes wrong, you could take someone else instead.
10 Don't cheat
Ever. It ruins confidence in the person being cheated on and will destroy any trust you ever had in each other. If you feel that your feelings are changing or have changed towards your girlfriend/boyfriend, then split up with them before moving on. Don't learn this lesson the hard way.
What do you want?
Not sure if you're doing the right thing - or if you're pushing things too far?
So ask. You don't need to make a big speech. 'Should I?' will often cover it - with a gesture