Dating Advice: Keep the Fire Burning!

If you’ve met someone special and hope to get closer, the first few weeks you’re together are the most crucial in predicting whether you’ll form an enduring relationship. During this time, the chemistry and passion will either blossom and take you both to cloud nine where you’ll bond closely, or the flame will fizzle out and die. Heed the tips below if you hope to keep the fire burning.

Become Friends

Don’t get too deep too quickly. Have the kind of conversations you would with a new friend. Show interest in your date’s life, career, and passions, etc.. Ask questions and listen. Tell your date about yourself. Try to get to know each other better, but don’t mention forever, marriage, commitment, a desire to have children, or suggest that your relationship is going to be great. Such talk could turn your date off and send him or her running.

Enjoy Yourself

Relax and have fun. Enjoy your time together. Don’t be afraid to show that being with your date is fun, exciting, and interesting and that you enjoy his or her company. Besides, a bright smile will make you all the more attractive and alluring.

Don’t Beg

Don’t pressure your date into doing something that he or she doesn’t want to do. Don’t beg him or her to take you somewhere or to get together with you. This is a sure fire way to push your date away and ruin your relationship as you’ll come off as insecure, unstable, and, possibly, controlling. If your date says, “no,” humbly accept this answer. Respect your date’s boundaries or the relationship, if it continues, will be an unhappy one that’s later filled with regret.

Take the Hint

Is your date giving you hints? Is she or he not returning your phone calls or emails? Then don’t press the issue or call or email him or her incessantly. Relax and wait for this person to contact you, otherwise, you’ll be seen as desperate and insecure, which is a big turn off. Sure, you could ask straight out, but doing so will not ensure that you’ll receive a truthful answer, especially if your date doesn’t want to hurt your feelings (This seems to be especially true of men.). So pay attention and watch for the clues.

Leave Sex Out of the Picture

Refrain from discussing or having sex until you are officially a couple. It’s inappropriate to talk about sex early in your relationship. And don’t even consider sex until you know each other well and have strong feelings for each other or it will ruin the relationship. It also communicates to the other person that you’re more interested in their physical characteristics than in who they are.

Play it Safe

First dates should take place in public places. Don’t ever go anywhere or do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Carry your cell phone with you just in case and make sure a friend knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back. It’s even a good idea if you don’t give out personal information about yourself, such as your phone number or address until you trust the person you’re dating.

Limit Your Contact

Don’t call, write, or text your date too frequently. Limit it to once a day unless your date emails or calls you. And don’t say things like, “I miss you,” or “I can’t wait to see you again.” Such messages may be too intense early in the relationship and could quickly scare your prospective partner off. Likewise, don’t overwhelm your date with attention or show up more than once a week or smother him or her with physical affection, such as hand holding and kissing. Take it slowly. If you want a close relationship with this person, take the time to get to know each other first.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Be honest. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not or boast about your ability, wealth, success, etc.. You could appear arrogant. And if your date thinks you’re someone you’re not, it could result in disappointment when he or she learns the truth. If you hope to have a future together, then this person needs to love you for who you really are or your relationship will result in heartbreak. At the same time, don’t be so blinded by passion that you fail to notice that your date may not be who he or she claims to be. Dishonesty is a red flag that should send you running.

Evaluate Your Differences

When two people come together, there are going to be major differences in many areas of their lives, including, cultural backgrounds, spiritual or religious beliefs, socio economical standards, family values, traditions, ethics, and political beliefs. Decide whether you could live with these differences or not and be truly happy with them before you take the relationship further, knowing that it’s unlikely that another’s deeply ingrained ideologies and values will ever change.

What Does Your Instinct Tell You?

Do you have a bad feeling about this person? Your gut is likely correct. If you hear warning alarms, pay attention–they’re trying to tell you something that you probably don’t want to hear. This “gut instinct” happens early in the relationship, often within the first two dates.

Judge Sparingly

Don’t be too quick to judge your date. No one is perfect. Human beings have a lot of strange quirks and ways of doing things. Not everything your date does will meet your approval and mot every element of behavior will be perfect. Take it in stride, accept it, and move past it if you think this person is the one you want to spend your life with. Loving someone is about accepting them even with their faults, not just about idealistic romance.

Be You

Don’t lose yourself. Continue to be you. Refuse to lose your identity behind that of your partner. Keep the things that matter to you high on your priority list and continue to make them part of your daily life, including your hobbies, dreams, career choices, passions, spending time with family and friends, etc.. Not only will this make you feel great about being you, and keep you healthier and happier, but it will also make you confident, and that’s attractive to a prospective mate.

Don’t Be Late

It’s rude to keep your date waiting. If something comes up and you need to change your plans, give your date as much notice as possible. And always apologize.–always be polite and considerate.

Evaluate Your Standards

What do you want in a partner? Make a list. Keep in mind that no one is perfect and no one can possibly fill all of the requirements of a dream love, but at the same time, keep your standard high. And most of all, don’t lower your standard in the things that are the most important to you or you could end up in a miserable relationship.

Don’t Get Drunk

Avoid alcohol until you’ve been together a while; for not only does it lower your inhibitions and could result in some activity that you wouldn’t normally do, but it can lead to regret and a breakup. Not only will your potential partner see you at your worst, but it may also be impossible to redeem yourself afterward.

Your Social Circle

Slowly introduce your date to family and friends, especially your parents, after you’ve dated for a while as meeting the significant people in your life will be stressful for your date, and could also be seen as moving way too fast for comfort. Waiting a few weeks will also give you time to recognize your potential date’s cues and know when he or she is uncomfortable.

Dark Secrets

We all have secrets, things we regret, failures, etc. And though it’s important for you to be honest with your date, there’s no reason to tell him or her everything straight away. After a few dates when things are going great between you two, you should discuss the fact that you both have pasts and that you would like to share them down the road. Just don’t let the skeletons hide in the closet too long or they could become secrets that will harm your relationship.

Reject Directly

If you’re not interested in having a relationship with someone, tell them directly. Making excuses or stringing someone along simply because you’re either too scared to tell them the truth or afraid you’ll hurt their feelings is selfish and hurtful. Tell them gently but firmly that it’s over.

Bobette Bryan is well-known for her romantic and inspirational poetry. You can share her love poems and ecards at Express your heart and get closer to the one you love.

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