Budding relationships are intoxicating: the chemistry, the excitement, the potential. It’s fantastic. The problem is, you can’t think straight. You end up making stupid decisions – Of course I want to fly to Vegas and elope! We’ll just introduce you to my family when we get back. Or you let the uncertainty drive you crazy – It’s been 2 hours and he hasn’t responded to any of my 17 text messages. Sure it’s Wed at 2pm but he couldn’t possibly be in a meeting or doing anything work-related during regular working hours. He must be hooking up with a co-worker.
Before you go blowing your chances completely, here are a few things to keep in mind as your new romance begins to blossom.
Don’t be so eager to be “exclusive”
You just met this guy. Sure he seems great but they all seem great in the first few weeks. They’re always “the one” and you’re so excited to tell everyone all about him because in your fool head you’ve already picked your wedding gown and the names for your unborn children. He just doesn’t know it yet. I get it. But how many times have you run your mouth about how AMAZING your new boyfriend is only to find out a few weeks later he hit on your best friend or has someone locked in his basement. Slow down and diversify your love life for a while. You should be dating no less than three guys at the same time. I’m not saying sleep with all of them, but until you really get to know them, keep your options open. And be honest. Tell them you’re “seeing other people” because quite frankly, if he’s that into you, he’ll waste no time bringing up the exclusivity topic. You should never have to initiate the where-are-we/what-are-we discussion. Any man who’s serious about you will make sure you know EXACTLY where you stand.
Don’t sleep with him right away
If it looks like a duck…
You’ll come off as cheap and easy (read: not the kind of girl he will take home to Mom) if you give it up on the first date and you’ll look even worse if you met two hours ago at the bar. Do not sleep with him on the first date and wonder, “Why didn’t he call me?” You know precisely why he didn’t call you. Sure, there are guys out there who will respect you the next morning and no, it’s not impossible for relationships to start out as a fling and end in marital bliss. But statistically speaking, that’s probably not going to happen. Both of you should keep your pants on for at least three to five dates. I don’t have anything against one night stands. They can be fun. Just be sure to manage your expectations because no one wants to hear you whining about how there are no good guys out there.
Don’t be a stage 10 clinger
The only time you should send a barrage of emails/texts/calls is if there’s an emergency. If you find yourself compelled to text him every detail, he’s going to think 1) you have no life and/or 2) you are crazy. You may very well be both. But seriously. Calm. Down. There’s a reason the “3 Day Rule exists.” Don’t text him hourly status updates about where you are and what you ate for breakfast and what you’re wearing to work – that’s what Facebook is for.
Don’t dump your emotional baggage on him
For the first 3-4 months, he should have absolutely no idea just how screwed up your life really is. Dating is a sales pitch. You want to put your best foot forward. Think about television commercials. Within 30 seconds, you will know exactly how that product will make your life better or why that product is better than the competition. With the exception of those crazy drug commercials that warn you about side effects like erections lasting more than four hours and anal leakage, advertisements will not tell you anything about the product’s drawbacks. You have to dig a little deeper, read the fine print, and start comparison shopping to find out exactly what’s wrong. You are a product and every date is a commercial. Telling him you hate your job, you think you’re fat, and you have “daddy issues” is not going to make him ask you out again. He’s going to change the channel unless you keep your baggage in check, which brings me to my next point…
Don’t expect him or the relationship to FIX anything
I love a Disney movie as much as the next person, but let’s face it, they’ve brainwashed us into thinking we need someone to come save us. Cinderella was basically an indentured servant until her fairy godmother came along and got her all dolled up to meet the price who then swooped in and rescued her from her evil step-mother. Here’s a thought, Cinny: Why not just leave your bitchy step-mom and your miserable step-sisters behind and pursue a life on your own? Why not ask your fairy godmother for a few tips on how to build a successful business? She wasn’t waiting for a man to sweep her off her feet and she seems to be doing just fine. And she’s HAPPY! My point is, get your shit together first; then go in search of a man to complement the wonderful life you’ve built on your own.
This list of relationship “don’ts” may seem like a no-brainer. But how many times have you done one (ahem, or all) of these things?…
Kate’s Dates runs every other Wednesday on Kate-book.com. It is written by the lovely Kate Richlin-Zack, who fully admits to majoring in engineering to meet guys. Her articles have been featured on xoJane, YourTango, and Romance Never Dies. She’s been quoted in Fox News Magazine and featured on Huffington Post Live. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.