Once a relationship has started on a downward spiral, it's
hard to turn around, so the most important part of a
relationship is the beginning. That's when you set the tone
for the rest of your interactions. Here are three tried and
true guidelines for getting a relationship off on a sound
- l. ALWAYS START ON A LOW ROMANTIC NOTE
- This means start slowly, as friends. A
relationship that starts on too high a romantic note
has nowhere to go but down.
Don't start out leaving cutesy notes and saying "I love
you" too soon. If you do, the first time someone fails
to say "I love you" on cue, the other person thinks,
"Whoops, I better pull back." Lacking a solid basis of
understanding and friendship, the relationship can then
start to fizzle out over something that superficial.
Never say "I love you" until you've dated steadily for at
least a month. Anything sooner is asking for trouble.
- 2. DON'T GIVE TOO MUCH TOO SOON
- If you give too much information about yourself too
soon, you lose your mystery. If you give gifts too
soon, you come across as needy and desperate. If you
give too much of your time too soon, the other person
takes you for granted.
You know if you've given too much too soon because you
feel cheated, as if you're not getting enough back.
The best way to give is intermittantly. Give just enough of
yourself to let the other person see how wonderful you can
be, then back off a little to see if the other person is
responding, then give a little more. See "Are You Giving Too Much Too
- 3. DON'T "TEACH" SOMEONE TO TREAT YOU BADLY
- We all tend to overlook things in the beginning.
We want to appear "cool;" we don't want to rock the
boat. Wrong. Listen to your integrity. You know when
you feel bad. Speak up. You have everything to gain
and nothing to lose. Do it fast, do it first.
Often, it's the cutest guys or sexiest women who will
pull something outrageous on the first date, like being
an hour late or flirting with someone at the next
table. Some real charmers have been getting away with
murder for so long they think murder is acceptable.
Don't stand for bad behavior. No matter how attracted
you are to a new person, don't let them treat you like
a doormat -- even once.
Be calm but firm. "Look, I've been waiting here, and
you breeze in 40 minutes late without a good reason or
a really sincere apology. We can't be friends if we
don't have respect for each other. Maybe this date
wasn't such a good idea after all." See what the other
The fascinating thing about this strategy is that it's self-
resolving. If your date is hopelessly spoiled or isn't
seriously interested in you, he or she will go off in a huff
and you'll have just saved yourself a lot of time and
possible heartache. (See "For Women:
Men to Avoid" or "For Men: Women
Or you may find your date is a basically nice person who was
acting thoughtlessly (or maybe was testing you). He or she
may be taken aback by being "called" on their behaviour, but
they'll respect you for speaking up. Best of all, you'll
feel better about yourself, no matter what the outcome.
Related Keywords: Dating Strategies, Over-Romanticizing, Giving Too Much, Qualifying Someone
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