So you finally meet a great guy, exchange numbers, and agree to go out on a date. At this point, you should be 100% relaxed about the whole thing. You don’t even know the guy yet, after all, so you’ve got nothing to lose — at least, that’s how you should see things. If for some bizarre and inexplicable reason, you’re already hearing wedding bells and mini-yous, you need to chill the hell out. Here’s how:
Avoid getting wrapped up in a fantasy.
Do you spend your free time fantasizing about this guy? Is it all so utterly perfect? In your daydream, is he a fabulous lover, an excellent cook, and a good listener too? Stop now. I hate to burst your bubble, but this little fantasy is infantile and completely unrealistic. If you’re idealizing this guy, you’ll end up falling for the idea of him rather than the reality — and when you finally come to your senses, you’ll be in for a rude awakening.
Take some time to chill with your girlfriends.
When you first meet an eligible guy, it’s easy to cut your friends out the picture and focus on building your little love story. If you have any respect for yourself or your girlfriends, you won’t dare do that. Spending time with your best friends will do you a whole load of good. It means that you won’t spend all your time with your new man and get utterly besotted with him for no damn reason. Remember this cardinal rule: Hoes before bros for life.
See his flaws, not just his good qualities.
There’s no man on this planet who’s perfect. (Uh, and there’s no such thing as a perfect lady either, so don’t go getting cocky!) If you’re looking at this guy through painfully rose-tinted glasses, it’s time to take them off. Realizing that the man has flaws shouldn’t put you off him, but it may just help you be a little more realistic. In fact, you may end up finding his flaws to be some of his most endearing qualities.
Don’t rush into trying to become official.
If it’s been a long while since you’ve been someone’s girlfriend, you might be pushing to lock him down and start using the ‘R’ word right away. That’s a big mistake and if you’re honest with yourself, you know it. The moment you label this thing — whatever it may be — you’ll become undeniably attached to it. Let it happen in its own time.
Call him out on his BS.
At the start of any relationship, the guy (and the gal) are bound to start spewing a whole load of BS all over the place. If your new special someone is a bragger, an embellisher or sometimes a straight up jerk, call him out on it. Letting him and yourself know that you don’t buy his nonsense will slow things down and determine whether or not he’s worth investing in.
Don’t let your life revolve around him.
If a relationship is the only thing you’re chasing in this life, you need to reevaluate your priorities. At the start of a new relationship, you may want to drop everything and focus on your newfound love, but doing so accelerates the relationship faster than you can say, “Does this thing have brakes?” Newsflash: You need more than just a guy to complete you.
Don’t meet his friends or family just yet.
While it may be tempting (especially around the holidays) to go ahead and meet his social circle, it’s a dumbass move. The moment you’re in, you are IN! That means that this relationship no longer consists of two people getting to know one another. Suddenly, its borders stretch out and encompass all these other people too. Can you say ‘too soon’?
Forget about the future… for now.
If you’re the kind of girl who’s got a five-year plan, it’s no wonder that you’re getting attached too fast. Here’s something you won’t want to hear: Plans don’t always work out the way you expect. You can’t make a schedule for your love life. Sorry. Enjoy the here and now, and forget about the future — it’ll come anyway if it’s meant to be.
Ask yourself what you really want.
Why are you so attached to this guy anyway? Were you looking for someone desperately or did you just happen upon your dream man? Sometimes, you have to get your brain in check before your heart leads you right off an emotional clifftop. Spend a little time considering what you actually want from a relationship before you settle for this guy. That way, you won’t make the colossal error of rushing into a relationship with the wrong man for you.
Enjoy the casual bit — it doesn’t last forever.
Finally, you absolutely have to take this bit of advice. The start of a relationship is breathtakingly exciting. Rather than jumping into the wifey stage, enjoy this casual part of it. Whether you ultimately break up or get married and have ten kids, this early stage never lasts all that long. If you’re hurrying to move things along, you might just blink and miss it.
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