When you start dating someone you’re crazy about, you have to resist the urge to come on too strong and scare him away. It’s happened to me numerous times in the past; I’ve been too available, I haven’t let my new guy breathe and most importantly, I haven’t given him the opportunity to miss me. Needless to say, it never worked out. Don’t make the same mistakes I have—step away from the boyfriend.

Don’t make him a priority. Instead of carrying on with your life as normal, you decide to make him the center of your universe. You cancel plans with your friends to hang out with him, you change your Facebook relationship status, you even daydream about what he’d look like in a tux on our wedding day. This is all so very wrong. It’s still the very early stages, so he shouldn’t automatically earn a top spot in your life—at least not for a while yet.

Have a life outside of him. Don’t put your life on hold on a Saturday night just in case he decides to call and see if you want to hang out. You had a life before him and you still want to have that life if it all goes wrong one day. Being too available for him only comes across as needy and desperate, and it certainly won’t make him miss you if you’re always at the other end of the phone waiting for him.

Don’t rush things. The beginning stages of dating someone new or being in a fresh relationship are fun and exciting. I can’t for the life of me understand why some gals want to stay over at his house all weekend, meet all of his friends and have a phone conversation with his mom after only three weeks of being together. Ladies, there’s plenty of time for all that! Just enjoy getting to know him and don’t try and hurry things along, otherwise, what will there be to look forward to?

Go easy with the communication. When you start to really like someone, all logic goes out of the window. Instead of casually checking in with him once every couple of days, it can be hard to resist texting him on the hour every hour, even if he’s not your boyfriend yet! My suggestion is to refrain from messaging him unless he messages you. And, when he does message you, give it at least a few hours before you respond. During this time period, I guarantee he’ll be wondering where you are, what you’re doing and missing you.

Subtlety goes a long way. When you do message him, don’t be telling him every five minutes how amazing and handsome he is and that you’re missing him so much. It’s important to keep things a bit chill in the early stages of seeing someone, even if you don’t feel like it. Remember the saying “play it cool”? Sure you do. Well, do that.

Keep doing you unapologetically. Go about your business and focus on yourself just as much as you would do if he wasn’t a part of your life. All guys appreciate and respect a strong, independent woman—that’s exactly the kind of woman they want to be with. Just do you and treat him as a bonus in your life and he’ll soon try to be a bigger part of it.

Look hot on social media.. In this day and age, as soon as you start talking to a potential boyfriend, you’ll add him on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like. It’s how everyone keeps an eye on everybody else nowadays, so you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll be stalking you on social media just as much as you’re stalking him. Make sure you’re on top form when you post your #selfieoftheday and I promise that he’ll be putty in your hand.

Be someone that he’ll miss. Are you being your awesome, fun self when you do get to speak to him or spend time with him? Do you keep cool, calm, and collected? Do you have a laugh with him? Do you compliment him? Guys are pretty simple beings. They want to see and speak to people who make them feel good. If you’re a positive person to be around, there’s no denying that he’ll want to hang out with you more and more.

Let him make the plans. If he wants you, he’s going to have to come and get you, damn it! Don’t put yourself on a plate for him—make him work hard for it before you agree to meet up or speak to him. In the past, I’ve said that I’m busy even though I’m not just to get a reaction that’s usually on the lines of, “Oh no, that’s a shame! I really wanted to see you! How about tomorrow or the day after?” If you turn him down regularly, he’ll fight even harder for you. True story.

Keep the mystery alive. When they just start seeing someone, why do some gals bombard guys with questions and try to learn everything about them straight away? If you do this, you’ll know everything about each other too soon and there’ll be nothing left to find out. Don’t ask too many questions right away and don’t offer information about yourself unless he asks. The chase will be more interesting for him this way.

The trick is to give him plenty of space and always keep him wanting more. Even if you’re in a long distance relationship or you’ve been with your guy for years upon years, you should still let him miss you every now and then. Trust me, it’ll work wonders for your relationship. You shouldn’t HAVE to do all of this with guys but the sad fact is, you do with most of them.

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