Starting up a new relationship is the best and the worst thing. You’re excited about this cool new person, but you’re also confused about timelines and whether or not things are working out the way they should. Not everything happens on a smooth and steady timeline, but in a perfect world, here’s how your new relationship would develop:
You mutually agree on a second date on the night of the first one. You’ve been there so many times: you have a decent date, tell the guy you had fun, he says he’ll text you… and then you never hear from him again. In the best case scenario, you like a guy and it’s super clear that he’s interested, too. You both discuss hanging out again before you say goodnight.
There’s no radio silence between dates. Sure, you don’t want a clingy guy who texts you like he has no job and no life. But you also don’t want to start something with a guy who doesn’t feel like ever getting in touch. You want there to be a good amount of texting going on between dates. This will help you get to know each other and develop your bond a bit. Plus there’s the fact that when a guy likes you, he texts you. Period. That proves that you’re on his mind even when you’re not together.
You feel some form of butterflies. You want to feel that special combo of nervous and excited when you start dating someone new. If you don’t feel that way and even feel kind of numb about the whole thing, then guess what? You’re either forcing it or you’re still not sure about him. Make sure that you actually feel something so you don’t settle.
You hang out on a regular basis. If a guy only wants to see you once every three weeks, then he doesn’t want a girlfriend — he wants a texting buddy or even just a friend. You deserve to be in a relationship where you see each other as much as possible. In the early days, you should see each other pretty often because you’re still getting to know each other and you need to see if the chemistry is actually there.
Your friends and family like the idea of him. Of course it’s too early to introduce him to the people in your life, and of course you don’t want to make up your mind about someone based on others’ opinions. But if your best friend sees a major red flag, it’s always a good idea to listen. You want your friends and fam to be happy for you and to think that this is something worth getting involved in.
You can have conversations about anything and everything. Don’t like talking to this guy? Don’t have anything in common? Only sticking around because he’s cute? That’s only going to get worse if you keep seeing him. If your new relationship is developing the way that it should, then you feel like you can talk to the guy about anything and really enjoy your conversations, whether in person or via text.
You’re not afraid of the future. It may sound crazy but it’s honestly not: when you’re dating someone that you know deep down isn’t right for you, you’re scared of the future. You feel trapped because you don’t actually want to be with them. If the future seems bright instead of boring, then you’re on the right track.
You feel like things are moving forward. You have The Talk (and all the pre-talks that you tend to have where you dance around the issue). You discuss what you each want and you’re definitely on the same page. You don’t have to wonder if he’s going to randomly freak out about committing to you because the signs point to him being your actual boyfriend.
You talk to him more than you talk about him. Sometimes it’s easy to get so caught up in finally dating someone that you end up telling all your BFFs about him when nothing has even happened yet. As long as you’re actually interested in dating each other and are spending time together, then go ahead, tell your friends about the awesome guy that you just met.
You both officially say goodbye to dating… because you’re dating each other. Whether you want to delete Tinder at the same time in the same room or have given each other the BF/GF label (ideally both), you’re embarking on the next stage of your life with this guy. You feel a sense of peace that you haven’t had in a while, and you just know that this is the right thing to be a part of. And it’s going to be amazing.
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