We all know how hard it can be to find someone you click with, are attracted to, is emotionally available, has a sense of humour, has sorted out their baggage and isn't a figment of your imagination. And while it's easy to become infatuated with this wonderful human, we need to also stay grounded and remember the golden rules so that it lasts and has a chance of becoming a long-term thing.
1. Keep it casual for a while
It's easy to be swept off our feet, especially when it's mutual and the chemistry between you both is intoxicating. And while you may want to spend every single day with them, don't. Have some down time in between seeing each other and make sure you keep the dates casual, fun and light with time limits. This gives you a chance to not only miss each other but also gain some perspective. Hold back on the intimacy for a few weeks (or months!) and give yourself a chance to know their character before you know their... errr... touch.
2. Set a budget
It might seem a bit stupid, but when your head is in the clouds, your heart is on your sleeve and your feet are floating, your wallet will be an open coffer ready to be drained. Who can put a price on love, right? Well I can and I say it has got a $60 limit.
Seriously though, dating someone often means a lot more social events, dinners, drinks, concerts, mini trips and clothes, and before you know it you have spent a few hundred dollars extra a week just to pay for it all.
A good way to work it out is only go on one expensive date a week and then do other activities that cost less in between. For example; exercise, coffee, beach. Don't feel cheap or guilty for suggesting more budget-friendly dates -- it's good to be sensible and realistic because let's face it... being broke isn't sexy.
3. Guard your heart
It's so easy to fall for someone quickly and offer your little heart openly when all those little butterflies and gooey feelings have gone to your head. But give yourself a chance to really get to know them first before you decide if they are 'the one' and start tattooing their name on your chest.
Love is blinding and it's easy to get caught in the moment and offer yourself when you haven't actually had time to know their true character and intentions. Don't be in a rush to fall in love, find the balance between being vulnerable but also cautious. Your heart is a treasure so guard it and save it for someone who is worthy of possessing it.
4. Find a balance
This means not putting everything into your hot new crush. Remember, you still have to sleep, eat and work. Stay focused and independent, and remember what your daily responsibilities are -- even though your priorities have changed it doesn't mean the rest of your life should be neglected. It's important to have some space and time apart so that you can gain perspective but also so you can maintain who you are as an individual. Make time for your other activities, arrive to work on time, get enough sleep, wash your smalls and go food shopping.
5. Remember your friends
Remember those people you used to hang out with before you got swept up with your new partner? Yes, good friends will understand that a new beau means you'll have less social time for them, but it's important not to abuse or neglect the long-term relationships you have already built in your life. Make a point to see them and interact regularly, to ask about their lives and listen to what they have to say.
While your world might be revolving around your new romance, you have to stop and check yourself and make sure that you are still nurturing the other people in your life. There's nothing worse than a 'friend' who does the 'disappear and reappear' act depending on whether they are single or not. #notcool
6. Have fun and take it as it comes
It's important not to have unrealistic expectations for your new flame. It's natural for us to have specific notions of how everything should be and turn out, but let's not put pressure on the situation and our crush because disappointment isn't fun.
Take it as it comes, enjoy each date separately, and don't start planning the next six months of your life with them just yet. You're getting to know the person, and this is the important part as you need to see if they are consistent and compatible with you. Take your time, enjoy yourself and if it's meant to be then the natural progression will occur.
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