1.) Don’t play the wait to text game
Ooh! He texted me! Hmm…what should I say?—wait, I can’t reply right away. It would make seem too into him. Let me wait a few minutes so he knows I have a life. Or maybe a few hours. Or tomorrow—but no, what if he loses interest? I have to text him so he won’t forget about me…unless texting him too soon makes him lose interest and forget about me.
Don’t be that girl. The one overthinking and overstressing about when and what to text a someone she likes.
It’s confusing for him and it’s confusing for you.
If he texts you, reply as soon as you see it.
You could happen to see it right when you receive it, a few minutes later because you stepped out of the room, or a few hours later because you were hard at work.
Sometimes you’ll text back right away, other times you won’t. Just reply whenever you see the text each time and it will seem natural—because it is natural.
Don’t play games and hopefully he won’t either.
2.) Do give him space
Text, call, and email him back, but don’t bombard him with messages.
Let him have his own life and show him that you have yours. Depending on your ages, texting back and forth all day may or may not be normal. And even if it’s normal to you, it may not be normal to him.
If you text, email or call him, do it once and then wait for him to respond. Don’t text, call or email again and again if he doesn’t immediately respond.
He probably isn’t ignoring you—but he might start if you act obsessed.
3.) Don’t expect him to pay for the date
If you’re on a first date, just assume you’re going Dutch. If he wants to pay your meal, too, then you’ll get a pleasant surprise and if he doesn’t, then you’re not embarrassed or offended when he asks for separate checks.
It’s the 21st century and we’re still recovering from a recession. Your guy may actually want to pay for you but be unable to at the moment, or he might be waiting to make sure you’re interested in him—not just a free meal. Fair enough. You have to wait to see if he’s interest in you—not just sex.
4.) Do be a lady
Be lady and expect him to be a gentleman. Just because you’re going Dutch, doesn’t mean you’re giving up manners and class.
On a first date (and on every date, and outside of dating) both you and he should be polite, respectful and kind.
The saying goes “if he’s nice to you, but not to the waiter, he’s not a nice person.” So, pay attention not only to how he treats you, but how he treats others and also be mindful of your own behavior.
Say please and thank you to the waiter if you go to a restaurant. Make polite, interesting conversation instead of gossiping, making fun of others (even celebrities and politicians—okay, maybe politicians are okay to make fun of), or badmouthing your exes.
5.) Don’t let ex(es) affect your expectations
Speaking of exes, don’t badmouth them and also don’t let how they treated you color how you see your new guy.
Just because your ex cheated, doesn’t mean all men are cheaters.
You wouldn’t want any of your guy’s exes clouding his opinion of you, or women in general, so don’t let your exes cloud your opinion of him.
This is a new man. Give him the benefit of the doubt.
6.) Do be careful
Still, you need to be careful. Just because you’re not letting your exes affect how you see your new guy, doesn’t mean you should lose common sense.
Take precautions and trust your instincts. Tell a friend who you’re going on a date with, where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Take your own transportation to and from the date. Don’t go anywhere alone with him if you don’t feel comfortable. Don’t take a drink from him that you haven’t seen poured—in fact, don’t drink too much when you don’t know him that well.
He might be a great guy or he might be a terrible one, but the first few dates are meant for figuring that out without getting hurt.
7.) Don’t get too attached too soon
Figuring out what kind of guy he is and if he’s right for you without getting hurt means both physically and emotionally.
He may seem perfect, the man of your dreams, Prince Charming—but he’s not. No one is because no one is perfect. You’re not perfect either and you know that.
So no matter how awesome he seems, don’t get too attached to him. He could be gone without a warning tomorrow, or you could spend the rest of your life with him. You don’t know yet.
Let things develop gradually. Make sure he is attached and emotionally invested in you, too, before you fall in love with him. That way, if he isn’t into to you, you don’t get your heart broken.
8.) Do allow yourself to feel
Don’t fall head over heels for a guy after the first date, but do let yourself appreciate him if he surprised you with flowers or just has that special something about him that draws you to him. Maybe it’s his Benedict Cumberbatch-like deep voice or his Tom Hiddleston-esque charm. Maybe his Chris Hemsworth muscles.
Don’t put up so many walls that he’s fighting to bring them down and get to your heart. He might give up before he gets to it. So keep some walls up to protect yourself, but still open the gate and let him—slowly—in. He may be your prince, but don’t be the princess that locked in a tower and definitely don’t be the dragon scaring the prince away.
9.) Don’t settle
Everyone always says this and they always say this for a reason. If you settle for a guy you don’t truly respect, love, or are attracted to—for whatever reason—your relationship is going to fail. You’ll resent him and things will get ugly.
Don’t date a guy expecting him to change. You can’t turn a bad boy good, you can’t force a videogame addict into ambition, and you can’t change a man. If he changes, he changes for himself—not for you. And most likely, he won’t change.
So if you can’t accept his sloppiness, his political opinions, or the smell of his bodyspray, then you have to move on.
10.) Do accept (some) faults
There are dealbreakers and then there are things you can live with. Nobody is perfect and no man is going to be 100% exactly what you’re looking for.
If he’s not as tall as you’d like, but he’s got a great personality then accept that and have a great relationship (in fact height isn’t really a fault, since it’s out of his control).
So what if he has a collection of superhero actionfigures? You have a collection of shoes, makeup, or maybe something equally nerdy like paranormal romance novels. Quirks like this make him—and you—unique. Love him for them (or at least in spite of them).
If you want unconditional love, you must give unconditional love. And that means loving him even though he snores.