Deciding after one coffee date that you’re madly in love, that you should spend every minute together for the next five days, and that you’re in a serious, committed relationship is almost always a recipe for disaster. Be conscious of the pacing of the relationship and strive to really get to know the other person, based not on who you want him/her to be but rather on how he/she shows up consistently over time!
2. Have clarity about what you want. If you find yourself confused about what you really want to create in your next relationship after a recent divorce or breakup, take comfort in the knowledge you’re not alone. A great idea is to take an hour or two and create a list of what it is you’re looking for based on what you were not getting from your marriage or last relationship. Also include a list of your values and the traits you admire in other relationships. Combine the lists and choose five characteristics to be your ultimate non-negotiables. By choosing just five, you can ensure you’re selective but not too picky.
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Check in with yourself periodically and confirm that what you were looking for two weeks ago is the same thing you’re looking for today. If you’re not looking to get into a serious relationship right at the moment, date casually to your heart’s content and practice the art of setting boundaries, flirting, courting, and having fun. If a long-term relationship is your end goal, then date with that intention. Just be sure you know what you truly want.
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3. Give relationships time to evolve. When you get comfortable in a relationship too soon, you often find out things about your partner that you didn’t know before you started seriously dating. What happens, then, is that you begin to ignore or rationalize the importance of these possible red flags.
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Ignoring the “quiet voice within” is not a smart move. Instead, communicate your concerns while remembering that your perfect match will want to work through speed bumps to come to a real win-win. If it’s not something that’s appropriate to share with your partner, make sure you have a coach or therapist (not your best friend) who can help guide you in making informed relationship choices.