3. Take your time and pace the relationship. Really! You can fall in love with anyone, even someone you don't share values with or like. But really loving someone takes peeling away the layers. The goal of lasting love is acceptance, which you can only do once you've seen him in good times and in bad, at his best and at his worst. You can't accept someone until you've both been transparent and vulnerable about who you really are, warts and all.
We all have parts of ourselves that we're not particularly proud of, whether it's minor character flaws or past history. In the early stages of relationships, we put our best foot forward. As you connect on a deeper level and build trust, you begin to let down your guard, show your humanity. You gradually fall out of starry-eyed love and into real love.
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To discover the depth of your love beyond a crush, date intentionally, but never desperately: You are consciously and openly intentional about finding the right person with whom to share your life. You want a great relationship, but you don't need it. You are attracted to him, but you have not yet decided if he's the one. You show him you are falling for him, but you take the stance of "we'll see."
It's a balancing act: one step forward, another step back, gradually building a connection. Keep your balance, take your time, and you'll find yourself in a rewarding relationship that leads to a great marriage!
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About the author: Nina Atwood, M.Ed., LPC, is a nationally known psychotherapist, author of five self-help books and frequent expert media guest. Read the transformational book that will change your life and your relationships with men: Temptations of the Single Girl: The Ten Dating Traps You Must Avoid. To successfully date online, get Nina's $0.99 cent eBook Internet Dating for the Savvy Single. Get loads of free advice and Love Strategies at www.singlescoach.com.