• Don’t assume your date is exclusive with you if you've never talked about it.
• Don't be afraid of silence. Occasional silences allow a conversation to feel natural and unforced.
• Don't make sex the objective. Good reasons for going slowly into sexual activity include: reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, avoiding the awkwardness of intimacy with a total stranger; averting codependent obsession; and having sex to look forward to. If and when sex is right, it will happen—there’s no advantage in rushing.
• Don't date beyond your budget. It doesn't impress your date if, in the long run, you have to make an embarrassing confession, and “buying” someone's company doesn’t work. A wide disparity in income calls for frank discussion early on. If your date spends a lot on you, reciprocating with a home-cooked meal, a hand-made gift, or needed repair work will even the tally.
• Don't get too self-conscious. The media focus on youth and fitness these days can make anyone feel insecure and unattractive. Look your best, then forget about it. Instead of worrying what your date thinks of you, focus on what you think of your date.
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