4. Spend three to six months getting to know your date. The purpose of dating is to find out as much as you can about the other person as quickly as possible to see if he/she is a true match. It's a numbers game, so you want to date as many people as you can until you find the right one. In my experience, it takes three to six months of dating (with a date at least once per week), to determine if someone is right for you. Resist the urge to decide that this person is the perfect match for you, because you can only really get to know someone over time. You need to be clear and honest with yourself. So, no matter how intensely you feel, remind yourself: "I am just getting to know this person enough so I can find out if I want to take it further."
5. Talk to someone who can give you an objective perspective. Whether it's a friend, a family member or a therapist, it helps to share your dating experiences with someone else to get an outsider's perspective. Sometimes, these people have a better insight into our motivations than we do ourselves. Are you tired of being along and simply willing to settle for anyone? Maybe your biological clock is ticking and your desire to have kids is outweighing your decision to meet and commit to someone who would truly make you happy. A therapist can help you stay objective, avoid making cloudy decisions and can help point out your blind spots. Having an objective ear can really make a great difference between making smart decisions versus impulsive ones.
6. Know your pitfalls. We all have relationship patterns that follow us throughout our lives. Since they began in childhood, they can be largely invisible. One tip that has made all the difference in my life and in the lives of the women I care about, is to be super mindful of sex. My rule is this: wait to have sex until you can handle how the guy behaves the day after. If you would be devastated if he didn't call you, then it's too soon; but if you're fine, independent of his behavior, then you're safe to be in the bedroom together. Know yourself. If you get overly attached after you have sex, it's smart to wait.
Dating is about getting to know new people, then breaking up and repeating this process until you meet your true match. Try not to spend too much time with the wrong person. The more time you spend with the wrong person, the more attached you'll get and the more hurt you'll be when the relationship ends. You want to find your soulmate with minimal heartache. This means keeping the wrong relationships as short as possible so you can get to the one you're meant to be with for life! For more detail on this vital aspect of relationship building see, Five Relationship Patterns that Rule Your Dating Life.