“I'm so into him!” Jessica tells her best friend. She's talking about the wonderful guy she started dating a few weeks ago. Jessica wants to do this relationship the right way-- unlike the miserable dating experiences she's had in the past.
She lists off all of her plans for making sure her new guy knows just how special he is to her like sending him flirty texts, cooking him dinner and finding a way to get into his apartment to give him an intimate surprise. Jessica's friend stops her mid-sentence. “You've got to play it cool,” counsels her friend. “Don't come on too strong, act too interested or be too available to him,” the advice continues.
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Now, Jessica isn't sure what she should be doing. She's confused about what is the best way to be in this new relationship. She thinks this guy might be “the one” for her and she certainly doesn't want to scare him off.
The advice to “play it cool” in a new relationship has been given and heard by many people. It kind of makes sense. When you and your date are just getting to know one another, it can be wise to allow room. You don't want to crowd this interesting and attractive new person in your life or pressure him or her to move faster than is comfortable.
You want to give the relationship a chance to come together naturally and grow.
The question of how cool or how hot to be in your new relationship can be a difficult one to answer. Every situation is different. There are plenty of couples who literally fell for one another when they first met (or soon after that). There was no question of whether or not to make a long-term commitment for these couples, it just happened and fast.
There are other couples who took longer to decide that being a couple was what they both wanted. For these people, the attractive pull may not have been as evident at the start. Over time, however, it became clear that being together was right for them.
Our point is, you can't always know whether the new relationship you're in will end up being a long-term commitment or whether it's not meant to last. This doesn't make the relationship any less important. Every single date and relationship you have can help you to grow and learn.
What's the harm in playing it cool?
If you deliberately hold back and keep yourself closed to the people you date, the consequences can be big and negative.
If you hide what is true for you, you're essentially being dishonest. If your relationship does continue, this habit will erode trust. Your partner will not know what is real and true about your words and actions.
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Now, if you believe that you are in love with this person and you've only been on a couple of dates, be wise. It can feel overwhelming to hear “I love you” from someone when you don't actually know him or her that well or if you don't feel the same level of intensity.
Find ways to be open and authentic that fit the situation. Really tune in to your date. What is he or she literally saying to you when you're together? How does your date treat you? How do you treat your date?