Dial Down the Crazy When Dating Someone New

Five ways to ensure your good intentions aren't misinterpreted as 'stalker psycho' in a man's eye.

Dating isn't always easy. It's easy to get mixed signals from your special someone. As women, we tend to read more into things that are said to us. And we take people on their word. If he says "I'll call you" well that means he'll call. Unfortunately, in 'guy speak', that could mean he will call, he will never call or he may call the day you've finally moved on from him just to play with your head. 

When a guy comes on too strong, the signs are obvious. A giant bouquet of flowers after the first date, fifteen text messages in one day or talk of marriage at dessert usually are red flags that the guy may be a bit overzealous in the dating department. But women suffer from this same behavior.  

We have all had a friend who seems to go over and above for someone she just met. Perhaps, its even our own reflection in the mirror that is guilty of this pattern. However, when a man is eager, it can be written off as he is being sweet or is very excited to see you again. If a woman does it, she tends to be seen as psycho, a stalker or crazy. 

Avoid being labeled something you aren't just because your actions weren't quite clear. Use these tips to avoid sending mixed signals when you are starting out dating:

  • If he mentions he goes to a certain bar every Friday night for happy hour, that is not an invitation for you to show up. It's a conversation. Don't invade his territory by making a surpise drop in. It may scare him. If you are on the fence about whether or not he is dropping a hint for you to show up, you can say "I've never been there before." That puts the ball in his court to either let it go or open an invitation that you should check it out. 
  • If he says he is a diehard Baltimore Ravens fan, do not immediately buy tickets to a game or plan a trip to go see a game. He's sharing his interests with you. This does not mean they immediately have to become yours. Also, keep in mind this has been his team for probably quite some time. Don't expect him to change his traditions on game day. He may enjoy watching it with friends and eventually he may invite you to come along. If he's a hard core fan and this isn't your thing, you don't have to sit at home and sulk and feel like he's chosen football over you. Schedule a mani-pedi or go to lunch with friends.
  • If he says he loves clothes from Banana Republic, do not go on a shopping spree for him, even for something small. Don't set the tone and become 'the girl who buys me things'. Keep little tidbits of his favorites in mind for special occasions. Don't spend money on someone who may just be wasting your time. Get to know them better first. 
  • If he befriends you on Facebook, be careful with how active you are on his page. You may like every photo or find something to say about every post, but it can come across as annoying or awkward, since you just met. You don't want to give the impression that you are trolling his page and constantly checking what he is doing. That's what stalkers do.
  • If he says he's going to call and hasn't, don't chase after him. There could be  the slightest chance that he has lost your phone number, was kidnapped by the mob or is in the hospital with a strange disease that doesn't allow him to talk or text. Decide for yourself what your cutoff time period is for the follow-up call. If he exceeds that time frame, accept that you probably won't hear from him again. If you want to send that 'final text' or make 'one last call', keep it friendly. Don't go crazy psycho on the message just in case he really was being held hostage by the Gambino family

Contributed by Kimberly James, MatchMaster & Dating Expert, www.findyourplusone.com