The Early Dating Rules You Need To Know About.

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr (@drpamspurr on Twitter), talks us through the do's and don'ts of the first stages of a new relationship.

People often ask me what are some simple rules to make sure their dating experiences go well. These are some things that both men and women should consider early in dating someone new. 

Early Dating Rule No. 1Don’t expect mind-reading

Just because you two seem to have a connection, doesn’t mean you’re able to be mind-readers. It’s a common problem where people assume because they’re super attracted it’s going to be easy and you’ll automatically ‘understand’ each other. 

This mistakes sexual chemistry for emotional chemistry. So definitely avoid ‘hinting’ about what you want to do or what your expectations are. You can communicate clearly without sounding bossy or over the top.

Early Dating Rule No. 2Don’t scenario-rise 

Scenario-rising is where you’ve had a few dates and are already planning your wedding. You’re imagining your families hanging out together. You imagine how you would decorate your home and you even imagine naming your babies… you know what I mean. You visualise these happy-ever-after scenarios too early on.

Scenario-rising often leads to disappointment – your relationship doesn’t take the path you imagined. Or things don’t happen as quickly as you want. So it’s far better to let things unfold, obviously with you having control over things like how quickly you cement your new relationship. 

Early Dating Rule No. 3Don’t do the ‘broken record’ thing 

Far too many singles have the ‘broken record habit’. After a few dates - and they’re feeling comfortable around that new person - they start mentioning the ‘thing’ that they don’t like about themselves… I have to lose weight, I wish I had a better job, I wish I hadn’t missed ‘that’ opportunity, etc. 

What this says about you is you’re very unsatisfied with your ‘lot’ and you’ll moan about it but not change it. Such negativity flags up to them that you could be hard work in a more serious relationship.

Early Dating Rule No. 4Watch the high maintenance vibe 

Continuing from the ‘broken record thing’ don’t let other high maintenance tendencies slip out. Again, men and women can both be high maintenance. For instance, if every time you two go out, you criticise the place, the service, the food, the vibe, it gets boring quickly. Or if you fret every time you’re going to hang out with their friends or go to their family worrying their friends/family won’t like you, etc., it can be draining.

Feeling that they have to look after you in so many ways makes you high maintenance. There will be times when one of you needs looking after, e.g., when you’ve had a bad week and need some indulgence. But acting like this early on kills their fledgling feelings.

Early Dating Rule No. 5Don’t go into a ‘dating default mode’ 

When excited about someone new – and really want it to work – many go into dating default mode. This is your classic, default behaviour that gets you through exciting - but stressful - phases.

For instance, it might be that although they’re very different to your ex, you end up treating them the way you treated your ex. We tend to do this when we’ve been with an ex for a long time and certain patterns of behaviour developed in that relationship. Then you slip back into that default behaviour.

Live in the here-and-now - relate to what this new person is like to break old patterns of dating behaviour. 

Happy dating, Pam x

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