Navigating our way through dating or a new relationship is pretty complicated and challenging — so much so that, sometimes, it’s hard to tell when we’re ready for something as simple as the first kiss.
Dating progresses really quickly these days. Single’s apps encourage constant swiping and boast endless matching possibilities, and we’re getting less and less used to the concept of slow and steady dating. With the emotional whirlwind we often get caught up in during the early days of dating someone, it’s understandable to feel the need to jump into a relationship without really thinking things through first.
Unfortunately, getting emotionally involved too quickly can lead us to stay in relationships much longer than we probably should (I say this from personal experience!). While something as simple as a kiss is innocent in nature, it has the power to completely change the course of the relationship.
With that in mind, it may be in our best interest to take a step back and consider a few things before leaning in for that first kiss.
You’ve Cultivated a Deep Friendship (or at Least the Beginnings of One)
The beginning of a relationship is always thrilling. Everything about this person gives us butterflies, we want to spend every second with them, and they can do no wrong in our book. But eventually, these feelings calm down, and we’re left with a real, fallible, imperfect person on the other end of the relationship — which is why couples who never became friends to begin with often don’t last past the initial honeymoon phase.
Successful couples have more than just physical attraction.
In the end, a relationship that relies too heavily on physical attraction will struggle. Successful couples have more than just physical attraction. They are also each other’s best friends, biggest cheerleaders, shoulder to cry on, and teammates.
The Direction of the Relationship Is Defined
Often at the beginning of relationships, we’re overly congenial and shy away from putting pressure on our budding relationship by delaying having the “What are we?” talk — and that’s understandable. But that course of action can also leave us wondering if he’s looking for a committed relationship or not.
Before we invest our emotions in a new romance, it’s beneficial to know whether or not our expectations align with his in terms of the relationship’s direction and level of commitment. And if it doesn’t, it’s best to bow out before we have the chance to get hurt.
Before we invest our emotions in a new romance, it’s beneficial to know whether or not our expectations align with his.
You’ve Introduced Him to Your Friends
We’re all guilty of regarding our new love interest with the rosiest of rose-colored glasses. We might think they’re way cooler than they are, make excuses for red-flag-worthy behavior, or not realize they’re simply not a good match for us.
This is where our friends, the people who care most about us and would be honest if they thought we were making a mistake, can come in handy. Setting up a no-pressure movie night (and invite his friends too, because a guy’s friends say a lot about him) with some of your closest friends can help decipher if this guy’s good for us or not.
You Guys Had a Great First Date
We all know that we only get one first impression when we’re on a date, so it’s smart to take note when a guy cares enough to make a good impression, but also when he doesn’t bother to. So, yes, watch how he treats the waitstaff, but also take note of how he speaks about his friends, his mother, or his sisters — does he seem respectful and kind with his words? Also, pay attention to his physical appearance — does he look like he took care to shower, fiddle with his hair, and put together a nice outfit?
It’s smart to take note when a guy cares enough to make a good impression, but also when he doesn’t bother to.
And don’t stop there. His people skills are important, too. Does he ask questions that go deeper than, “So where are you from? What do you do for work?” and actually listen to your answers, or is he mostly interested in talking about himself? There are so many factors that go into a good first date, but these are some of the most important ones because they tell you about his character.
It’s natural to feel like there’s no time to be wasted when we’re getting into a new relationship. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that that’s just not the case. There’s plenty of time to slowly get to know each other, become friends, and cultivate a deep, lasting connection before we rush into romance and everything a relationship entails.