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Making contact

Keeping your feet on the ground

If you’ve fallen for someone, that’s wonderful, but if you you’re the kind of person who tends to let your feelings run away with you and – even before the first date – do things like talk about marriage, perhaps you’ll find these tips helpful.

Keeping your feet on the ground

If you think that you’ve finally found that special person, it can be easy to imagine that he or she feels as euphoric about things as you do: “I’m overjoyed so he/she must be too”. Of course, that may be true, but we all work at our own pace. If you misjudge things you could end up damaging a potentially budding relationship. It helps to retain some objectivity on the situation. If you’re going to make things work, you need to get to know the other person better - and to keep your feet on the ground.

Mind what you say

In your mind you might already be thinking about holidays in the Bahamas, a blissful marriage and five gorgeous children, but you should probably keep these thoughts to yourself. After all, the unwritten rules of attraction dictate that if one person goes too far, the other one retreats. That doesn’t mean you should become Mr or Ms Ice-cool, but you should play things a little carefully. Once you are sure that your feelings are reciprocated there will be plenty of time to make plans.

It’s about protecting yourself too

You might wonder why you should have to keep yourself in check; after all, why can’t people just take you as you are? But it’s worth remembering that a realistic attitude will also help protect you: the more realistic your expectations of the other person, the smaller your chances of being disappointed. So think about the success of your next date together rather than a life of bliss in the future.

Don’t say everything that’s on your mind

It doesn’t matter how far things went on your first date … a nice chat or maybe a little hand-holding and footsie … and it doesn’t matter how well you got on, you shouldn’t start talking about baby names - or start using pet names - when you’ve only known each other for half an hour; you shouldn’t think about suggesting meeting his or her parents either. These are slightly exaggerated examples, but you must beware of overstepping the limits. If the two of you get on well, you can be tempted to start talking about problems or private matters, but it’s best not to approach these on a first date.

Start off by keeping a distance

A little caution and distance is important on a first date - in both an abstract and physical sense. We all have our personal space, which we like to preserve, and it differs from one person to another. An extrovert requires less personal space than an introvert. If you don’t respect this distance, you are going to make the other person uncomfortable and less ready to engage with you. So, no matter how small your own personal space happens to be, discreetly get a sense of other person’s limits

Mails in moderation

The need to retain some distance also matters when you are emailing or on the phone. An email can tempt you into giving too many details away, since it can seem so easy to put the words on the screen. Once you’ve drafted a mail, read it through before you send it and delete any sections you wouldn’t be happy to receive yourself. It’s also a good idea not to answer emails as soon they land in your inbox. If you do that, it might lead the other person to think you spend your life in front of the computer, just so you can respond to him or her on the turn, while a more sceptical person might think that you’ve answered without really thinking. It also sets a precedent - what happens if, just for once, you’re not in a position to answer within five minutes? But if you really can’t stop yourself and want to answer straight away, type the email, but don’t send it immediately - save it as a draft and send it in a few hours.

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