| || || | Ok ladies...We all have had our share of ups and downs in the relationship category! If you haven't yet, know that it's coming! So when it's time to start that new one, it would be nice to get things started in the right direction....and keep them that way!!
- When you first start dating, let your guy "court" you. Don't give him all the goods up front. Keep some mystery so he will want to get to know more and more about you.
- Don't settle for anything less than what you deserve. You are to be treated with the highest form of respect and don't except less.
- Talk about what you want out of the relationship up front. Don't wait until you are madly in love to give your requirements. By that time, you will settle for more than what you really want.
- And finally, put your best foot forward. Give your man the best of you and he will return the favor!
Tips & Warnings
Beginning a new relationship can be scary, but treading the murky waters between friendship and love can be even scarier. While falling for a close friend is a common and natural occurrence in today's society, it can be a difficult change to make.
- Be a good listener!
- Don't be spoiled!
- Be confident!
- Be supportive
- Don't smother your guy! Let him breathe and have time with his friends when needed...you don't want to run him away!
- Make sure you build your relationship on trust...if you don't trust your man, that's a sign the relationship may be doomed.
- Always communicate! Communication is one of the most important keys to a successful relationship...new or old! No communication, forget it!
Many people give up on the idea of taking a close friendship to a romantic level because of the fear of losing the friendship altogether. If becoming involved with a friend seems a daunting task, here's a guide to help you along the way.
- Break out of the "friend zone." Think about the way you act with a woman you like and mirror those actions. Flirt, encourage physical contact and compliment her, but be sure that your actions are purposeful and sincere. Co-ed friendships often involve teasing and flirting, so you need to be sure your actions reflect a sincere interest.
- Keep the conversation focused on him. Avoid talking about last night's conquest or the cute new guy at work. If your friendship currently includes discussions that include the intimate details of your sex life, phase these conversations out. He'll never know you're interested in him, if you're always talking about someone else.
- Enlist the help of your friends. If you have mutual friends that think the two of you would make a good couple, ask for their help. Don't ask a friend to set you up, but do ask them to put in a good word for you.
- Ask her out. Flirting and setting the groundwork must be followed up by an actual date. Be sure to ask her out when you have privacy and there is less pressure from your friends. Reiterate how much you care for her and your friendship, no matter what the final outcome is.
- Be patient. You're both worried about losing the friendship, so taking things slow is perfectly acceptable. You've made your feelings known and now you need to be patient. Don't pressure him or force the issue. If it's meant to be, your friendship will do the work for you.
- Communicate. Starting a relationship with a friend may be more difficult because people share differently with lovers than they do with friends. Communication is vital to any relationship's survival. Be honest and upfront about your expectations. Verbal communication will help to solve any problems that may arise.
- Be honest. In the event that dating doesn't work out, honesty will be the only way a friendship will survive. The respect in your friendship shouldn't change because you're dating. Don't start telling white lies or keeping secrets. Friendships are the only relationships that people have that are based on unselfish choice. Maintain the rules of your friendship and you'll maintain the relationship.
- Reduce the pressure. Relax. You already know that you enjoy her company and she enjoys yours, or you wouldn't be friends in the first place. Do the things that you already enjoy doing together. Dating a friend means skipping the awkward first date and getting to know each other routine.
- Come up with a contingency plan for if things don't work out. Think of this as a divestment clause and be true to it. Outline what types of things would create problems and come up with preemptive ways for solving them. This may sound a little too much like a business deal, but if you want to maintain the friendship in the event of a breakup, it's a vital step.
- Understand your expectations. Realizing that your feelings may be reciprocated is the key to starting a romance with a friend. Don't be shy about asking, but realize that he may not feel the same way. If he doesn't want to take it to a romantic level, you cannot harbor resentment.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA