So here’s how to make sure the spark lasts, past the first rush of attraction. This comes from psychologist Dr. Ian Kerner, author of the book D.S.I.: Date Scene Investigation.
- Dr. Kerner’s advice: Strike a balance. You may meet, instantly fall in love, and see each other every day for a week. But then, real life sets in and you get busy. That right there can kill a blossoming romance. Dr. Kerner says there’s a momentum to the courtship process. It takes off at a high velocity that can be hard to maintain. So even if you think she’s "the one", pace yourself. Don’t see each other every day, but do stay on each other’s radar. But instead of swamping her with daily phone calls, strike up an email banter – or check in with text messages. But if either of you starts doubling up on un-returned messages or emails, it just seems desperate. That’s when you know to back off.
- The next piece of advice from Dr. Kerner: There’s only one way to sum up your past relationships quickly. Have a 2-second summary of your former relationship ready to go. "We had fun, but we wanted different things" – that’s it, end of story. Complaining about a past relationship shows you’re still fixated on that failure. And bragging about a great past relationship can seem like an attempt to pump up your own self-image. So keep it short and move on.
- And the last piece of advice for a new relationship: Take it slow. Unhealthy levels of codependency can take root early on. Dr. Kerner says a relationship is about opening up your personal boundaries – but it should be a gradual process. So encourage her to make her own plans and keep her own friends – and do the same yourself. It’s easy to get sucked in at the beginning, with the rush of a fresh start. But the sooner you depend on each other for everything, the faster the relationship will burn out.