Finding someone you share a special connection with can be one of the best feelings in the world. After all, you've finally found someone who understands you and likes you for your qualities as a human being, which is argubally the ultimate compliment anyone can give.
But, as William Shakespeare once warned, "Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall." While a famous wordsmith's words about love and romance may not hold the same relevance today as they did in the 1600's, it's a wise quote nonetheless, and one which should be applied to all facets of life- especially love and relationships.
So with that said, here are 10 things you should always keep in mind when you next find yourself struck by Cupid's arrow.
1. Don't reveal all your cards at once
How many times have we been guilty of this? Even if you're as cool and levelheaded as a jet-setting poker star, you've probably let strong feelings towards someone cloud your judgment, and thereby behave in ways you wouldn't normally. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing- but it's not the best thing either.
When getting to know someone we like- and possibly even love- it can be tempting to tell them how amazing they are and how good they make us feel without us realizing that saying these things might make us appear quite needy and overzealous to the other person. So take it slow, and do things in moderation. Tell them you think they look pretty, but don't continue to do it every time they so much as breathe.
2. Tread carefully on gifts and grand gestures
It's so easy to get swept away with our emotions and wear our hearts on our bank cards by buying our newfound interest a range of extravagant gifts and treats. While this seems harmless on the surface, not allowing yourself to stop this behavior will do the relationship no good further down the line. It sounds silly, but if you let the earlier stages of the courtship be defined by gifts, you are not allowing the relationship to grow naturally.
Most of all, you are devaluing the gesture of a nice ring or love letter if that stuff becomes a regular occurrence early on in the relationship.
3. Make them feel valued, not suffocated
This next piece of advice pretty much goes hand-in-hand with the last two. In other words; let the relationship grow organically without you feeling you have to make a grand gesture everytime you're with them. Believe it or not, many people don't always feel comfortable being seen as a god/goddess. Instead, it can make them feel uncomfortable, and have them feeling like they need to live up to this lofty expectation their partner has of them everytime they are together.
So just be yourself, and if they're as right as you think they are, then the relationship will blossom without you having to play Mr or Ms. Perfect.
4. Actions speak louder than words
Your parents and teachers have no doubt drilled this into you from an early age and for good reason! How many times have we said we are going to do something nice, only to forget about it 20 minutes later? Well, the same applies to relationships. If we aren't willing to back up your words and show that special someone how special they are to you, then the wistful and romantic sentiments coming from your mouth may as well be for nothing.
So take them to their favorite art gallery a day after you suggest it. If art isn't their thing, take them to see a movie they were talking about. As we've stated before, it doesn't have to be anything grand, but a little certainly goes a long way.
5. Don't let your day-to-day life falter
Falling for someone you like doesn't mean you have to watch your daily life crumble as you think about them every minute of every waking day. It's a great feeling when you find someone you connect with, and you should by no means suppress the excitement, but at the same time, learning to contain it isn't a bad idea.
You don't want to have to continually stop your work every 10 minutes just to reply back to their texts or let them know how beautiful they are. These things are best served in moderation, so don't let your professional life falter at the wayside.
6. Remember that your friends still exist
Friends and partners don't have to be tradeoffs. With the right time management and mindset, you can still give your all to your partner without forgetting about your friends. Of course, having a partner in your life will naturally see you spending more time with them than your friends, but try and at least see your friends every couple of weeks and a make a habit of doing so.
If you don't, a time will come in the relationship when the honeymoon period is over and you find yourself naturally wanting to see them again, only to find that they are distant because you chose to ignore them in favor of hanging out with your partner.
7. Don't empty your bank account
Whether you're an eager-to-please woman keen on buying expensive lingerie to please your new man or a guy who feels a burning need to pay for everything everytime you go on a date, it's important to remain composed and rational- however hard that may be.
We've all had these intense feelings- it's perfectly natural to feel them. But don't let the honeymoon phase make you oblivious to the fact that you're probably not very well off and can't afford to empty your bank account to please them when all you truly need to do is be yourself.
8. Don't stalk their social media
We've all done it. And It's so easy to fall into this trap. Granted, being infatuated and excited with your new squeeze is perfectly natural if you happen to like them a lot, but if you're always monitoring their social media activity like a paparazzo following Britney Spears to Starbucks, you probably need to take a deep breath and quit that kind of behavior.
The best relationships are those built on trust and occasional bouts of spontaneity. If you know their whole life story from their Instagram posts, then you're just ruining a phase of the relationship that should be about getting to know them more.
It's also plain creepy. So stop. It's not a good look.
9. Don't be afraid to challenge them on things you disagree with
Nobody wants to date a pushover. One of the best components of a healthy relationship is passion, and you won't experience much if you always suppress your views on things to appease them. Sure, you might not want to make things awkward in a debate concerning political viewpoints, but if you feel comfortable enough around them, feel free to challenge them on things you take umbrage to or disagree with.
If they're the right person, they'll respect you for challenging them and offering a different take on certain situations.
10. Remember to keep loving yourself as much as you love /like them
You can't properly fall in love until you learn to love yourself. Heard that one before right? It's cliched as can be, but also true, which is why you need to be fully confident in your own self-worth as a human being before you can truly give the emotion of love to another person.
If you hide behind your insecurities and mask them by giving all your love and affection to your partner, you aren't going to truly feel your full worth as the lovely human being you are! So look yourself in the mirror before each date, and tell yourself there's a reason why he/she wants to see you. It's because you're great, just like they are!