Here are nine things to avoid doing in the first month of dating:
1. Make plans for the distant future.
Here’s a rule you can steal from “How I Met Your Mother”: “Never make plans with a date further in the future than the amount of time you’ve been going out.”
Of course, in a non-sitcom land, this rule gets voided once you’re in a serious, committed relationship — otherwise, no one could ever make marriage vows — but in the first month of dating, keep plans for the future at a minimum. This should be a no-pressure time to get to know one another.
2. Use the “L” word.
You might be falling for Mr. Right, but don’t drop the “love” bomb just yet. Keep your date from getting overwhelmed — and guard your own heart — by taking things slow. There’s plenty of time for love talk. In the meantime, just keep things at “like” and reassure your date that you’re interested in moving forward.
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3. Talk about your future wedding. (See #1)
Don’t get ahead of yourself. You’ll have plenty of time to plan a wedding…if the relationship makes it past the one-month mark. Also, no one wants to hear that you’ve been planning a wedding on your own. It can come across as too eager — or worse, desperate.
4. Introduce your date to your entire family.
Meeting up with some friends or a sibling for a drink is one thing, inviting your date to your aunt’s birthday party is another. Set aside month #1 as getting-to-know-you time. You don’t want your grandma coming to conclusions about the where the relationship is headed before you do.
Related: Don’t meet the kids either. Give it time. Only introduce your kids to someone you’re serious about.
5. Co-purchase something together.
Don’t buy a dog together, an antique table together, or a couples’ membership to the zoo. Don’t even buy a lottery ticket together.
Unless you’re just splitting the cost of dinner, keep purchases separate. Otherwise, you’re prematurely adding a level of commitment to the relationship.
6. Slam your ex.
Your date wants to get to know YOU, not that jerk who dumped you. In a long-term relationship, all the dating horror stories of the past will be revealed. Don’t overwhelm your date with unnecessary (and bitter) details in the early stages of a relationship.
7. Ask for money.
Don’t do it. Your first month of dating might turn into your last.
8. Give him a key.
Draw some careful boundaries for your burgeoning relationship. Don’t merge lives too soon.
Related: Don’t ask him to reschedule his life for you. You’ve been dating less than a month. Don’t expect him to cancel poker night for your friend’s wine and cheese night. It’s okay to have separate lives, especially this early on.
9. Show up at her work.
Let her brag to all of her coworkers about you for months before you make an appearance. Her work is her space. Respect it. (And when you do eventually show up at work, bring flowers.)