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DATING DON'TS TO AVOID WHEN MEETING NEW PEOPLE

(YourTango.com) New to dating or jumping back in the field? Here are a few definite "don'ts!" Don't get overwhelmed! Meeting new people isn't easy for everyone. Expectations can be high and it's very easy to make a wrong move when you're feeling insecure, unconfident or nervous. Knowing what not to do on your first and second dates can help you to avoid future issues in a relationship, and will also ensure you relax and have a fun time -- besides, isn't that what it's all about? Here are Dr. Romance's reminders of what not to do on a date.

1. Don't assume your date is exclusive with you.
If you've never talked about it, you shouldn't assume exclusivity, and nor should he. If it's something that's important to you, bring it up and discuss your level of commitment to each other.

2. Don't be afraid of silence.
Occasional silences allow a conversation to feel natural and unforced. Let him do some of the talking, and don't fill space out of nervousness or habit. If you end up together, you won't be talking all the time, so why force it now?

3. Don't make sex the objective.
Good reasons for going slowly into sexual activity include: reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, avoiding the awkwardness of intimacy with a total stranger, averting codependent obsession and having sex to look forward to! If and when sex is right, it will happen. There's no advantage in rushing.

4. Don't date beyond your budget.
It doesn't impress your date if, in the long run, you have to make an embarrassing confession that you can't afford the lifestyle you've been living, and besides, "buying" someone's affection doesn't work. A wide disparity in income calls for frank discussion early on. If your date spends a lot on you, reciprocating with a home-cooked meal, a hand-made gift, or needed repair work will help even the tally. Don't feel pressure to "pay" someone back with such gestures, however, if you're not interested romantically.

5. Don't get too self-conscious.
The media focus on youth and fitness these days is enough to make anyone feel insecure and unattractive. Look your best, tell yourself you're desirable and then forget about it. Instead of worrying what your date thinks of you, focus on what you think of your date. 

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