The rush of attraction can be all-consuming. In the first weeks and months of getting to know a certain someone, when your mutual stories somehow seem funnier and more insightful, time spent together can feel as though the world has blurred so that your bond could come into focus. And that's a lot of fun—but it can also be precarious and cause you to make some common dating mistakes. "You should maintain balance in your life," says Kelly Campbell, associate professor of psychology and human development at California State University, San Bernardino. "It is a mistake to spend all of your time with a new partner. Besides causing damage to yourself, such as losing your identity or losing friends, doing this often turns off a new partner, too."
Meet the Expert
Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., is a professor of Psychology at California State University, San Bernardino. She is widely known for her research on connections among friends and romantic partners as well as infidelity and catfishing.
Naturally, advice like this isn't exactly what someone in this stage of a relationship wants to hear. And yet Campbell's recommendation for maintaining relationships with loved ones and spending quality time alone is so that those who are falling in love can avoid common dating mistakes in the process. So other than buying a love fern and creating a Photoshopped family album a few days in—which we learned not to do thanks to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days—what other dating mistakes can be avoided with a little perspective? We asked Campbell to describe common blunders and offer easy fixes as dates progress, and she also has advice for those who have made these lapses in the past. Because even though it's exhilarating to fall in love, it's also wise to keep your wits about you.
Read on for common dating mistakes to avoid.
Disclosing Too Much Too Soon
Be careful about revealing too much of yourself right off the bat. "Wait until this person knows you before you start revealing the intimate details of your life because disclosures that are too personal for the level of relationship can turn a partner off," Campbell says. Case in point: Save the stories about your ex for when the relationship progresses a bit more and you know each other better.
If you don't know how much is appropriate to share about yourself, how often to text, or how long to wait in between replying, take cues from your partner. "If your partner isn't disclosing a lot at the outset, you shouldn't compensate by revealing everything about yourself," Campbell notes. "Don't be the partner who is constantly texting. If you aren't getting replies, stop and wait for them to text you."
Initiating All of the Plans
While you don't want to let the relationship fade out, you also don't want to be the one always initiating plans. Make sure you're waiting for your partner to plan dates and ask you to hang out as often as you do. "By following reciprocal guidelines, you can be more assured that your partner's interest level matches your own," Campbell adds.
Allowing the New Relationship To Dominate Your Time
Possibly the most important rule of all? Don't lose yourself in your new relationship. "When we get involved with a new partner, we may want to see them as often as possible, text them all the time, and so on," Campbell says. "Be sure to maintain your sense of self during this time period by spending time with friends and family, keeping up with hobbies, and having moments to yourself."
Overlooking Warning Signs
We all have those gut instincts that tell us something might be a little bit off with a new partner. While you may want to give your partner the benefit of the doubt or not give in to paranoia, make sure you're not overlooking obvious warning signs or red flags.
"You might find a partner so physically attractive that you overlook important personality flaws that might allude to them being a controlling, insecure person. For instance, are they already showing signs of jealousy?" Campbell asks. "Or you might be desperate for a relationship, so you minimize those negative characteristics. This is a huge mistake. You'll end up much worse off than if you remained single, so pay attention to warning signs, address them, and cut off a partner who doesn't respond to your feedback."
Rushing Physical Intimacy
When it comes to sex, remember to always act according to your comfort level. Don't feel you have to keep up with what anyone else says or does—including your partner. "There is no timeline for when it is considered okay to have sex, but both partners should be 100% ready," Campbell says. "One way to assess whether the time is right is to ask whether you are comfortable discussing any topic, including STDs/STIs and birth control. If you are not able to openly and honestly discuss these topics with each other, then you are not ready to have sex."