5 Tips on Growing the Relationship

So, you had the first coffee and it went extremely well. You got together a week later and it was still wonderful, but a bit awkward when you said goodnight. Was that the last time you’d see each other? You wondered if the other person liked you as much as you liked them.

PM blog Growing the Relationship

Grow your relationship by keeping it real.

But when you called just to see if there was a receptive person on the other end of the phone, you found out, to your relief, that there was! But now what? How do you make sure this relationship gets grounded and headed in the right direction? Here are five major tips to help:

First – The next time you talk on the phone or get together, bring up the idea of doing something really fun the next week. Maybe you have tickets to theater, or jazz, or a wine tasting – something that you think would particularly appeal to this person. Bring it up and see if they’d like to go with you. If they accept, it takes the tension out of the date because you know you are going to see them again. If they profusely apologize that they’d love to go, but can’t, accept it as real inability to make that particular plan, rather than as a rejection. Still, don’t follow up that offering with another offer right away. Let them suggest the next thing to do. A relationship builds best when partners alternate being the pursuer. One way to cut a growing relationship short is to become much more intense than the other person. An imbalance of enthusiasm can undermine a potentially good relationship if it happens in the early stages of getting to know one another. Try not to be too aggressive or too passive.

Second – Make sure your conversation gets off of superficial topics. It’s tempting to keep the conversation light and fun – and it’s fine to do that. But sooner or later (and I’d say sooner) you need to show that you have a serious side to you. And you really do care about more topics than what happened that day. Broach current public issues, or work place challenges, or maybe just background details that explain who you are today. Show that you can talk in depth without it being overwhelming.

Third – Do something sweet that is not over the top. Bring some flowers to the next date or a book you thought they might like that you’ve been reading, or just a small gift ( under ten dollars) that shows you listened to something they said. For example, if the date mentioned how much she loves dark chocolate, come prepared next time with a few exquisite pieces. It’s the gesture here, however, that counts. Don’t do something expensive that sets up fears of raising the reciprocation stakes.

Fourth – Get affectionate. You don’t have to have sex right away (waiting a while is a good idea) but you do have to show you are attracted, a good kisser, and that the chemistry is part of, but not only, your larger attraction to this person. Hold hands, kiss sensually goodnight, look deeply into the other person’s eyes – let your date know that you are powerfully drawn to him or her.

Fifth – Talk about the near future. After a few dates, bring up something to do that would be fun, but is some months away… kind of daydreaming material. Your date’s reaction will tell you a lot. If they avoid the topic, you know that they are not ready to go from random dates to more focused dating. But if they share daydreams with you and imagine a trip or joint project, you’ll know that they are starting to really like you – and you can feel freer to plan things together. That is an important step towards being a couple.

Good luck, and happy dating!

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Category: Relationship Tips

About the Author ()

Dr. Pepper Schwartz is a published authority and a professor at a major U.S. university. Dr. Schwartz has received many awards, including the Matrix Award for Achievement in Education, and the International Women's Forum Award in Career Achievement in Washington State. Dr. Schwartz is the author of more than 15 books and was recently named the national love and relationships Ambassador for AARP.

  • Wendy

    Hi Dr. Pepper

    Those are great tips – I believe the most important being waiting to have sex! Have an Awesome week!
    Wendy – In Hawaii

  • Dean Pikel

    Ok

  • Jenn

    try and try again

  • Chelfish88

    Thumbs up!