Trust or Consequences

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Trusting someone instantaneously can be just as devastating as suspecting an ulterior motive behind everything he or she says. True trust takes time. No shortcuts allowed. Remember: Your date is just your date; he or she isn't your friend. Even if you've been chatting for months online, trust still takes a lot of together time. If your date wants you to give more than you're willing to give at this early stage, don't be afraid to say so . . . and stick to your guns.

If, on the other hand, you don't want to "slip" and divulge any clues as to where you live or work, what you do for a living, or what color your hair really is, you may be a touch paranoid. Yeah, the world can be a dangerous place. But if you trust someone enough to agree to a second date, it's only fair to let him or her get to know you. This isn't a CIA investigation. It's a date. Chill out.

Particularly if you're over 30, avoid what I call the Blitz School of Dating. That's when you've been there, done that, and you don't want to waste any time. You want to book a table in a quiet restaurant where the waiter won't bother you for the two hours you take to chronologically pour out your life story, hear your date's, and determine if this union has legs. While the Blitz approach has been known to work on occasion, I don't recommend it. Part of the mystery and magic of getting to know someone is getting to know someone, not hearing how well they know themselves.

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Finally, resist the temptation to ask yourself the $64,000 question: Is this the one? Is this second date with the person with whom you'll spend the rest of your life? Have babies with? Rock on the porch with? Watch go gray? While the urge may be there to weigh every second date on the "forever scale," don't give in to it. Distract yourself. It's too soon. A relationship hasn't even taken flight yet.

If your worst enemy knew what you're telling your second date, could he or she use it against you? If the answer is yes, keep it under wraps for now. If not, go for it.

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