STOP right there back the truck up and step away from the expectation

Your initial expectation is just to have a good time, even if the person ends up not being right for you. That way you cannot be disappointed. This will be your rule for any date from now on. Dating is supposed to be fun.

If he/she is not the one, so what? If you used the process in the previous chapter, you will be in a much better position to find out what potential there is with this person. Just keep collecting information. If they turn out not to be right, you have learnt something new - perfect.

Take action straight away towards the next date. Look upon this as an exciting adventure. Surely it's better to be with the right one, spend time meeting people and getting it right, rather than to just start seeing anyone through fear of being "left on the shelf'.

If you have 'baggage' - I hate that word but you know what I mean - then you do! If she/he is right for you, then they will accept you for who you are.

BE TRUTHFUL. They will respect you for your honesty no matter what it is. Remember what has happened in your life has shaped the person you are today, so be proud of who you are and, remember, if they feel you are not right for them, for whatever reason, don't take it personally.

They have done you a big favour in the long term. Balance in any relationship is key and it's very soul destroying if you like her/him more than they like you. Expectations and managing them is what's so important to how you will feel about this date. It is very easy to get carried away. There can be so many emotions flying around all at once. The goal is to go with an open mind and relax, breathe deep and be in control.

GOING ON DATES IS FUN. You meet lots of new, fun, sexy people and get different perspectives on the world. Some good, some not, either way it's all experience. Thinking this could be the one is not healthy or good for you. You know very little about this person at this stage and it usually takes about three months in my experience to know if you want to see this person on a more serious level.

That's when the rose-tinted spectacles come off, lust has subsided a little, and all the faults that were unimportant when you first started seeing each other could start becoming an issue. So the message is: slow it down and have fun. Most of all, respect yourself and what you value from a relationship. Your only expectation is to have a nice time and see what happens. If you have a great time, go out again. If you're not sure, go out again anyway. If you know it's not right then, tell them that you don't feel you are relationship material - people will respect your honesty.

ARRANGING THE DATE: When you have first met someone on a night out, usually there is drink involved, so be careful, if you have exchanged numbers, it's a good idea to chat on the phone a few times after that first meeting. This will help, so when you do meet it is not quite so raw and you will have established some common ground. If you are really nervous, then arrange to meet for lunch. This gives a great excuse for a time limit of 1-2 hours, especially if you are unsure about this stranger.

It's certainly safer. Especially for the ladies. Let someone know where you are going and arrange to send a text/call at a certain time to say you are OK - just be sensible and use common sense.

If you do decide on a night out, just go for a drink where you can both talk and really get to know each other. Don't go to the cinema or a club where you can't talk or have to shout at each other. You could be inventive and go to a theme park or ten pin bowling - you could both have fun and get to know each other and with no drink involved, then you'll be in control of all your senses.

It's the little things that matter on a date, so guys, the day before the date, call and make sure she is still OK to meet and confirm the details. Turn up 10-15 minutes early. It's easier for guys to sit alone in pubs and bars; women can become very uncomfortable walking in and sitting alone, especially at night. Call her when you get there, so she knows you are there and ask her what she wants to drink, so her drink is waiting for her when she arrives.

You can then focus on the date, rather than a lengthy wait at a bar for a drink. She will feel looked after and you have shown her respect and someone she can start to depend on - just what she's looking for! When she arrives stand, kiss her confidently on the cheek and tell her she looks lovely and now get into rapport and look out for the signals of attraction we have looked at in other chapters.

WHO PAYS FOR WHAT ON THE FIRST DATE? This is a controversial area and the rules here are not clear. Is it right in today's society of equality that the guy pays for everything? This is really up to the individual but I would suggest that on the first date, it is equal especially if it's an internet date. Be fair and read the situation! He will want to treat you and make you feel special, but as soon as it becomes expected you could become less attractive.

One area we have not looked at is laughter. We have discussed the importance of smiling and eye contact, but having a similar sense of humour has always been such a winner on dates - the simple fact is, people love to laugh it releases a feel-good chemical which will be attached to you when they think of you when you are not together. A shared joke or a situation that made you belly laugh is a really bonding experience.

Laughter works brilliantly and is what many want as one of the key qualities for an ideal date/relationship. We all love to laugh, you will both feel good around someone who has this happy disposition. Spend an evening with a depressed person and see how you feel at the end of that evening - not great, so have fun and be fun!

Gauge how the evening is going. If you have read this book, you will know what signals to look out for to indicate the success of the evening and date two will be on the cards. After a few dates you are having a great time and the attraction is like fireworks, you may have kissed and everything is feeling just wonderful.

Sex is what will be on both of your minds. People today jump into bed far too fast and this often gets in the way of any clear decision. Once sex is involved, women do tend to become more attached and therefore vulnerable to being let down and hurt.

Hold off on sex until your sure. You'll will find out fast if this person has just said all the right things simply to get you into bed. If they are right for you they will respect your wish to hold off on that side of the relationship. Ladies do this to make sure that the men are genuine, words are easy it's consistent actions you are after.

Don't be scared of losing a man because you're just wanting to make sure he is committed to you. The men you lose will be after just one thing. So in reality you have lost nothing. Stick to what is right for you and you will create respect and man that worthy of you and you body.

This short amount of time is nothing, if you really do want to be together long term. After 2-3 months, this will be a good indication if you want to start seeing that person seriously. If that person is still there in three months and all your questions have been answered and you feel totally comfortable, you can ask no more at that stage. If you feel ready for an intimate relationship at that stage, then great. In the three months of dating, hold back your feeling by 30%. Your partner has to earn that 30%. By doing this you will not get so hurt if they decide that you are not right for them. Manage your expectations, be in control and, above all, enjoy yourself.

Managing contact over the next 3 months will also be important. If you set up a consistent pattern during this time, such as texting every morning and every evening, this will set a pattern of expectation. If you then do not send a text that evening, they will worry that something is wrong. Do not always be available, be random with your contact but be loving and reassuring when you are in contact.

This is not a game. It is just managing the initial relationship, so that it does not get out of control. Negative emotions will be eradicated and your partner will learn that, no matter what happens you are consistent with how you feel, and constant reassurance will not be needed between you. It will also add a little excitement and tension. This will be healthy at this stage. It will create interest and give you both space to get used to each other and will leave each other wanting more.

Managing expectations is critical and getting used to how each other operates is important. Just the simple process of texting can cause so much anxiety. Your rule for texting might be that if you receive a text you must respond straight away.

This might not be your partner's rule they might look at the text, love the message and text you back after work five hours later when they are freer to tell you how they feel.

Learning each others rules will give you a better understanding in all aspects of your relationship and will smooth the way for a happy time for both of you. The key is communication - talk, understand and learn to be in control of what you can control - you.

MANAGE HOW YOU FEEL and what you do and do not be driven by any negative emotion. This will come across and is not an attractive attribute. The best thing you can do with any partner is to set them free.

Feeling trapped is not a nice place to be. Feeling you cannot see your friends because your partner will worry you might meet someone better will attach pain to the relationship and will eventually destroy it. If you have been treated badly in the past, go to a councillor and deal with this negative emotion. Your new partner is not your old one and does not deserve to be treated as though he/she has committed all the offences that you worry you will get you down again.

When you find the right person, or whatever you are looking for today or in the future, enjoy the company of others. Keep learning about yourself, others and how the opposite sex works, because they are different. This journey from finding out how to approach someone to meeting your dream partner is so exciting. I do hope you have enjoyed this journey and have learnt something valuable. The next step is to put into action what you have learnt.

Most importantly, establish your goal and take steps to work towards it, every day. If you do this, you cannot fail. Thank you so much for reading this short book. I would love to hear your experiences, so send me your flirting and relationship stories to: [email protected]

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