Dating is a time of learning about each other whether its the first date, third date or the 100th date. During this time you should be learning if you have a connection in each of the Four Cornerstones of a Relationship; intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical. The physical connection has two components; physical attraction and …physical intimacy. Physical attraction is usually pretty obvious, either we are attracted to someone or we aren’t. However, when physical intimacy is introduced into a relationship to soon (i.e. the third date) your ability to connect intellectually, spiritually and emotionally decreases significantly, almost to the point of no connection at all. After the infatuation of a new relationship wears off you realize that you don’t really know the person you are with and you are left wondering “is this all there is?” Intimacy should be postponed as long as possible to allow the intellectual, spiritual and emotional connections to develop more fully. If you have become intimate by the third date, make an effort to spend dating time in public places where you can have conversations and limit the potential for lust to take over.
You should never begin dating someone unless you know what characteristics you want in your mate. These are your “Must Haves” and are non-negotiable. As you start to date someone, your list of “Must Haves” will help you step back from the infatuation of a new relationship and identify red flags early on in the dating process. The sooner you are able to identify red flags, the sooner you will be able to determine if he is a candidate for a long-term relationship. If you are looking for a soul mate, you have to be willing to make adult decisions and step away from less than extraordinary relationships when red flags are present. Red flags are not necessarily character flaws. It just means that the two of you are not a great match.