Falling in love and following up on first dates – when’s ok?

Okay, so you’ve read and digested everything there is to know about how you should attract, achieve and behave on a first date and it’s paid dividends (see tag #datingguruuk if you need a recap). The night has gone perfectly, you’ve not embarrassed yourself or your online dating partner (now your offline beau) and there were several hints that you both wanted to see each other again. Fantastic – you can’t beat a bit of bully, can you?

You’ve done the ‘text me when you get home safely’ bit, if you’ve not dropped them off or got them a cab back home (if not, why not!?) and you can go to sleep easy – if you can drop down off cloud nine to actually get into bed, obviously. But when’s the best time to follow up? Should you be on their case first thing the next morning? Is leaving it the traditional three days too long, given how hyper-connected we are, both socially and with our love lives?

For those of you old enough to remember a time before e-mail, mobile phones and online dating, the ideal grace period was three days. That was, of course, when homes only had one telephone, a man came around to light your gas lamps, you used to have a bath in front of the fireplace on a Sunday night whether you needed one or not and it didn’t half get cold on the WC in winter when you had to go in the outhouse.

I can categorically tell you that, based on one dating site’s survey earlier in the year, the ideal follow-up time is now one and a half days and not the traditional three, from when the height of social media activity was a party-line phone shared by one and all in different flats in the same block.

Don’t be overly keen – give them chance to breathe, but don’t take too long, making them think you’re not into them. If you’ve been out Friday night, then Sunday dinnertime’s the perfect time to see if the second date is still on the cards.

And talking of overly keen – one last tip for would be offline daters, if you’ve only just progressed from the online dating scenario. Do not rush your opposite number into a relationship they may not be ready for, for a whole host of reasons (remember, they’ll tell you why in good time).

Nothing is scarier than someone developing an all-enveloping crush on you after you’ve only met once or twice and there is little else I can think of more likely to put someone off meeting you again than a relatively new love interest constantly mithering you that you should.

As we aspired to in the first #datingguruuk article this week, love is like a flower and will blossom naturally given the correct bedding and by allowing it to bask in the sunshine. Smothering someone will crush any desire they have to be with you. Let them breathe and give them time to respond – you will only come across as desperate if you keep texting and leaving voice-mails and pm’s on your dating site!

So that’s that – we’ve come full circle in this mini-series designed to help out us poor Brits who are crap at UK dating! And all this advice, you could have paid through the nose for from a relationship expert in EST, USA. And we’ve given it you free – aren’t we just the best!?

Here’s looking forward to your company in February; I’ll let you know where to send my card to. Love always, dating.org.uk.

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