People ruin their chances for real love by wanting too much too soon. You are wise to let love unfold naturally rather than trying to force it into your own time-table. By the same token, if you're not getting measurable results in a reasonable amount of time, you should begin looking for alternatives to the love situation you're in.
The following ideas are designed to help any woman who wants to control the pace and direction of the dating relationship in the early stages:
HELP HIM MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
As a general rule, set it up so that the man makes the first move. You can provide suggestions and encouragement in order to make this easier for him, but he is the one who has to pass the twin tests of desire and courage. If he doesn't have much of either, then this isn't a guy who deserves your efforts.
GET HIM COMFORTABLE FIRST
Men don't like to look stupid and will do almost anything to avoid being too far outside of their comfort zone. This means that a woman should lower the pressure of dating to a point where it is casual enough to put him at ease. However, don't make the event seem so trivial that he will take it too lightly.
IS HE A DECENT GUY?
All good dating prospects are quality human beings. So the first thing that you have to determine is whether the fellow you're interested in is a decent person or not. Associating in any expanded way with an unhealthy individual is a sure-fire formula for disaster.
IS HE A GOOD LOVE CANDIDATE?
While all good love candidates are good guys, not all good guys make good love candidates for you. You have to be a good match for him and he has to be a good match for you as well. Aside from feeling that you are the right woman and he is the right man, you should also make sure that there aren't any major divisive issues (race, religion, ethnicity, family, economics, distance, schedules, etc.) that could make the long-term situation too difficult to overcome.
REMEMBER, HE'S WATCHING OUT FOR GLARING WEAKNESSES
Initially, it's natural for people of both genders to wonder, "If this person is so great, then why are they still single?" Expect men to be sensitive in the beginning for what might be wrong with a new woman they are dating. A smart woman is fully aware of both minimizing the perception of what may be construed as a weakness and shifting the focus immediately towards her strengths. Redirecting his focus will help you get the relationship off the ground.
IS HE GETTING MORE INTO YOU?
While it's natural to gauge whether you're getting more into the man you're dating, it is equally important to note if he's getting more interested in you. Men will typically evaluate their love for a woman heavily by their intensity of desire. If you're not feeling the heat of the chase, then you're probably not connecting as well as you might hope or think. If he's not that interested you, then you have zero chance to make this work and must move on regardless of how much you like him. Many people fail to understand that chemistry is something that doesn't change much over time.
CAN THIS WORK WITHOUT HIM CHANGING?
Sometimes a man will stop his pursuit of an attractive woman because he feels that he would have to make major changes in order to make her happy. Unsuspecting women often overlook this possibility because the man will probably be giving mostly favorable feedback on the exterior. However, on the inside, he's thinking that there is something --- entirely different lifestyles, values, goals, or personalities --- that will not match up well over time. Unless the man's desire is extremely high or his chances are few, he may simply pass on a woman who presents too many differences. Not going forward isn't about disliking her, it's because he doesn't want to go through the effort, frustration, and hassle of trying to change each other in order to make the relationship work long-term.
IS HANGING OUT A GOOD OPTION?
Your peer group will often determine what's cool and what's not in the case of dating. For some younger people, hanging out with friends is a low-pressure semi-date experience that determines how well you mix together in public. Generally speaking, from a woman's perspective, this is not a real date and should be done sparingly and for only a short period of time. This is not a good substitute for demonstrating a man's sincere interest in you and is primarily designed as a way to get more comfortable first or a cheap way of seeing if there's any chemistry going on.
REAL DATING MEANS REAL RISK
When a guy has good intentions with a woman, he will willingly spend time and money to create an enjoyable dating experience. So if you don't see this in the first two one-on-one encounters, then you're probably dealing with a guy who isn't interested in having a serious relationship with you of any kind. Consider his actions at this stage carefully before proceeding any further, otherwise you may end up in a "friends with benefits" arrangement. In that type of relationship, the participants don't invest much of themselves emotionally and hence don't receive the joy that a healthy love relationship naturally provides. By going on real dates, you will quickly sort out the men who don't have serious intentions with you and therefore could care less about making a big impression on you.
REMEMBER THAT SEX CHANGES EVERYTHING
The basic rule on this point is that having sex too soon hurts your chances for real love. On a more practical level, smart women should at least avoid having sex with a guy that they are interested in on the first few dates. Otherwise, you'll have to overcome the awkwardness of having too much physical intimacy without the corresponding emotions. Having sex is much more enjoyable for both parties when a gradual emotional buildup makes the physical moment feel special and right. A more mature man with sincere interest and respect for a woman will gladly wait for this special moment to happen naturally.
By increasing your knowledge of each step in the dating process, you will be able to anticipate how to respond wisely to both good and bad opportunities that come your way.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Dating sucks when you don't have any control of either the pace or direction of your love life. But dating rocks when you have a firm grip of what's going on in each stage of your relationship. That way, you can invest your energy and emotions on men who are good prospects for lasting love.