1.) How long should we wait to have sex?
Obviously, generations have evolved. Ideally, most individuals were groomed to journey down the path of accomplishing matrimonial goals prior to engaging in sexual activity. As times have changed, so have belief structures. From the Silent Generation (traditionalists) to the Millennials (current), sex has become a central element of dating. Even more so, it's become a determining factor on whether or not one will enter a relationship with you. But, whether promiscuity or celibacy, both should be respected.
Consensus: Early on, communication should occur to determine whether or not you two are on the same page about sex. As adults, you're free to have sex the same day of meeting someone or 6 months after. Setting a time frame of 6 months, for example, to ensure you've "gotten to know" each other proves irrelevant when anyone could live a lie for 6 years and you'd never know. Bottom line, as long as you're responsible and safe, whether now or later makes no difference, communication does.
2.) Do I talk about my ex?
At one point in time, one's Ex will surface during conversation. This is typical. However, this isn't something in which you'll want to dwell on nor overly focus every aspect of your new experiences on. On the opposite end, your potential mate may believe you're comparing him/her to your Ex if you're constantly fitting them into the conversation. It's common knowledge that what one has experienced and evolved from is what molded them into the individual whom stands before you, but simply put: the past is the past. As my Father always said: "the past is like your ass, it's behind you".
Consensus: Discuss your Ex if/when questioned, not before. Your attention should remain on the present and future. Harboring your previous relationship presents the image of someone who hasn't let go/moved on and it may run this person away.
3.) Should we be friends on Instagram/Facebook?
Along with the many evolutions of society, social media has erupted immensely. Most would argue that due to the risk of “drama” surfacing, mates should refrain from publically associating with each other via social media. As it stands, outside parties may influence one/both individuals, which may enhance the possibility of creating issues between one other. Some even argue that they prefer to keep their business “private”.
Consensus: Social media was established to share your life experiences with family/friends. Therefore, from your mate’s perspective, broadcasting your significant other on social media demonstrates a sense of openness. Of course, if one chooses to keep their business private, that’s their respected decision. However, if one wants their business private, why engage in social media only to limit your life experiences? Typically, when one chooses to keep the relationship in secrecy, it’s for a reason. In short, there shouldn’t be a reason to limit your exposure via social media. The only people in the relationship are you two. Therefore, the only ones who can allow outside parties to influence your relationship are you two, not social media.
4.) When should I bring him/her around my children?
If your potential mate has the objective of being a serious part of your life, sooner or later, they'll have to meet your child. As controversial as the topic is, argumentatively, they'll have to accept that child as one of own, with all due respect to their other parent. Any single man/woman with child will agree, they’re a “package deal”. One can’t come without the other.
Consensus: The child holds priority. Bear in mind, once you’ve introduced this individual to your child, he/she will begin to develop a relationship with your child in addition to yourself. From day one, ensure you’ve made it clear that yes, you have a child and yes, they’ll be around and yes, they’ll have to accept it. But at least take the time to evaluate the situation. Make sure this person is a long term individual rather than “here today, gone tomorrow”. Nothing worse than hearing your child ask where’d they go everyday and seeing that sad look on their face now that they’re gone.
5.) When should I introduce him/her to my family?
Family is family. Some individuals are more family oriented than others. This being said, introductions to family can be crucial. By definition, as well as tradition, your family is a part of you. Thus when introducing someone to your family, you’re exposing them to a portion of yourself. At one point or another, assuming they’ll be around for a while, they’ll eventually cross paths.
Consensus: Introduce them to your family once you’ve established that this individual has passed the interview process and has the job. If this person is only going to be present for the moment or to “kill time”, don’t waste time making the introductions. Bringing someone into your life, as well as your family’s lives, should be a privilege earned, not given.
6.) How soon is "too soon" to say "I love you"?
For those who’ve been in love before, or loved someone in general, you definitely know that love has no time frame. Of course, proclaiming love within 48 hours of meeting someone shifts in the direction of possible infatuation. But love, by no means has a time frame of “too soon”.
Consensus: No one can tell anyone when to love. This indescribable feeling arises as it chooses to and develops at its own will. Rather than dwell on what’s considered “too soon”, maybe one should instead better comprehend the difference between “love” and “infatuation”. A growing number of individuals are throwing the word “love” around all too often without fully understanding the meaning, nor what it stands for. For example, loving someone and being in love with someone are not the same. Do you know the difference?
7.) At what point do we establish if we're "together"?
Currently, society seems to have increasing issues with categorizing relationships. Titles, statuses and exclusivity seem to all be foreign and even more so, unwanted. If asked today, many will describe their counterpart as “my friend”, “him”, “her” or “somebody I talk to”. Most individuals shy away from labeling their relationship for several reasons.
Consensus: As always, communication is key. It’s important to establish your status from the very beginning but even more so when things have progressed beyond friendship. If you two are going on dates, showing each other affection and especially if you’re having sex with each other, it’s quite important to confirm your status. In terms of sex, for example, it’s extremely important as your partner may have several partners if you two “aren’t official”. By definition, without any exclusivity, they’re free to do as they please. Assuming is never the best course of action so regardless if these discussions are in their favor, initiate them for ones own sake.
8.) How soon should I call/text after exchanging numbers? Or should I wait for them to call/text first?
For reasons unknown, it’s frowned upon for someone to call the first day of acquiring someone’s phone number. Evidently, there’s an unwritten rule which states that calling too soon will make one appear “thirsty” (eager beyond normalcy) and furthermore suggests waiting 1-2 days before reaching out. This way of thinking may be appropriate for juveniles, however, in terms of an adult it’s absolutely ridiculous.
Consensus: If you’re thinking of someone or wish to speak with them, call/text them. All of the additional thinking and concern over the perception the other party will have is irrelevant. As an adult, we have the grand luxury of doing what we want, when we want. Not to mention, the other party may frown upon your over-analyzing method and view you as immature for thinking such things. You’ll be more respected for taking initiative and doing what you choose when you choose to.
9.) How important is physical appearance?
Obviously, the very first thing one notices about someone is their physical attributes. Unless a friend is setting you up on a blind date, appearance is the first impression made on one another. Clothing, grooming, hygiene, physique, are all areas that are immediately critiqued and evaluated.
Consensus: Physical appearance is important depending on your standards. Everyone’s standards aren’t the same so what it come down to is what one is searching for. Obviously, bad hygiene would be a deal breaker for most people but disqualifying someone because they’re too big or too small may prove foolish as that may have been Mr./Ms. Perfect. A concept that one must grasp is that the cutest/prettiest face may treat you terribly compared to the average looking man/woman aside from them. Same goes for body size, complexion and style of clothing. For example, one may favor a petite, cute, well dressed woman but the thick, average looking, JC Penny’s dressed woman you ignored would’ve given you the world. Food for thought.
10.) I make more money than him, does that matter? (women only)
Long ago, men were the “bread winners” of the household. Today, women likely own the household. It doesn’t suggest that women are more superior than men nor does it suggest the opposite. It simply suggests that women have the same capabilities as men. What was once a slanted relationship is now defined as a partnership. All indicating an equal stature. However, there’ve been an increasingly rising number of women preferring “pampering” and being “taken care of” versus women willing to do the work. This has been, and will likely continue to be, a great debate.
Consensus: All depends on the woman. Nowadays men and women may bring home the same salary. But, just because a woman brings home slightly more should make no difference. What does make a difference is whether or not both are managing their finances wisely, if living under the same household. Yes, a man usually takes the lead, as he should. However, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with both of you taking the lead, or even alternating. After all, you’re both equals, right?