If the first-time daters have arranged to be in the same city for a long weekend or other three-day period, they can see each other each day, but we recommend that they set a three-to-five-hour time limit on the dates.

And who wants to be on "dating behavior" for 8, 10, 12 hours at a time, trying to keep up the flow of conversation for so long?

It's bad enough if the man and woman already know each other, but it is even worse when two people are meeting for the first time.

Often the other person may be an entirely appropriate match, but what has happened is that the person hasn't had enough time to process what has been going on and feels overwhelmed.

We also recommend that long distance couples vary what they do when they are out together.

In previous columns you've mentioned the idea of giving one another space during the dating process. Hank With relatively inexpensive air fares and even cheaper long-distance telephone rates (not to mention the blessings of e-mail), it is now easier than ever to negotiate a long distance courtship.

You recommend one date for 2 or 3 hours and then not another one for several days, and I've followed that advice. However, anyone considering long-distance dating should be aware of the inherent problems in dating a G. ("geographic undesirable") and how to avoid those problems.

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Our advice isn't much different for couples that have already begun a long-distance courtship and are seeing each other for the second, third, or fourth long weekend.

If they are in the same locale for five to seven days, they still need some breathing room, even if they want to see each other daily.

In fact, one of the biggest mistakes long-distance daters make is trying to cram too much time together into their compressed schedule.