And while I'm a firm believer that our mistakes are actually rich learning experiences if we allow them to be and we choose to learn from them, there’s no denying that there are things we’d rather do differently if we had them to do all over again.

how long after dating should you become exclusive-25

*** Clearly this wasn’t our best, most romantic conversation ever.

Looking back on my single days, there are so many things I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now.

When we’re in over our heads emotionally and can’t think clearly we’re not able to be objective about what we’re doing.

And that’s why we do all of those crazy, unloving, disrespectful things we do to ourselves in the name of love (or at least, what we believe love to be).

So many of these things we learn only from experience; from learning about life and love .

But the reality is, when we’re in it, when we’re dating, when we think we’ve found someone who might be the one, when we’re feeling that incredible chemistry, when we’re so lonely we don’t know if we can be alone another minute, when he finally notices us and asks us out, when we feel like we can’t breathe if we don’t hear from him, when we’re so scared to lose him, when we feel like without him we have nothing, when we’re sure he must be lying dead in the gutter somewhere because that's the only reason he would've disappeared like that, we can’t see that we’re about to make a huge mistake.Instead of wasting weeks and months and even years of energy, time and oh so many tears, I could have found out the answers to my unspoken questions that eventually would come out in the end, right away.If I had been direct from the outset about what I was looking for, about what he was looking for and about just how much our plans and dreams had in common, I would have known these answers in time to save my heart from the heartbreak that comes from waiting too long, from getting too attached to the wrong person in the name of a dream, and from forgetting that I had just as much say in the relationship and where it was going as he did.I have found that the best rule to follow here is not the amazing chemistry barometer when you’re in the heat of the moment (which is not going to be very objective) but instead the rule of waiting until you have a firm commitment from him and you’re both exclusively committed to each other.Another good rule is that if you’re not comfortable talking about birth control and STD protection with him, you’re definitely not ready to be giving yourself to someone on the kind of sexual level we’re talking about here.And that also keeps you in a place of high self-esteem and confidence knowing that if he really has that much potential you’ll know before giving too much of your self to someone too early, before you really know them well enough to make that kind of commitment.