What Not to Say
Timing Is Everything
If only someone would invent this: a special "redial" function for when you first start dating someone. Not only does it call back whatever number you just called, but it also takes back whatever you just said. See, the early days of dating can be so exciting that all those fizzy feelings risk going straight from your head to your mouth without checking in with your brain. Suddenly you hear yourself saying "We..." or "...boyfriend..." or "I spent all day baking you these!" and you'll hear him say, "[Awkward silence.]"
"If you call someone your boyfriend before he's settled into the role, he may feel like he's playing catch-up with your emotions, and just bail out," says dating expert Robin Gorman Newman, founder of LoveCoach.com. "Less is more when it comes to love."
Dangerously loaded words can even pop out with the best of intentions. Take, for example, the time -- years ago -- an old boyfriend and I were looking for two seats next to each other on a crowded Greyhound bus. Thinking my fib would make the request more compelling, I announced to the entire bus: "Could someone please switch seats so that my husband and I could sit together?" Totally worked. At the moment, I thought it was brilliant -- less so, two weeks later when he broke up with me.
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