The early days of courtship can be blissful, but they can also prove perilous if you don't avoid certain pitfalls. Here's how you can walk confidently through the dating minefield.
1. She Shows You Her Body "Flaw." It's Minor, But to Her, It's Monumental
Pitfall: Saying too much or too little will set off her BS alarm—the opposite effect you want to have on a naked woman.
Your play: Strike the perfect balance. Tell her, "Nothing is a turnoff—I'm interested in all of you," says Sharyn Wolf, author of Guerrilla Dating Tactics. Engage in some therapy of the kindergarten variety: After she shows you hers, return the favor and laugh it off.
2. At a Bar, You Run into Her Ex, Who Looks Like Tom Brady
Pitfall: Talking up your bonus numbers; mentioning your German car.
Your play: Give her space and go grab drinks. When you return, treat him like a colleague. Later, ask her if there any unresolved issues. Then say, "I just want all cards on the table before we get serious." She'll appreciate your confidence and honesty, says psychotherapist Laura Berman, Ph.D., the author of The Passion Prescription.
3. You're on Your Way to Date Number 15, and She Has Yet to Pick Up a Tab
Pitfall: Saying, "Ever plan on opening your wallet?" will save you from hearing from her again.
Your play: Send this text message: "Where are you taking me for dinner on Friday?" It's playful and let's her know it's a two-way street, says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., a sex therapist and the author of She Comes First.
4. She's Dropping Not-So-Subtle Hints About the Future
Pitfall: You're silent. You change the subject. You shift in your seat.
Your play: Say, "I like you a lot, and I want us both to stick around to see if there is a future." Then, on the sly, go out and buy her a top-shelf sonic toothbrush to keep at your house. "Sounds silly, but it's endearing. It shows her that you want her here for a while," says Wolf.
5. You Climax Too Quickly
Pitfall: Apologize and repeatedly claim that "this never happens."
Your play: Pleasure her for 20 minutes. According to a recent German study, you need 19 minutes to rev back up. Take your time working your way down until you reach her clitoris. By the time the slow boat delivers her to the edge of orgasm, you'll be primed for round 2.
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