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We all know that exhilarating, butterflies in the stomach, heart-pounding feeling of beginning a new relationship with the fun-loving, good-looking person who shares your interests (one of which is YOU! But, since we live in a fast-paced world, and because that feeling is something akin to smoking crack, we can often rush into a relationship simply because it’s providing us with the connection we crave!

That said, it’s critical that you stop, breathe and take a “40-foot view” of your relationship so you don’t overlook some very important factors that could eventually lead to heartbreak. Here at Dating with Dignity, we recommend taking a relationship slowly in order to closely consider to whom you’re giving your valuable time and attention.

Reciprocated interest and attraction can be exciting at first, but they’re not the only boxes a guy needs to check off to be worth a relationship.

Adopt a Mantra: The Slower You Go, the Faster You’ll Get There Remember that the man who wants to rush into a relationship with you, talks marriage on the second date, and has a pattern of serial monogamy may be a serious “pink” flag.

If it seems too good to be true, it may actually be too good to be true.

A man who is relationship-ready, mature, confident and self-aware will also realize that good things come to those who wait.

Finding out if your new guy subscribes to the same mantra can help you both keep a similar pace with reasonable and realistic expectations.

Make Time for Yourself It can be easy to spend all your time with a person you’ve just started seeing; after all, the beginning is the most exciting part!

However, it’s important to make sure you’re sprinkling in some “Me Time” to let the dust settle a bit and really think about whether or not this person is someone you want to be with long term.Spending too much time together can create a false sense of comfort and cause you to overlook significant red-flag behavior, so make sure to take a couple of days between dates and check in with yourself to keep things in perspective.If there’s a personality trait or behavior of his that continues to nag at you as you spend time with him, don’t ignore it.Something that needs to be “explained away” will likely come back to haunt you should the relationship continue.Keep in mind, however, that some seemingly negative qualities are situational and may be irrelevant over time (such as being unemployed); but inherent personality traits are almost always unchangeable.Encourage Group Dates Alone time is crucial, but your friends’ opinions are important too.