We have all heard the saying “timing is everything,” and no where is that truer than in dating. First of all, a lot depends on when you meet someone– are they going through a difficult phase or are they on top of their game?  Sadly, you don’t really know someone until you have experienced both the highs and lows with them, so try not to judge someone simply based on the snapshot you get at one particular time.

Timing also matters with respect to following up. How long it takes you to respond to an email, text or phone call are all taken into consideration, and will play a factor in the other’s willingness to move things forward and/or make time to see you.  It is unfortunately a delicate balance between showing interest, but not coming across as desperate.

Once you have moved beyond the initial phase of having drinks/dinner, doing some activities together, seeing where you each live, and you have developed a predictable pattern for interacting, the timing of certain delicate conversations will also be critical. You don’t want to have the exclusivity conversation too soon, but if the thought of seeing other people is no longer of interest or you are concerned about STDs,  you need to make sure that the person you are dating feels the same way.  When you bring this up, however, you should make sure you choose your words carefully and think about the overall situation.

If you are dating someone that is recently divorced, they are probably not interested in jumping into a committed relationship right away. Respecting the other’s position, and being understanding, is critical in any relationship. I believe those that are forced to commit to an exclusive relationship before both parties are ready to do so are doomed. Most of us hate ultimateums, and love is really something that has to be freely given– you cannot demand it of anyone.

To successfully navigate a relationship with another, there has to be a meeting of the minds. Too often I see people try to dominate their partners, shove their own wants/needs ahead of everything else. Dominating, narcisstic control freaks seem to be in high supply– and those traits may serve them well in their professional lives, but I assure you that will not be the case in the dating world.

Sadly, the longer people are out establishing their careers, and the more successful they become in their professions, I believe the greater the odds that the power they achieve corrupts them, and the more likely they are of losing any sense of humility. This in turn, makes dating later in life that much harder, but I would urge people to remember the saying “better to be alone than in poor company.”

In the end, remember that life is not a race. Enjoy the journey, and wait for the right one. While you patiently wait for that moment, make sure you find some good friends, who can share in the laughter as you recount the stories of all the freaks and pscyhos that will cross your path.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.