Some of us are originally wired to put people into one of only two buckets– they are either in or out; you either like them or you don’t. Sadly, this leaves people with a very small margin of error, and as a result first impressions count for a tremendous amount. But as it turns out, some people can talk a great game in the beginning, and others need more time to warm up and share parts of themselves with others.

In dating, I have found that instead of an in-or-out mentality, which can be overly harsh, it might be better to create 3 buckets: (1) yes; (2) no; and (3) maybe. With this latter category, I try to suspend judgment and not expect a “wow” moment right away. Letting go of the fireworks isn’t easy, but as more than one friend has pointed out to me those with fireworks in the beginning have a proven tendency to burnout quickly. Under the “wow” spell (which may be induced by someone’s looks, smarts or charm), we have tendency to ignore some pretty major red-flags, so perhaps when you come to this realization, you may want to implement a different approach.

As a romantic, it may be really hard to let go of the love-at-first-sight scenario, but after enough of these relationships go up in flames, you may want to consider an approach that prevents you from getting burnt.  Try to appreciate what they mean when they say the slow and steady burn is far more durable and enjoyable. Finding love the second time around, when you are older (and hopefully a bit wiser) is totally different from when you were in your 20’s and much more care-free.  The wow now stems from a different point of view– it’s less about big promises and grandiose gestures, and much more about keeping your word, following through and showing kindness on a daily basis.

To be able to trust someone these days, when we are all so surrounded by temptation, and to be able to rely on the consistency of someone’s love and affection creates a far deeper “wow” than any of the fireworks displays out there.  So try going at a slow and steady pace, instead of fast and furious– this is not a race, and even if you see it that way in dating what you want is someone that will go the full distance– as in a marathon runner, not a sprinter.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.