"Everyone knows that adventures have ups and downs and they expect that," he says."If you think of dating the same way, you are less likely to be disappointed." Assuming you and your date "hit it off," invariably the question of sex will arise -- sometimes as early as the first date.What's important to remember here is: It's your timetable.So, don't hesitate to slow things down if your date is ready, but you are not.If your date can't handle the fact that you want to protect yourself, you probably aren't interested in him anyway." If your relationship continues -- and it's an exclusive arrangement for both of you -- unprotected sex might be OK but only after you both get tested for sexually transmitted diseases -- and wait for reassuring results.Experts warn not to take risks, no matter how convincing your partner may be."Many women I talk to are afraid to carry condoms because they don't want their date to think they are a slut," she says.
The message is simple -- and urgent: Always use a condom.
If the date is a disaster, you'll have someone to commiserate with. This is not the time to discuss your favorite baby names or your ongoing feud with your ex.
And if it's great - you'll have someone to celebrate with. There will be plenty of time for such discussions if you continue dating, but a first meeting should be light and breezy. Don't pressure yourself into deciding if this is the person you want to grow old with -- remember, its just coffee!
To help you along the way, Web MD offers these tips from the experts on how to get started. San Francisco psychologist Jonathan Rosenfeld points out that dating is a numbers game: You're probably going to have to meet a lot of people before you find someone you really like.
"If you are a busy adult with work you're committed to, and children at home, then you have to make dating efficient," Rosenfeld says.
There is no guarantee that you are going to like your sister-in-law's newly divorced first cousin, of course, but the connection ensures that your date is not a complete unknown. Arrange to meet at a cafÃ© or restaurant rather than at your home or his. For your first meeting, it is best to arrange a coffee date rather than a dinner or an afternoon at a museum.