The streets are crazy, so if you’re getting to know someone romantically, here are a couple rules you might want to follow.

The do’s

“Remember, you’re not exclusive.” – Martins

You and your partner in talking might like each other a lot, but you need to remember that you’re still in the talking stage; nothing is set in stone, and you’re just getting to know each other. This means you can talk to as many people as you want.

“Get to know each other.” – Obiageli

The entire point of a talking stage is to learn more about each other, so actually do that. Talk to each other about the simple things — your likes, dislikes, hobbies — anything that won’t have them wondering how you haven’t spoken to a therapist or been declared clinically insane.

“Remember that you can always run.” – Mariam

If they’re unkind, homophobic, misogynistic, or just don’t have the same values as you do, pack your bag and run. It’s the talking stage, not prison. 

READ: Z!’s Guide for Living Today

“Remind them to give you space when you need it.” – Rhema

It’s the talking stage, which means you need to spend some time with this person and get to know them. However, that doesn’t mean they can call you out of the blue whenever they want or demand things from you. They need to know if you have boundaries you do not want to be crossed.

“Meet up” – Angel

It might be tempting to spend half your time talking over the phone, but at some point, you’ll have to put the phone down and meet in person. This way, you know if they’re actually your type, and they match your vibe.

The don’ts

“Your family and friends don’t need to know them.” – Damian

Sure, you can tell the people in your life about this person you’re talking to, but why would you want to formally introduce the person you’re in a talking stage with to the people that have known you for years? What title would you even introduce your talking stage with?

“Don’t go second base.” – Somto

A little peck here and there is cute, but no heavy over-the-clothes petting and no sex. It might cloud your judgement and have you feeling things you shouldn’t.

“Don’t do pet names or nicknames.” – Damian

If you can’t formally introduce them to anyone in your life, why should they give you nicknames and call you “baby” or “sweetheart” outside? If people ask why they’re being all sweet on you, what would you say?

“Don’t force shit.” – Rue

Don’t act out of character or do things you think they’ll like so they’ll make the relationship exclusive, and you can become a boyfriend or girlfriend.

“Don’t be touchy.” – Ij

Everybody should keep their hands to themselves. You don’t need to hold someone’s waist or touch their shoulder just because they’re getting to know you. That’s not how things work.

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