“People often dive right into a relationship and begin to lose themselves early on,” says Jennifer Silvershein, LCSW, founder of Manhattan Wellness, a service that specialises in dating and relationship advice for millennial women.
You quickly start ditching plans you’d made for yourself and with others before you met this person in order to spend time with them. And when that happens, it’s likely you’ll fall into dicksand—the dreaded force that sucks you into becoming so preoccupied with the new person you’re dating, you ditch your friends and fam entirely.
Dicksand is as strong as it is sneaky. You get caught up in the rom-com energy of your own budding love story, and next thing you know, you’ve been sucked into relationship isolation, your friends have no idea where you are, and you have no action plan for how to get out of this phase.
Mikaila M., 24, only grasped how deeply she’d plunged when she decided to skip her friend’s birthday party to hang with a new match. She didn’t realize until later just how upset her friend really was.
Otherwise, not only are you jeopardizing your existing relationships, you’re also not giving yourself the proper amount of time to manifest a relationship naturally. And a rush of lovey-dovey endorphins could be making you miss major red flags (read: it is a big deal that his ex-girlfriend still thinks they’re in a relationship).
Take it from Michelle T., 24, who has vowed by this rule and is now in a two-year relationship. “I was caught in a cycle of losing my friends, family, and self whenever I entered a new relationship, so when I heard about this rule, I had to try it,” she says.
“If you’re able to keep the get-togethers to once a week, the intensity of something not working out will be lessened,” says Silvershein. Instead of moping about five dates you went on with this person last week, you’ll only be moping about one.
Not saying you have to play hard to get, but seeing each other once a week will leave your partner wanting more every time. You’ll have so much to talk about, so much to catch up on, the spark will be *lit* every time you see each other.
It’s easy to get swept away by a moment that wasn’t actually all that romantic. By limiting yourself to once-a-week dates with potential bae, you have time to thoroughly reflect on the date and evaluate if those were actual sparks you felt.
“When you get more comfortable into a relationship or habits are beginning to form over time, that’s the natural progression,” says Silvershein. In other words, when you finally know that this is the one for you and it’s not affecting you or your other relationships, you’re in the clear.