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7. Similarity breeds success. "This doesn't mean you've got to marry your clone. But when you're getting to know someone, ask yourself if you and he have the same core values," says Warren, also the author of Date...or Soul Mate? How to Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less. "Think money, intelligence, lifestyle and sense of humor," he says. And think really hard if your major life goals mix well. Both of you need to agree on the merits or disadvantages of marriage, making babies and whether to aspire to living in a tree house or a penthouse. These are things that you can start finding out in as little as a date or two.
8. Present a challenge. "Let the guy know you like him, but don't take his initial interest as a signal to latch on to him right away," Kelleher suggests. She points out that "three dates do not a relationship make." We're not talking The Rules here
9. Don't be a babbling brook. Sure, you've got a host of charming stories, but save some for the second date. "Men really want to occasionally get a word in edgewise," says Brooks. Women should pace themselves and think of about two to three great stories to tell on their date. But don't go overboard talking about yourself!
10. Sunny side up. "My male clients bemoan the lack of warmth that women project," says Kelleher. "Guys say many women clearly don't want their date to give them a hug or open the door." Lower your guard, flex those lips into a smile and be nice.
11. Be a girl. Leave your professional persona at the office. "My male clients also complain that women often come across as masculine
12. Look beyond his good looks. Don't be dazzled by a handsome face and buff bod. Is this guy worthy of winning your heart? "How good is he at relationships? How does he treat his mother? How does he get along with siblings, cousins and friends?" asks Brooks. If the answer to those questions is not too well, take heed. Once he is confident of your affections, he might revert to type and treat you like everyone else he "cares" about.
13. Be mindful of that ole black magic. At first glance you felt more of an urge to hold his hand than jump his bones? That's not a terrible sign: Physical attraction can deepen as you really get to know and trust each other. But there must be an ember of initial attraction to build from. Without any chemistry, Warren says, you're better off as friends.
14. Hold out before having sex. Spindel is adamant that you should forego sex at least for a little while. The matchmaker feels that until your guy is ready to commit at least part of his soul, you're better off not committing your entire body. Her rationale: "Ideally you should wait until you've had the discussion about not seeing other people. That way you're sure he's operating more out of love than lust."
15. Go with the flow. The real key to making it as a couple, says Warren, is that both people are willing to compromise. If one or both partners must always have their way and are threatened by even small changes, trouble will soon be brewing. For example, if he suddenly has to work late on a night you were hoping to cook him dinner, be understanding of his need to be flexible and have him come over for coffee instead of the main course. Of course, he should be really sorry for the change in plans and should want to make it up to you.
Sherry Amantenstein is a contributing writer for iVillage. Follow her on Google +.
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