All of us have deep things within our soul that we want to share with others. We want to talk about our hopes, dreams, hurts, secrets, innermost thoughts, and more. Sometimes we get too eager to do this. If we share too much too quickly we are asking for trouble.You shouldn’t rush emotional intimacy.

This brings me to the “L” word; LOVE.  Remember that love is not just a feeling. Love means respect, commitment, friendship, sacrifice, and many other things. It is easy for people to confuse lust, infatuation or attraction for love. Therefore don’t be so quick to tell someone “I love you” just because you have strong feelings for them. The “L word” will begin to lose its meaning if you say it to every person that you have feelings for.

Don’t be so quick to give your trust.  Trust should be earned.  Take your time and make sure someone really deserves your trust.  Being trustworthy is a virtue, but being too trusting is not.  This is true for any type of relationship. As you mature you will grow in your ability to recognize trustworthy people.

Don’t forget your friends.  Have you ever had a friend who “disappeared” once they got a girlfriend/boyfriend because they decided to spend every available moment with this new person. That’s not very healthy. It creates too much dependence. Increase the time you spend with someone slowly.  Don’t forget to continue having a life outside of your partner.  Give one another a chance to be missed.

Now we come to physical intimacy. Physical affection can make you think your relationship is better or deeper than it actually is.  Don’t rush being physically intimate.  Do you remember the first time you held hands with someone of the opposite sex? It probably caused you to feel warm and tingly all over.  Physical affection is extremely exciting and enjoyable. The problem is that it can also be very confusing. It can put you on an emotional roller coaster.  Give it some time and make sure you really know this person. Too much affection too soon will only confuse you.

Last and most importantly FOCUS ON FRIENDSHIP!  Romance is a beautiful thing. Friendship, however, is what causes relationships to last. Learn how to slowly build a friendship. Make sure you have found someone that you really enjoy talking with. You and your partner will spend more time talking with each other than doing anything else together. Communication is key to any lasting, worthwhile relationship.