In the course of dating, one is bound to fall into love at some point. As they say, "love" is blind. Perhaps "love" isn't the best word for it, so lets call it falling into "stupidity." IN this period of time you will lose your "better" judgement. So, if able, try and remember but more importantly, follow, these rules. Otherwise, in the end, you'll be left saying "I KNEW BETTER!"
Rule number 1 - Keep it local: From the maple leaves in Canada to the college lifestyle of Pacific Beach, San Diego. No matter how amazing, the distance will prevail. The expenses will add up. The issues with trust will arise. At some point, someone will have to consider moving in order to keep the relationship going. Usually this happens shortly after the attachment and affections have surfaced but well before committment is served.
Rule number 2 - Under no circumstance do you give in too soon, timing: Lets call him All Star. All star, dark hair with a dash of salt n pepper, athletically built with washboard abs and fun loving. Distinguished, accomplished, and well versed. He uses terms like "delictable' when describing her petite bikini body. Appeals to her intellectually while complimenting her beauty and success. All star is well experienced with women. Study's their choice of words, focusing on key elements that are important to her. Delivery of each compliment stems from previously gained knowledge of her soft spots. Plays coy, and is overcome by passion. She is a conquest. Her flaw, her error? No chase. He saw her lose her breathe when he spoke. Felt her heart skip a beat when he looked her way. Heard her words collide when she tried to speak. He had her at hello. He knew it.
Rule number 3 - Stay within your age group. They may be filled with life, physically more appealing. But they are also on a different chapter in the book of life. On a road with either more or less forks in the road remaining to choose from. You will not relate to memories and experiences lived. Not to mention the skeptical eyes watching, judging.
Rule number 4 - Be yourself. If you look in the mirror and see someone else, run. You have one identity and its the only one you should have to live up to. If you have to hide any part of your personality, reframe from enjoying or expressing your true opinions and values, the end is inevitable. Eventually, the real you will want to come out. It will prevail, the relationship will not.
Take a lesson from me, take a lesson from a well known recent movie "you are NOT the exception."