My experience of the initial kind of dating, when I would first meet someone, was something like taking a check ride. Someone else would be evaluating me as to my suitability for a relationship or at least an affair. This almost always made me nervous to some degree. It wasn’t until I had done many personal growth workshops that I became confident that I knew who I was, and what I wanted. Even then the whole process of courtship was pretty unfathomable.

Then there is the whole ‘like attracts like’ and ‘opposites attract’ discussion. The challenge occurs when meeting someone in a new relationship and the chemistry is very high and the sex is fantastic. When we have great sex, there is a very strong production of oxytocin, which is the hormone that bonds us together. If one is not careful at this stage then the bonds become very strong and are more difficult to break. Then we may realize that the one we are enthralled with is not a good match for us at all. Happens a lot. It’s not the end of the world but it does require some possibly painful un-bonding.

An interesting thing that happens in initial┬ádating is that when we are in that altered state of new love, men’s testosterone levels actually decrease while the testosterone levels of women increase. This means that women have stronger sex drives early in the relationship. After a year or some period of time hormone levels return to normal.

Caution: Men often become confused when hormone levels return to normal. They think that the woman is no longer interested in sex. It just means that men now have to pay more attention to seduction and foreplay.

There are several stages in going from stranger to lover. The first stage is getting the attention of the other. Generally, the man is the one who makes the second move. It may look like he is approaching her, but she has probably done something to attract his attention and, if he is conscious and interested in her, he will make the approach and start some kind of conversation.

Women do all kinds of things to attract attention. The way they dress, how they move in the space, a lingering glance, a smile are all attention getters. These signals let the man know of her interest and if it is safe to approach. It is a slow and cautious dance, because we all hate the pain of rejection, and we have to overcome the anxiety we have toward strangers. Making and sustaining eye contact for over three seconds is a positive signal.