DEAR NATALIE: I have a dilemma. I have been casually dating a few different guys but just started seeing someone I really like (let's call him Paul). We have only gone on one date, but it went so well I am convinced that it could be the real deal. Normally, I would not feel guilty about going out with other guys at this point (we've only gone out once, after all), but already I feel bad about seeing anyone else besides him. Paul is taking me out again this weekend (somewhere fancy, he said), but I have a date with a different guy the night before we are going out. Should I cancel my date with this other guy and focus my energy on Paul? We click so well I'm not sure what to do. Any advice is appreciated. -- LOOKING FOR A LOVE MATCH
DEAR LOOKING FOR A LOVE MATCH: Do not cancel your date unless you really want to. I know it can be tempting when you first meet someone and he sweeps you off your feet to let your heart run away with you, but the truth is you don't know this person very well yet. Anyone can make a first impression that charms you, but see what he's like on the second, third and fourth date. Get to know him in different settings, different places, in different ways. Let him cook you dinner, let him open the car door for you, give him the opportunities to prove that he is as genuinely awesome as he appears to be. I'm not cynical, just guarded.
There is nothing wrong with falling for someone quickly, but take a moment to let it sink in first before you leap off the love cliff, so to speak. (And remember, until you talk about monogamy, there is nothing to feel guilty about. No one owns your time or space, and if you want to be with other people and you are open and honest about that, it's your choice who you spend time with.) And who knows? Maybe you and Paul will fall in love and live happily ever after together, but get through your second date with open eyes first.
Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Body language can be the key to winning while networking. Your arms speak volumes, so don't keep them crossed in front of your body. That shows you are closed off and not approachable. Keep your body open to others and make eye contact to show you want to connect.
Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)