Have you ever felt like you broke up with someone even though you weren't even in a legitimate relationship or you hadn't even had a single good conversation with him? Sometimes we get so excited about the idea of a relationship or the idea of a person that we end up experiencing a lot of very unnecessary heartache. To avoid the cruel reality of breaking up before you're even together, avoid doing these five things:

1. Don't Facebook stalk him

Before you really know someone, you can create a completely inaccurate picture of him in your mind (for better or for worse). There is nothing wrong with using Facebook to connect with people, but save yourself a lot of judging and refrain from excessively stalking him before you actually get to know him.

2. Don't talk to your friends about him

When you are constantly talking about a person that you don't really know, you are falling for the idea of this person, and not who he really is. It's OK to mention to your friends that you are interested in a guy, but don't play with your mind by imaging who you think he is. Instead, use that energy and work on yourself so you can feel confident actually talking to him.

3. Don't wait until you really like someone to ask them out

If you wait and only ask someone out when you are super interested, chances are you won't be able to be yourself. You'll be too caught up finding the tidbits that line up with your Prince Charming vision that you'll miss who he really is.

If you have even a sprinkle of interest, ask him to go get a milkshake and end the date shortly after. You don't have to drag anything out if the date isn't going well, but by initiating things slowly, you have the chance to see a friendship (or maybe even a relationship) blossom.

4. Focus on dating as a time to create and cultivate friendships

Dating is meant to be a casual opportunity to get to know someone better, so don't take it too seriously. Saying yes to a date is not saying yes to steady dating - it's saying yes to a committed amount of time, just once. Don't overthink it. Go on a date to have a good time and to get to know someone; don't use dating to pin them down and see right then and there if they are marriage material.

Go into each date determined to have a good time and to make a friend, then if it goes better, what a blessing! If it doesn't, you've got another friend who could potentially introduce you to your future spouse.

5. Be 100% authentic

If you are trying to impress a guy by being someone you are not, you're lacking honesty ... something any relationship needs. When it comes to dating (and life in general) your goal is to find someone who loves YOU - not a man who is impressed by the someone who you are trying to be. When you are yourself and confident in that, you will attract the right man.

It's easy to put the cart before the horse when we meet someone who seems really great, but resist the urge to push the relationship in the wrong direction. Before you do anything else, talk to this man and get to know him in person. As you get to know him, you will really learn if he is someone worth pursuing or someone who is meant for someone else.

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