Most relationships follow a standard formula and timeline.
There are early stages every couple must navigate before they reach what's deemed a “proper” relationship status.
We all know the initial awkward stage; then the infatuation stage, where every little thing he does is intensely attractive; and then the honeymoon phase, where you just love being with him all day, every day, you never fight and no aspect of his personality is annoying to you.
Basically, you meet, you date and life is pretty hunky dory for approximately two-to-eight weeks (depending on you and your partner's personalities).
Although the relationship route isn't cut and dry — especially if you've been burnt in past relationships —, the fun, carefree part sizzles out at some point.
You start to second-guess everything he says and every twitch his eye makes.
So, how do you know if you need to dial down your sensitivity a notch (or two) and stop taking him so seriously?
1. You start saying wacky things like, “you've got your angry face on.”
You've known him for a week and a half. You could hardly pick his face out of a lineup, let alone decode his facial expressions.
2. Simple suggestion vs. solid plans.
When he casually says, “We should definitely do that this weekend” without making any solid plans, you cancel your entire upcoming weekend.
Then, you spend the next few days leading up to (and including) Friday night waiting for his call.
Friday soon turns into Sunday and suddenly, you've spent your whole weekend next to the phone, eating ice cream straight from the tub, watching reruns of trashy sitcoms and staring forlornly at your pre-packed bag.
Suggestions do not equal plans.
3. Constant communication.
If you find yourself typing the words, “You didn't text me back, so obviously you're dead,” you need to stop and relax.
Texting him straight after he hasn't answered your call (and texting him again when he doesn't reply) is serious Stalker Sally business.
No one wants to date an insecure Stalker Sally.
4. His Facebook friends send you into a frenzy.
There it is on your news feed: Facebook has alerted you that your boy is now friends with Bianca, Josie and Samantha (or “Slutty Sam” as you've now christened her after two minutes of stalking and picking apart her completely PG-rated selfie).
5. From molehills to mountains.
It's a casual Sunday. You're loafing around with your boy, and he pokes fun at you in what's probably the cute, new relationship kind of way. But, you respond with either irrational anger or water works.
The real red flag is when he stops making those jokes and teasing remarks. It means he doesn't feel comfortable enough to share a laugh because he fears your reaction. Stop taking what he says so seriously and just laugh.
It's a universally-known fact that guys love you more if you laugh at their jokes.
6. The wardrobe sacrifice .
You know that dress, shirt, skirt, scarf or necklace you absolutely adore? What about your most recent love-at-first-sight shoe purchase?
Well, he doesn't like it, and he's even said as much. So, you shove it far, far back in your closet, so he thinks they're gone.
For starters, it's more than likely just an off-hand remark, one he hasn't thought twice about since. But, you know what? If he did mean it, screw him. If he's in this for the long haul, he's going to have to get used to your chiffon shirt and its totally cute, ironic ruffles.
7. Mini me's and mini you's.
At this stage of the relationship, the only discussion of mini anything should be when the two of you are deciding kind of M&M's to get.
Just because he smiled and winked at you while he was holding his baby brother, niece or neighbor's child does not mean he wants to be a daddy to your baby. This is not a sign. I repeat, this is not one of those times when a guy will say something without really saying it.
8. He tells you to lighten up.
This is one of those times when guys do say what they mean. There is no hidden meaning. So, you probably should listen. Remember: It's only been three weeks.