You’ve only just started dating and realistically you’re months away from knowing if this guy has the potential to be in your life long term. Too often when couples start dating they want to include their new mate in every aspect of their lives. This can be a mistake.In a new relationship it’s important to keep the courtship phase going as long as possible. Not only does this make for lots of fun and romance, it also gives you more time to really get to know each other before announcing to the world that you might have met ‘the one’.I’m not suggesting that you keep your man under wraps for so long that everyone starts believing you’ve got something to hide. I’m saying, don’t start parading him in front of everyone you know in the first week of meeting and falling for him.

How many of us have friends who we consider serial daters? You know the type, they meet a new guy, go out on one date with him and the next week bring him along to a party, not as their date but as their happy ever after. Three weeks later, it’s all over and the cycle begins again.

If you’ve met someone and you think he’s special, keep him to yourself for a few months until the relationship has time to develop. The exception to this is if he suggests meeting up with your friends. If it’s his idea, wait for an opportunity to take him for a casual drink with some friends or a party that’s been planned for a while. Don’t arrange a formal ‘meet my man’ occasion, have him come along to something you’ve been invited to.

Introducing your new guy to your family is a bigger step than introducing him to your friends and in most cases it won’t happen until the relationship is well under way. Unless he has nerves of steel, consider the drop by as a first introduction. Let your family (core not extended) know that you’d like to drop in to say hi on your way to somewhere else. The message is that you can’t stay long but want to see them. Then tell them you’ll be bringing a friend with you. Rather than go into some long complicated explanation, wait for them to ask questions. If they don’t ask, don’t elaborate. Once this first casual meeting is out of the way, you can arrange to have a meal with your family so they can get to know your new partner.

By Michelle Lewis
Michelle has been one of Australia’s leading matchmakers and as a relationship expert is the founder of Date Doctors.
Her first book The Street Guide to Flirting is out now.