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  Hey Readers!  It's your friendly neighborhood Jersey Girl in Canada here!  I just want to say thank you for taking the time to read my posts!  I really appreciate it!

  This week, I don't really have any inappropriate questions to address, though I have noticed last month has brought forth the trend of couples breaking up!  You'd think we can wait until spring because this cold Canadian climate makes us want to depend on a partner to keep us warm.  I guess we all got the memo that warm coats and lots of layers are more effective than taking the time to deal with someone else's crap.

  Does this sound like you?  If so, I want to help you prepare for the jungle, aka "The Dating World", so you don't end up a nervous wreck when out mingling, and going on dates with new people.  I understand it can be very stressful and a bit confusing at times. 

Things to remember before putting yourself out there:

1.  Just because someone says they like you and they want your phone number, doesn't mean they're ready to dive head first into the deep end with you with no water in the pool.  Chill out.  Take your time and get to know the person well before you jump into another commitment.

2.  Regardless of your level of sexual frustration, just note that no one will take you seriously if you sleep with them without commitment, or if you rush into their pants.  No one likes to be "the rebound lover".  If all you want is a piece of ass, be up front and make sure you wrap it up, unless you want to risk getting an STD.

3.  Before you start sleeping with someone new, go to the doctor and get tested.  I cannot stress this enough, especially if you just got out of a relationship, you probably want to start fresh with a clean slate, which includes a clean medical record.  This way, if you know you were clean before sleeping with someone, then after the fact you find that you have contracted something, you would know who to blame.

4.  Be honest.  This probably should have been written first, but I am not typing this out in any particular order.  If you start off getting to know someone as you spew lies at them, and things are getting deeper, the truth is bound to be exposed eventually.  When you're honest with someone, it gives them the opportunity to make an honest next move.  This will lessen the chance of bullshit and drama in the end.  No matter how much you want that person, you want them to want you for the real you.

5.  You are not ready to celebrate Valentine's Day with someone new.  To some of you, I sound like a killjoy, but I see this dumb Hallmark holiday as a day for couples in committed relationships, and friends who just feel like celebrating it.  If you are just getting to know someone new, you probably want to treat February 14th as just another day on the calender.  If you want something real with someone eventually, take your time.

6.  Relax.  We all get nervous that we are going to say or do the wrong things, but if you get to know someone while being yourself, you'll see things fall into place a lot faster that way, without any pressure.  Allow things to flow naturally at a steady pace.  

7.  Keep yourself busy.  If you are too available to one person right off the bat,  it may seem like you are trying too hard to lock something down.  Get some hobbies, go out with friends, walk your dog, re-decorate your house, take some extra hours at work, hit the gym a little longer- just keep yourself busy. Co-dependent relationships are not healthy, so don't try to front like you want to be in one.  If you keep yourself busy with things that you enjoy doing on your own, you will also build confidence when you are out scoping out the hotties.

8.  Last but not least, when you do make time for the other person, be attentive.  Put away your smartphone, laptop, etc., because it is rude to do otherwise.  Whether you are on the phone with them, or you are in person, you promised that person that time, so they deserve your full attention.  Listen to them.

  So there you have it!  Be mindful of these 8 things to remember before entering the dating scene. Also, don't start seeing people just because you feel pressure from your married friends or family to commit to a relationship.  Take your time, and do what you're most comfortable with, even if that includes being on your own.  If I have missed something, feel free to comment down below- feedback is always welcome.

  Good luck! I hope you feel empowered with your newly found single life!

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