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A wise and witty woman, Mae West, once said, “A dame that knows the ropes isn’t likely to get tied up.”  I’ve seen too many women getting their lives all tangled up because they failed to learn from past mistakes, the missteps of others and creating unrealistic expectations. Before jumping into the dating scene or even into a relationship, you’ve got to know the ropes,  the games, the signs, the unspoken rules so you don’t get all twisted up. The following are five dating ropes every single woman needs to know…

Don’t go into a first date expecting a second

Unmet expectations only frustrate the one who’s expecting. The worst thing you can do is to expect anything from someone you just met. He owes you nothing on your first date but respect and a good meal. Don’t go into your first date with dreams of a lifelong love affair or happily ever after. Go into your first date with with zero expectation of anything more than what you can guarantee in that moment: food, conversation and goodbye.

Don’t demand in return what you give

Just because you’ve given up your friends and the things you love to do to spend every waking minute with him, don’t expect him to do the same. Just because you remember his mother, father, cousins and pet parrot’s birthdays, don’t expect him to do the same for you. Whatever you do for him, do it because you enjoy doing it. Don’t do it so he can do the same for you in return. That’s both self-serving, inauthentic, manipulative and thirsty.

Relax, don’t hurry things

You’ve been dating three weeks and you already have your clothes at his place. You’re planning a vacation together and throwing him a birthday party. Slow down. Let things take their natural progressive course. Stop trying to rush making the two of you a couple.Your controlling and overzealous approach will eventually turn him off.

Sex isn’t love and love isn’t sex

Just because you dropped the draws on the second date, don’t expect him to propose on the third. Having sex doesn’t mean you’re in love with him or that he’s love with you.  Don’t jump into sex thinking that’s going to make him fall in love with you. A man doesn’t fall in love with you because you’re great in bed. He falls in love with you because of how well you treat yourself and the value you bring to his life.

Be cool and mind your business

If he doesn’t volunteer the information, don’t pry. No one wants to date a private investigator or an interrogator. Stop worrying about who’s calling him, who his Facebook friends are or who is following him on Twitter. That’s none of your business. Worrying about what he’s doing when he’s not with you is time and mind consuming. If you’re overly consumed with his life, how would you have time to live yours?  If what he’s doing when he’s not with you bothers you that much, walk away. But don’t expect him to disclose his entire life to you in three months because you’re showing signs of emotional insecurity. A relationship is not about invading the personal space of others. It’s about trusting the other person to share his life’s information with you when he’s ready, not when you snoop and demand.