Don’t jump in the bed too fast

These were words of wisdom a good friend gave me this morning.

Get together and have coffee a few times. Make the conversation pleasant and enjoyable. Talk about stuff that interests the other person.

Then, if nothing seems amiss or wrong, go get a burger together. Maybe have some fries, but you eat your own and have them eat theirs, no sharing fries yet. Make the conversation again about stuff that is relevant to the other person and they will do the same for you.

If all seems pretty good, maybe do lunch again. I still suggest, that you don’t share the fries yet.

Each step along the way shake up the conversation a little bit more. Talk broad and varied, but not too deep yet. Be careful treading into the relationship expectation conversations. I don’t think you are ready for this yet.

The next time you get together, maybe you can consider dinner. Nothing grand, maybe a pizza shop or local deli. Don’t over order and don’t order a “soda.”

The conversation should get broader and even more varied. Maybe, just maybe, throw in a pinch of politics or a dash of religion, but keep it soft and simple. Gently mix in just a little bit of relationship expectations. Don’t get upset if the expectations don’t start out mutually beneficial. This is not uncommon.

After a few dinners together you could consider going to their place for dinner and more open conversations. Be careful though, you’re making yourself more vulnerable at this point.

The first time you go to their place, have a clearly stated “up front contract.” ┬áMaybe a lunch or a dinner and good open chatting. Then END the visit with bye-bye without stepping into actions that are not┬áreversible.

Just because you go to their place does not mean you have to keep doing this each time you get together going forward. It’s OK to go back to coffee, lunch or dinner at a deli for the next gatherings.

Do this dance for as long as you feel it should take before you go all the way. Be clear about each others decision making process. Once you take that plunge it’s nearly impossible to get back out without some difficulty.

Get to know the other people involved, there are always many different personalities that you will have to be able to like, tolerate or figure out how to deal with when you start down the relationship path.

Good conversations, open discussions, getting to know each other, trust each other, respect each other and hopefully enjoy each other’s company are key steps before you make that major leap of jumping into bed together.

Build a relationship based on honesty, transparency and respect.

This dance is the best way to do your job searching.

Then and only then, will you be happy with the job that you decide to take.

Still, don’t share the fries.

Author: tlburriss

I am a Networking Strategist and LinkedIn coach and Trainer. I live by my personal edict, "Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward thru life." I want to help people become better Networkers and better LinkedIn users focused on their business and career goals.