MSN Dating & Personals

Spring fling or the real thing?

By Kimberly Dawn Neumann

It’s that time of year: Birds are chirping, flowers are budding, and people are coming down with cases of spring fever. Is your giddy seasonal buzz the result of a blossoming new relationship—or merely a case of hormones coming out of hibernation? Our love quiz will tell you.

1. You catch yourself smiling when you think about your new date’s:
A. Body and how it looks in those jeans and that tight shirt.
B. Similar tastes to yours—you guys have been having a lot of fun together.
C. Latest endearing story—he or she always has a way to make you grin.

2. Your dreamboat is chattering on and on about a friend’s work drama. You find yourself:
A. Miles away. No offense, but it’s not like you know the person he or she is talking about, so you don’t have to cling to every word.
B. Trying to be supportive in between thoughts of what you’re doing next.
C. Completely absorbed in the conversation.

3. You see your amour covered in sweat and dirt after doing yard work and think:
A. “Gross—shower time!”
B. “Well, it’s a good thing he/she is comfortable letting me see him/her that way.”
C. “Wow, this person even looks great when muddy!”

4. You’re out late with some friends, but think of your new sweetie:
A. ...Well, you don’t. You were having a blast with your pals.
B. Off and on, when the conversation reminds you of him/her.
C. Every three seconds. You even sneak into the bathroom to give him/her an “I wish you were
here” call.

5. You can’t wait to introduce your new “friend” to your:
A. Loveseat and maybe your dog.
B. Friends. They’re cool and will like each other.
C. Mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, coworkers, grade-school pals, etc.

6. A song that you heard playing on your first night out together comes on. You:
A. Change the station... Barry White is much more in tune with your current vibe.
B. Start to sing along playfully with your date.
C. Swoon and consider confessing that you now think of this as “your” song.

7. You find yourself making plans with this person:
A. When you’re dialing his or her number on Friday afternoon to see if he/she can come over to your place that night.
B. A few days in advance. You like making plans to spend time together.
C. Well into the future. You’re totally comfortable talking about 4th of July, summer vacations, beyond!

Now count how many times you answered A, B, and C, and read below for the scoop on your sweetie.

Mostly As: It’s a lust thing.
So your hormones are on high drive—that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you’re both on the same page. And realize that your current relationship probably isn’t designed to grow into something more. “If all you do is spend time together physically, you don’t really know the person at all, so you’re basically dealing with an image of him or her that you’ve made up,” says Laurie Puhn, J.D., author of Instant Persuasion. That means that any emotional intimacy you feel is based on your own perception of your lover and how he or she should act and treat you—not reality. And if only one of you becomes emotionally invested, someone will get hurt. So enjoy your time together as long as it’s fun, but if the other person is clearly feeling a deeper connection, it’s time to have a serious (and honest) talk about where your head is at in this relationship.

Mostly Bs: You two have relationship potential.
Guess what? Though “I’m just having fun” is your m.o., you might actually be bonding more than you think. The problem is that it can feel like you’re dating in a gray area, because culturally, we’re on a mostly-As or mostly-Cs planet. “People today tend to either just hook up or be exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend, and we’ve lost this middle ground where you get to know someone,” says Puhn. But that’s actually a healthy place to be, because not having any heavy expectations is the way most “real” relationships begin! “You can begin to discover if this is someone you respect and trust, and judge him or her not on words, but actions,” says Puhn. So forget pressure to “define” things—instead of limiting you, this type of relationship is the most freeing early on because you get to decide whether to take the next step on your terms. All aboard the B line!

Mostly Cs: You have a case of spring fever—and maybe much more.
Lucky you—you’re head over heels in love! No doubt everything is a little bit sweeter right now, but before you sail into the future, make sure you haven’t lost yourself in the present! In these early, heady days when you want to see your cutie all the time, it’s easy to make dating your priority. But if you don’t make the relationship part of your everyday world, you may wake up one day and wonder “What happened to my life?” Right now you’re setting up patterns of behavior that will last throughout your entire relationship. “If you make this person the center of everything you do, that’s what he or she will expect six months or a year from now,” says Puhn. So what should you do? Perhaps you miss a date to make a friend’s party or admit that you don’t actually like live jazz. Boundaries let your honey fall in love with who you really are (even if it’s not a jazz fan) and pave the way for a longer-lasting, happier partnership. So go ahead and be crazy-in-love; just don’t forget who you are in the process!

Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a writer based in New York City who has contributed to Fitness, Women’s Health and

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