Dating expert reveals how NOT to start a relationship (and what to do instead)

The early days of a relationship are often blissful – but can also be tricky to navigate.

A British dating expert has weighed in on how not to start a romance, revealing the most common pitfalls people are making with their love interests during the initial stages of dating.

Tina Wilson, relationship expert and founder of Wingman, insists coming on too strong, telling white lies and not establishing clear boundaries are some of the worst mistakes to make during a new romance.

She told FEMAIL: ‘If you are too serious straight away, it can feel controlling and red flags might trigger with your new girlfriend or boyfriend.’

Meanwhile, regarding white lies, she added: ‘When you finally come clean and all is forgiven, subconscious blocks can go up where it can be difficult for your partner to regain trust.’

The early days of a relationship are often blissful – but can also be tricky to navigate (stock photo)



Tina says: ‘If you are serious about the relationship, you must be honest and open from the start. 

‘You need to grow emotionally and learn that vulnerability can mean a deep and meaningful relationship. It is not a sign of weakness. 

‘Telling someone everything you think they want to hear will only lead to the inevitable break up. Even if it is with good intentions, the truth always finds a way of coming out and you will just end up hurting your love interest.

‘Lying will only destroy a relationship as all relationships are based on mutual trust and respect. Lying in your new romance will make the other person feel betrayed and hurt.

‘Relationships can’t be built on lies and if you really care or love the other person and don’t want to break off communication, it is best to be honest from the start, even if it is an uncomfortable conversation.

‘The same goes for telling white lies, they might seem harmless or insignificant at the time. This forms unhealthy habits. 

‘When you finally come clean and all is forgiven, subconscious blocks can go up where it can be difficult for your partner to regain trust. Honesty no matter the subject is always the best way.’


‘Coming on too strong at the start of a relationship can be off putting,’ warns the dating expert. ‘In the beginning you are enjoying each other’s company, seeing how compatible you are and having fun. 

‘You need to find the right balance. If you are too serious straight away, it can feel controlling and red flags might trigger with your new girlfriend or boyfriend. 

‘You don’t want to intimidate them by being perceived as too intense or overly keen to the detriment of the relationship. 

‘Show you are eager and interested in them without laying down the lifetime plan for your future together. 

‘In addition, when you are really into someone, it can feel natural to want to text and call them a lot, even sending long texts, but this could come across as obsessive. 

‘If your new love interest is delaying their response time to you or only replying to your long texts with one-word answers, take the hint.

‘These actions will inadvertently do the opposite and it will stop your relationship from blossoming because they feel pressured. 

‘Feeling overwhelmed, your new partner could start questioning if you are the one for them and break things off.’

As such, dating expert Tina Wilson (pictured) has weighed in on how not to start a romance

As such, dating expert Tina Wilson (pictured) has weighed in on how not to start a romance


‘It can be natural to want to impress but by “putting on a show” you are not being authentic,’ insists Tina. ‘And keeping up a pretense is exhausting and short lived. 

‘At some point you will realise it is not sustainable because this version of you is not the real you. Try and be your normal self as much as possible. 

‘Of course, there is first, second and third date etiquette but presenting a false version of yourself is the worst thing you can do in a new relationship. 

‘If you feel you must hide who you really are then they are not the right fit for you.’


Tina says: ‘Life is busy and things can crop up but in new relationships you should try to stick to plans as much as possible.

‘Letting your new love interest down is one of the main catalysts for arguments as the more it happens the more accusations fly around why you didn’t call them when you said you would or why you cancelled plans at the last minute.

‘It shows you prioritise other people or things over them, and it is not how you should start a romantic relationship.

‘No one’s relationship is perfect but if you let your new love interest down often then this is a red flag which could prompt them to end the budding romance. 

‘You should not feel disappointed in a new relationship, and it is a signal that the partnership is not for you.’


‘Breadcrumbing is a common dating term which sees someone sending acts of flirtatious signals, usually through social media or text, which leads the other person to believe the romance is going somewhere,’ says the dating expert.

‘Yet the romantic partner will soon discover they are nothing more than non-committal signals. 

‘Perhaps the breadcrumber has other love interests but to the other person it feels as if they have been lured into a romance under false pretences. This can feel devastating and humiliating if you are on the receiving end.

‘If you are a breadcrumber, you might not be conscious of your behaviour, so it is important to keep checking in with yourself to assess your true feelings and how you are treating people, so you don’t lead your love interest on.’

Dating expert reveals how BEST to start a relationship


‘In new relationships you should be yourself but also be honest about what you want in a relationship and share your hopes and dreams,’ insists Tina Wilson. 

‘It is wise to ensure you are both looking for the same things in life, but you should do so when you feel the timing is right. 

‘It is not right to say this on a first date but after a couple of weeks of dating you should feel comfortable to express yourself and share what you want in life. 

‘In new relationships it can be easy to overlook more serious conversations because you are so wrapped up in each other that you put this off, but at some point, you need to put your mind at ease and know if the relationship is going to work in the long term.’


‘A lot of couples become consumed by each other but it is key to find the right balance, so you are not spending every waking moment together,’ warns Tina. 

‘It is not wise to give up your independence and could even set you up for a relationship disaster.

‘Ensure you both continue to do the things that you enjoyed before the relationship such as a hobby or just some “me time”. 

‘Make the effort to stick to these boundaries as it helps form a healthy relationship by carving out your own space or passions. 

‘The same goes for seeing family and friends, you should encourage each other to spend individual quality time with other people you care about.’


‘Do not string someone along if you do come to the conclusion the romance is something you don’t want to pursue,’ insists Tina. 

‘You should be up front and honest as soon as you can. No one likes rejection and telling them might feel confrontational at the time, but honesty is the best policy, especially concerning matters of the heart. 

‘Try not to be vague or let them hold onto hope as this will cause them to over analyse and hinder your love interest from moving on. Help them to get over you quickly by being honest and respectful. 

‘They will value your honesty and it might be easier to do that then you think. The worst thing you can do if you bottle it, is ghost them by ignoring them.’


‘Ask about their day. Surprisingly simple, yet this question is highly effective in new relationships,’ explains the relationship expert. 

‘It shows you care and are interested in their life. Listening to your love interest can go far and it helps spark a conversation. It also shows you are selfless, and it can help develop feelings.

‘Pick up the phone and show you are interested in hearing about their world, your new love interest will secretly love this even if they do not show it. 

‘Old fashioned ways are still as relevant as ever and it is much more meaningful than a WhatsApp. It also shows you are keen without looking too needy.’


Tina warns: ‘Don’t let your past relationship experience hinder your new romance. It can be natural to want to protect yourself from having your heart broken but try and let go and live in the present. 

‘Don’t compare them to your ex or assume they are the same type if your ex hurt you. You run the risk of jeopardising your new relationship if you let your past interfere with your new relationship experiences. It can also overshadow your feelings and judgement at the present time.

‘If there are no pink or red flags in the romance, try to not let your insecurities from keeping you feeling happy and enjoying this precious time. 

‘Embrace your new relationship and any insecurities or worries can be shared once you have been together a little while. Your new partner will understand if they are right for you.’