Except… now it has happened, you struggle to be cool. To keep it together, and not scare off this newfound crush with your sheer unadulterated joy at having stumbled upon them in this world.

Uh–oh. You’ve fallen fast. You’ve fallen hard.

They’re the first thing you think of when you wake up. The last thing you think of as you drift off at night.

And that’s fine, if you can maintain a healthy emotional distance during the early days. Getting attached too quickly can have the opposite effect. It might feel cosmically unfair, when all you want to do is show them how much you care. But this person isn’t some figment of your imagination writ large in your life—they have an entire backstory of their own. Perhaps they’re totally onboard with intensity from day dot, but maybe they need to take things slow for now, no matter how much you like each other.

As a matchmaker, I’ve seen hundreds of hopeful singles in this exact predicament. I’ve landed on 5 tips for not getting attached too early. These have proven highly effective over the years, so I hope they can help you, too—and reassure you that this emotional intensity you’re feeling is not only normal, but manageable. And remind you that, by not moving too fast too soon, everything can work out exactly as you’ve been dreaming it would.

1. Go easy on the texting

Don’t bombard your crush with messages all day every day. Not only will this come across as clingy, but it also implies you don’t have much else going on in your life. This incredible person is looking to meet a fully formed character with their own interests, passions, hobbies. And you already are that person—you just need to demonstrate it, by keeping your communication measured, at least for now.

What’s more, constantly texting your new love, no matter how tempting, keeps them at the forefront of your mind. You won’t get anything useful done if you’re obsessing, and you might end up getting attached too quickly for your own good.

So, only text purposefully and periodically, and save most of your communication for real-life dates, or at least video calls.

2. Don’t neglect your loved ones

If you’re in the habit of getting emotionally attached prematurely, it’s vital to practice self-awareness, to be cognizant of your own foibles.

That overpowering urge to spend every waking moment with this person? Okay: Recognize it—and resist. If this relationship is meant to be, you can spend the rest of your life basking in the warmth of their presence.

For now, continue making time for your friends and family who’ve always been there. Not only because they keep you grounded, but because they need you, too.

3. Don’t rush intimacy

If you feel this relationship really could be going somewhere, hold off on getting physical for now. Wait until there’s more trust and emotional intimacy. Grow together spiritually before jumping into bed together.

And if things do get sexual, and irresistibly so, try to at least keep these dalliances infrequent. You could even make a point of only hanging out in public if that’s what it takes to keep your hands off each other! And of course, this only makes intimacy hotter and immeasurably more meaningful in the long run.

4. Try orienting more toward the present

It’s easy to fall into fantasy when an amazing new relationship blossoms. It’s tempting to daydream about the places you’ll go, the things you’ll see, the memories you’ll make.

And those things can happen—but one step at a time. For now, enjoy the process of simply getting to know this beautiful individual who’s apparated into your life from the ether. This stage is exciting in itself—and remember: Once you’re committed for the long term, there’s no emulating those first heady days. The stolen glances, brushed hands over dinner, mesmerizing conversations that drift long into the balmy summer twilight, as the bar quietens to nothing and the barman has to remind you they’re closing now…

All in good time. If this is meant to be, you can spend the rest of your life getting emotionally attached. For now, drink in every moment of the journey.

5. More than anything else, know your worth

Most of us have been scared of being alone. Most of us have dropped our standards on occasion, for that sweet semblance of romance and companionship.

But if you have to force it, you’ll never be happy. And likewise, if you can feel yourself forcing the issue with your new crush, something’s not right. Either they’re holding back because they’re not that into you—or they’re crazy about you but want you to prove you have other things going in your life besides them.

The key to a happy relationship is to first practice self-respect. Look after yourself physically and emotionally—and the relationship will look after itself.

Be the partner who your dream partner dreams about.

Maclynn is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in New York, New Jersey, California, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch today, and prepare for genuinely meaningful dating—just like you deserve.