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Here's how often you should see someone you've just started dating

As we break into 2018, many people will be embarking on their "New Year, New Me" missions. For some folks, this means joining a gym or trying out an alternative diet. For others, it might involve taking up a new hobby, or making an effort to continue with old ones. Some individuals, however, have marked 2018 as the year in which they will find "the one".

However, starting a new relationship is a lot more complex than simply cutting dairy out of your life or learning how to play the tuba. There are certain rules you have to abide by - unwritten rules that nobody seems to tell you about until you go and accidentally break one.

And one of the major ones at the beginning is how often you should meet up with your new beau.

couple in bed Credit: Getty

There are two extremes to approaching the first steps of a relationship: either you forego all the usual "take it slow" relationship etiquette and spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with them, or you play it way too casual and ignore them for several days - if not weeks - on end.

It doesn't take a genius to know, then, that the route to success is to tread a line somewhere in the middle of those poles. And, according to author and psychiatrist Scott Carroll, that sweet spot is just twice a week. He explains:

"It’s important to stick to twice a week only so that you have plenty of time away from your new date to give your deepest feelings time to percolate up from your subconscious."

Ok, I guess this makes sense - but it's easier said than done. If you've just hit it off with someone and you discover there's more to it than simple Netflix and chilling, spending time with them becomes the only thing on your mind.

But Carroll insists that spending time apart will actually intensify these feelings, and help you sift out the negative aspects of the connection early on in the relationship.

Happy couple Credit: Pexels

"These deep feeling are important because they will help you see any issues or problems with your new love interest," he says.

Essentially, the time apart is just as valuable as the time spent together.

He goes on: "You don’t have to see someone daily, but seeing them at least once during the week and another night over the weekend keeps things moving forward. If you only see someone once every couple of weeks, it's almost like starting all over again from the beginning on each date."

couple happy running love beach Credit: Getty

That being said, every relationship is different, and you should try to work off the vibes that you give one another. If you feel an instant spark with someone, seeing them three times a week isn't going to completely ruin the relationship.

Likewise, if you think someone is deliberately distancing themselves from you for other reasons, don't feel obliged to carry on with the relationship just because you've set yourself a goal of meeting someone new and making it work. 2018 might be your year to find The One, but there's no point wasting your time on something you know will eventually fall apart.