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One of the wisest pieces of relationship advice I ever received is “dating is to collect data.” During the initial stages of dating, sometimes we get so caught up in finding the one that we don’t take the time to actually get to know the people in our love lives. The rush to commitment suddenly usurps the necessity to pay attention to red flags and signs of incompatibility. This is why it’s important to date around a bit. Yes, it’s a balancing act, but dating multiple people helps you to not stay too focused on one person before there is actual commitment.

That’s where benching comes in. Dating trend benching works how it sounds–you put someone on the bench while you date other people until you’re ready to completely commit.

“It also helps you avoid getting emotionally attached to a person before they’ve truly invested in you,”  WH advisor Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York City explained to Women’s Health.

While this may seem harsh, it’s important to help pace yourself as you discover more and more about a potential partner. Of course the key here is to be honest with your suitors.

“Relationships work very poorly without high amounts of trust and transparency,” Ann Rosen Spector, PhD, a clinic psychologist told Women’s Health.

“At every stage of the relationship, check in with the other person,” Spector continues.

But if your perspective partner isn’t comfortable on the bench, that is totally understandable. It’s okay to cut your losses and move on to someone who is okay moving at the same pace as you. Too many people hover in relationships way passed their expiration date.

“The biggest mistake most people make in relationships is the inability to disengage,” Spector said.

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