1. Don't talk. Never talk about your relationship. Don't talk about boundaries, expectations, comfort zones. Never talk about the relationship unless something goes wrong. Don't ever talk about how much it means to you.
Along these lines, it's important to be able to ignore a prospective partner who inadvertently reveals information about boundaries, limits, or expectations.
I was recently offered a wonderful lesson in WhatNotTo, but my defensive mechanisms won out over my anthropological curiosity, so I can't report how truly bad it would have turned out.
I discussed coffee with a sprightly college professor. I emphasized my love of strong coffee with caffeine. I mocked her for drinking decaf, which she seemed to take in good spirits. Then we back-and-forthed on meeting for a coffee date. That's where we still were, too, when it became apparent that ours was a What the Hell Was I Thinking waiting to be thunk.
She suggested a yuppie place that sells pots of tea for $7 up to $65. You don't even get to keep the teapot -- I checked.
(boggle). Show me to an oxygen bar, please.
Best of all, the place is too highfalutin to serve coffee at all.
I made the mistake of believing a married man who said he had his wife's permission but she didn't want to know the details, including she didn't want to talk to outside partners to confirm the arrangement. Turned out she was in the dark, and there were very serious consequences.