My client Anna thought he was the one. After a few short weeks as a couple, they had talked about a future together, had met each other’s families, and were in love.

A few months later the slow fade started. He was busier and less available. When she confronted him, he told her he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. Ana was devastated.

My client Dina went on a few dates with her newest handsome like-minded man and was enjoying their connection and chemistry. He was texting her regularly in between. A few dates later he told her he would call her to confirm their next date. She didn’t hear from him again. No explanation, no apology.

Sadly, these situations are common. They’ve inspired our modern dating terms like Ghosting, Benching, Zombie-ing, Gaslighting, and too much more to list here. As a dating coach, I see some of my clients come to me when they’ve reached exhaustion at experiencing similar heartbreaking results. I help them reprogramme their approach with tools and strategies to prevent and mitigate these situations, and attract the right quality men.

That said, the truth is, while these new smarter dating skills reduce the risk, there are no guarantees. Dating involves taking a risk to attract love. Its the only way to attract a meaningful and genuine connection with the right man.

To support you here some tips to keep in mind:

1. Always pace the relationship and observe actions without attaching to words too much in the early stages. It can’t be rushed. There are stages of disclosure, which occur over a period of time as a man develops emotional attraction. Revealing too much too soon, and increasing the intimacy doesn’t guarantee emotional connection or love from a man. This is how you filter out the players, and understand if the man sees you in his future.

2. Understand that men go through a normal cycle of getting close, pulling away, and getting close again. It can be interpreted as a part of their masculine instinct. Pulling back is an emotional need to process his feelings, to try and figure things out. He needs to do that himself. The man interested in you will bounce back. Those that are not interested won’t, or may half-heartedly come and go for a while, but will eventually go and not return.

3. In those instances, the hardest thing to do is often not to lean in and check in. If you want to, do so without expectation of something in return. If you want validation in return, avoid it.

He’s pulled back for a reason. When you lean in, initiate, or check in, he’ll pull further back. Your responsibility in these cases is to focus your energy on you, and continue enjoying your life and remaining unattached to any outcome. Also, connecting with other men.

This creates the space, and if he’s genuinely interested, he will return. When he does, if you show anger, disappointment, challenge him at such early stages – it’s an attraction killer. On the other hand, if you’re calm, without “expectant” energy, your value in his eyes increases. We’re talking before commitment.

You’re in control each step of the way. This allows you to stay objective, without attaching to an outcome before you’ve discovered who he is. Regardless of the outcome, your goal is to trust yourself by maintaining your boundaries, and knowing that regardless of the outcome you can handle it.