Tips from a person that has been extremely successful at dating in New York but not so much at landing a relationship, until now that is. (Insert wicked laugh here)

First, start seeing someone. This can be either be done by going online or meeting someone in person. If it’s online make sure you're not cat-fished (that’s when someone looks nothing like their photo, or they put a include a photo on their profile of themselves 15 years ago. This happens a lot with ex-models, ex-exercisers and ex-young people). It’s such a modern term that spell check has no idea if it’s one word or if it deserves a hyphen. I christened it a hyphen because my 10th grade English teacher, La Loca Ms. Cat-Pee-in-the-Snow, would have too. I forget her real name but my friend nicknamed her that because of her bleached guero hair. Puro-pinche-hyphen.

Next up, start thinking you could really form a relationship with them. This usually happens after the first hour of your first date. Too soon? Nay, not soon enough. Meet their mom if they are a local. Start talking about taking a Friday off work to meet their entire family. Go to a Sunday barbecue or carne asada if they are Latino. Meet the uncle that just got out of jail. Meet the kids that his sister had out of wedlock. Meet the tia that doesn't really live in their house but hangs out there 24/7 because her husband is sleeping with his co-worker and never home. This works because you are all about familia too. Viva la familia.

Don’t shy away when he mentions you should live together after only a few dates, this could happen, forreals. You could score a better NYC apartment sometime soon. And split a one bedroom? That’s your pinche dream come true. As long as there’s enough closet space for your garritas, you’re golden. And who doesn't want a chance at a rooftop or a vermin-free apartment equipped with a washer/dryer?

Start talking about an international vacation alone. Make that shit super sexy. You've always wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro- just to fuck. Tell him you want to go far, get lost in the rainforest, the jungle, the tundra- with him and only him. Wait long enough to fuck him, but not too long. Yeah, yeah, TRUST me, this works. You want to keep interest high, no? After nine or so sleepovers you fuck all night and all morning. You swallow, you hate swallowing but he loves it and you start thinking you love him. But whatever you do, don’t say it.

The next day you’re chilling at the park with you half-blind chihuahua, he reaches over to pet her, this warms this shit out of your heart and you say I love you. AH, you said it PENDEJA. You're fucking crazy, it’s only been a few weeks but you swear to Jesus (not your dad) that you feel it and you really do.

Fine, you get one pass and that was it.

Soon after that he tries his best to make you breakfast, you eat it. Even if the huevos are extra salty and the pancakes remind you of chewy cafeteria food, you swallow. That’s just what you do when you’re in a relationship.

But you're not together just yet…

So what now? It’s only been three crazy/passionate fucking weeks after all. A little under twenty three days to be exact. And you’re on the brink of commitment, of changing facebook statuses, of booking a trip to Texas so he can meet your family now.

The next step won't make sense to a regular dater in a small to mid-sized city. It probably won’t make much sense to folks seeking advice in Atlanta or Chicago either. Shit, it doesn't even make sense to this recent Texas to NYC transplant either but I know in my heart it’s the right thing to do.

Tell him you're not ready for a relationship and pull out.

Collect the extra panties you left at his place, take your toothbrush and get the hell out. Quickly move on to someone else and say to the dude that once made you breakfast that things were just all too serious with you two, that you felt suffocated, that you need time to think. Your (fill in the blank) is keeping you so busy nowadays that you cannot fully commit.

He will be crushed, be upset. Your pussy would have been the best he’s gotten in months so he'll be mourning it and your vile sense of humor he loved at the same time. He'll think about the time you joked about abortion. “If you accidentally get me pregnant, I'll perform the abortion myself,” you joked at the end of week two. Oh how he will miss your little pro-choice humor. That I love you you said on accident, yeah, he felt it too. Except he wasn't quite sure about a novia, none of them are.

But ending it is the right thing to do. Your value will quickly skyrocket. He'll like you all the more simply because he just can't have you. He’ll call, he'll beg, he'll show up at your house. You'll threaten to call the cops if he shows up again, he doesn't give a fuck. You are worth getting maced or tasered for. You are no longer just a girl in New York, you're the girl. You let this go on for a week, two weeks, a month, as long as you can, longer than you actually dated, until you, with your best cold shoulder forward finally say, OK, we should give it another shot.

Then you make a comeback. Back to being nestled in his arms, back to family carne asadas and birthdays, back to girlfriend material. And after the huge susto you gave him, back to being the novia he had no idea he wanted, especially in a city like this one.

(Insert wicked laugh again)