I am a hopeless romantic type ... I believe in the kind of love you read about in novels and see on the big screen! Yes, I believe it can and does exist! I believe that 2 people create it and should be writing a love story worth watching on the big screen! Though there are other things we should use as our guide when single and dating alongside our "feelings."
1) Know what you like.
When you know what you want this protects you from being led away by your feelings. I encourage people to have a list. Now don't pull it out during the first date, but have one, know what's on it, refer to it.
2) Know what you don't like.
Too many people settle. And this is what leads to all sorts of problems, including divorce. I can't tell you the number of people I have talked to who said, "I knew I shouldn't have married him/her ... but I thought I could change him/her ..."
3) Find out what your friends feel?
Sometimes when you feel so in love you become blind to glaring red flags. It's always good to ask those closest to you for their insights. Ask them, "What do you think?"
4) You have a brain, so use it.
When I was dating through my teenage years and on into my early 20's I dated a lot of girls who gave me tickles in my tummy, but when I met my wife, 21 years ago now, I had more than just the tickles in my tummy. She had other characteristics that were on my list ... things that were important to me in finding the person I would be spending my life with. We were compatible, and that's huge.
We've all heard it said, and it's so true ... "Love is a choice, not a feeling!" And though this is true, let's be honest, it's nice when the feelings are there, and it sucks when they are not!
Be smart when dating. Listen to those around you. Listen to yourself. Don't allow the "tickles"to make you ignore things that are clearly broken. And don't settle for someone you don't have feelings for simply because they are a good person ... there needs to be an attraction. Be good, be safe. You will find love, I promise!