The Best and Worst Dating Rules
Spend just one day in the dating world, and you’ll hear about all kinds of dating “rules” that you need to follow. But how many of these rules are actually worth following? How many days should you wait until you call? How often should you see someone during the first month of dating? Is sex on a first date OK? The rules of dating have changed plenty from the way they used to be.
We’re here to delve into the best and worst dating rules out there and separate fact from fiction. With this guide, you’ll know exactly which dating rules to follow, and which to avoid.
Dating Rule 1: Let the man pay
While I may make some of you shake your heads and long for the “good old days,” there’s no need to let the man pay on a date anymore. This all started because women made much less than men, which is not always the case anymore. On first dates, it can be much easier to split the bill with your date. Splitting it, 50/50 helps to keep things equal right from the start – much better than ceding control to one party or the other.
Dating Rule 2: Always have your first date in a public place
Dating online is incredibly safe nowadays; it’s no longer the strange and murky place you were warned about 10 years ago. But, whenever you meet someone for the first time, you should still do so in a public place. Not only does this help to keep you safe, but it also gives you both stimulus to discuss if the conversation starts to lag.
Dating Rule 3: Wait 3 days to call after a first date
Life’s too short, you guys! Waiting to call after a first date supposedly helps to show that you’re not desperate. But, it can also make your date think that you’re simply not interested – not ideal. A quick text after your date to say how much fun you had (providing you did have fun, of course) is a great way to make your prospective partner’s heart flutter. Call them when you feel like calling them, and stop worrying about how you’ll come across. You want to come across as yourself, and if yourself wants to call – then, call!
Dating Rule 4: Play hard to get
Nope. While you might think it makes you appear more attractive by making your date chase you, just as above, you’re more likely to put them off altogether. You don’t want to give away all your secrets on the first date, but pretending to be uninterested in someone isn’t always going to make them more interested in you.
Dating Rule 5: Don’t worry if you don’t spark right away
Not every relationship is like the movies – some might be, but they’re truly the lucky ones. Most of us won’t necessarily feel the “spark” as soon as our eyes meet. It might take you a few dates to really feel a relationship click, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the wait. Take some time to think about how you feel after your first date – if there’s no spark, but there’s still interest, give it another go.
Dating Rule 6: Don’t have sex on the first date
You should have sex when you feel like having sex – regardless of rules. If you want to have sex on the first date, and both you and your partner feel the same way, go ahead. If you want to wait until marriage to have sex, then wait. Nobody can tell you when to have sex other than yourself. Every relationship is different.
Dating Rule 7: Avoid talking about your ex
At least, on the first date. Talking about past partners is an important part of a committed and open relationship, but it’s not a great topic for your first outing. Your first date should be about getting to know each other as people, not about your exes. Save that side of the conversation for further down the line.
Dating Rule 8: You have to dress up
For many of us, a first date can bring on panicked sweats and hours of physical preparation to make sure we look our best. And while we’re not saying you should go out with unwashed hair and a dirty shirt, you don’t always need to be dressed up to the nines. One of the most important things when dating is that you both feel comfortable. If you’d rather be wearing jeans than a dress, or sneakers instead of dress shoes – go ahead. You’ll be much more attractive if you’re not constantly shifting about or adjusting your outfit.
Dating Rule 9: Don’t make it all about you
Do your best to make the conversation equal – especially on the first date. Hopefully, you’ve covered some of the basics already if you met them online, so you can use the face to face time to dig a little deeper. Ask questions as well as answering, and try and make sure you listen carefully as well.
Dating Rule 10: Don’t trust online dating
Online dating is a great, modern way to meet and connect with people. More and more people are meeting online now thanks to sites like Zoosk, eHarmony, and Elite Singles changing the online dating world. You can filter possible matches to help make sure you end up with the perfect partner, and they give you the chance to get over the most awkward small-talk before the first date.
Dating Rule 11: Don’t go on a first date on Valentine’s Day
We’ve talked about this before on our site – Valentine’s Day can actually be an awesome day to organize the first date. There’s so much going on that you can take advantage of, and as long as neither of you takes it too seriously, you’ll be able to have a really great time.
Whether it’s your first date or your fiftieth, the rules of dating can be a tricky world to navigate. At the end of the day, none of these rules are set in stone. The number one rule you should be following is to have fun. So many people put too much pressure on themselves when dating, and it does nothing but cause undue stress. Your date may go horribly, and they may be totally the wrong person for you – and that’s OK.
Relax, have fun, and take the pressure off. Stop worrying about which rules you should or shouldn’t follow. Love will come in time, be patient, and put yourself out there. There’s a lot of wonderful people out there to meet and date!