10 Old-School Dating Rules You Should Totally Ignore
The dating world can be, shall we say...complicated. There have always been certain “dating rules” enforced by society, but nowadays, they’re considered obsolete. As new technology and dating apps take over, more traditional forms of dating fall to the wayside.
So, how do you navigate the more modern world of dating? The first step — throw those old-school dating rules out the window! Modern times call for modern dating etiquette, and we’re here to put an end to the old-fashioned way of dating.
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For generations, societal pressure has determined what you can and cannot do when it comes to dating someone new, but today’s era is kicking it to the curb. Here are 10 old-school dating rules you can definitely ignore:
1. Don’t Make the First Move
It’s always flattering when someone else makes the first move, but now that dating apps are all the rage, this rule can kick rocks! You don’t look “desperate” or “too forward” for initiating contact. If you’re both sitting around waiting for each other to make a move, it’s never going to happen!
For so long, dating rules have dictated that it’s up to guys to make the first move, but in today’s dating world, gender doesn’t matter. If you’re interested, reach out! You don’t want to pass up a potential romance because you’re worried you might come on too strong. Unless you’re using a totally inappropriate pickup line (no one likes those), go ahead and make the first move. You never know unless you try, right?
2. Men Should Always Pay
It’s always been said that guys should pay for the first date (and pretty much everything from that point on), but it’s not necessary in today’s age. Considering the fact that females are fighting to close the gender pay gap, assuming that men need to pay is incredibly counterproductive. We’re not saying chivalry is dead (and there’s nothing wrong with being chivalrous!), just that men shouldn’t feel obligated to pay, just like women shouldn’t feel obligated to let it happen.
While most men still feel the need to pay on a first date, the idea that they should is totally outdated. Why not split the check?
3. Have Your Date Pick You Up At Home
Unfortunately, this rule isn’t exactly safe anymore. The majority of people meet online nowadays, and it’s so easy to pretend you’re someone you’re not behind a digital screen. Unless you already know and have met your date in real life, having someone from the internet pick you up at your house is potentially dangerous.
We’re definitely not here to cause fear here — just urging you to be cautious! Plan to meet up at a public place such as a coffee shop, restaurant, or bar. If it turns out the person isn’t who thought they’d be, it will be easier for you to get out of the situation.
4. Wait Three Dates Before Getting Intimate
A 2017 survey by Groupon found that men waited an average of five dates before having sex, while women waited nine dates. Why? For some reason, society has always pushed the narrative that “if you wait X number of dates, then X will happen.” Not surprisingly, it doesn’t work that way! Every relationship is different, and there are no universal dating rules that apply to all of them. Waiting a certain amount of time before having sex, kissing, or anything else just isn’t rational. How long you wait is completely up to you and your comfort level.
If you’re wondering whether to get intimate with someone new, ask yourself these questions: What does sex mean to you? (Do you need to feel a romantic connection first, or is it just for fun?) Do you feel safe having casual sex? Are you open to other forms of intimacy besides sex? Most importantly, does it feel right? Remember, every relationship is different, and whenever you decide to become intimate is totally up to you.
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5. Don’t Talk About Serious Issues
Now, more than ever, politics, religion, morality, and other serious issues are constantly being discussed. Social media is flooded with them, and many people hope to find partners with beliefs that align with their own. Because of this, keeping serious issues off the table during a date just isn’t realistic anymore. After all, your views and beliefs are bound to be revealed later in the relationship, right?
While we’re not saying you should spend your first date interrogating each other, new and improved dating etiquette says it’s totally fine to add a few serious topics to your discussion. The goal is to get to know each other better, and you can’t truly know someone if you’re only scratching the surface of important topics.
6. Don’t Respond Immediately
If someone sends you a message on a dating app, is there a certain amount of time you should wait before responding? Nope! (At least, not anymore.) Dating rules have always suggested that you shouldn’t respond too quickly since you’ll come across as overly eager — but that’s simply not the case.
Think about it this way: If you sent a message to someone on a dating app, wouldn’t you be happy to get a quick response? It shows they’re just as interested! If you’re excited about a message you receive, it’s completely okay to show it. Of course, give them a second to step back from the keyboard before replying, but don’t wait long enough for them to assume you’re not interested.
7. Let the Guy Plan Everything
During the initial stages of dating, guys are usually the ones to think of date ideas. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it shouldn’t always fall on one person to make plans.
When it comes to the first date, whoever initiates the idea typically has an idea in mind, and that’s okay! But for subsequent dates, try throwing ideas back and forth until you find one you’re both into. Having an equal say in relationships is so important, so why not start right from the get-go?
8. You Can’t Go Out With Anyone Your Friend Dated
It has always been an unspoken rule that you can’t make a move on someone your friend has dated. Is that still true? The answer is a bit more complicated than “yes” or “no.” The rule makes sense, in theory, but it ultimately depends on the situation.
If your friend broke up with someone and is totally devastated about it, they’re probably not going to be happy about you perusing them. On the other hand, if your friend decided their ex just wasn’t the right person for them and ended things amicably, it might be more acceptable to link up with the ex. Bottom line? There are no solid dating rules around dating someone your friend broke up with. That said, if you’re interested in a friend’s old flame, be sure to talk to your friend about it first!
9. Just Give Them a Chance
We’ve all heard it at some point or another: “It’s only been a couple of dates, just give them a chance!” While you should definitely have an open mind when dating someone new, it’s also important to trust your gut.
Remember, you know yourself better than anyone else! If something feels off, it probably is. It’s perfectly fine to end things if you feel like you’re on different pages. Not to mention, you don’t want to string along someone new if you don’t see it going anywhere. In most cases, they will appreciate your honesty!
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10. They Have To “Check All the Boxes”
Having unrealistic expectations about a new partner rarely works out. While you definitely shouldn’t sell yourself short or settle for less than you deserve, there’s no need to eliminate potential partners just because they don’t match 100% of your “wish list.”
Take some time to determine what you consider to be deal-breakers. Obviously, toxic behavior, major differences in core values, or any type of abuse are certainly reasons to run. But what about the little things? If you’re upset that your new love interest doesn’t stand outside your window with a boombox, then you’re probably setting expectations too high.
Dating rules have certainly come a long way. Thanks to new, modernized forms of dating, they’re basically nonexistent! While some dating etiquette will always stick around, it’s ultimately up to you to decide how to approach a new relationship. If dating apps have taught us one thing, it’s that anything goes!