Over the past few decades the advent of the internet, the shift in attitudes toward sex and the acceptance of new social norms have affected the dating scene profoundly.
In fact, when it comes to today’s singles looking for love, Aladdin and Jasmine were spot on; ‘It’s a whole new world’.
But as singles scramble to adhere to a whole new set of dating rules, some good old-fashioned logic seems to be getting lost in the fray.
Why dating rules don’t always work
Sure, it’s great to have some guidelines when it comes to dating. But humans are at once both widely similar and mysteriously unique. So why should you believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach?
Especially in the early stages of dating, singles obsessed with living by the book can lose out on getting the one they want – whether it be due to feigned fickleness, apparent apathy or simply a bad case of playing hard to get. So maybe it’s time to throw that dating rules book over your shoulder. Or at least, a few of the pages… here are the dating rules that will ruin budding relationships:
1. ‘Men should pay for the first date’
This is one of the most outdated dating rules around. A few decades ago women threw down their tea towels and turned their backs on the idea of the 50’s housewife, striving instead toward financial independence. So why should we expect men to foot the bill? If your fellow wants to do the gentlemanly thing and pay for the date, that’s great –enjoy his generosity. But if he doesn’t, remember that the tradition derives from the depths of gender inequality; his decision not to pay for the first date is likely neither an indication of his frugality nor a reflection of how he feels about you – it probably just means he’s a modern day man. And what’s not to like about that?
Read more: Dating tips especially for women: 5 steps to dating success!
2. ‘Don’t be the first to message after a first date’
What was once a dating rules staple, this has now become a relationship-ruining relic! It’s based on the idea that humans assign value to things which are scarce or difficult to obtain. In other words: the less interest you show in someone, the more they crave to be with you. From the outset, it seems to make sense. But the reason this rule needs to be torn from the dating rules book is that things have changed drastically since the days when this rule actually worked; we now live in a world so inter-connected and tech-savvy that not writing after a first date looks either lazy, rude, or both. Worse still, waiting days or weeks for your date to message may just mean that they find a more interesting (and interested!) candidate in the meantime. So don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Instead of playing hard to get, have the courage to be upfront and voice your interest in a second date.
3. ‘Don’t sleep together on the first night’
This dating rule is based on the idea that your long-term relationship potential is diminished if you sleep with someone too early-on in a relationship. But who’s counting the days? Fifty years on from the sexual revolution, why shouldn’t you be allowed to be intimate with a new partner at a time that suits you? If you go on a first date and things simply feel right, just go for it; sex is a great way to test out chemistry and gauge long-term compatibility with potential partners. Whether it’s day 1 or 101, the important thing is that you follow your intuition – your gut instinct knows more than dating rules do.
Which dating rules have you followed that did you more harm than good? Comment in the box below!
READ MORE: The 4 habits of happy couples