How to behave on a date isn’t rocket science, but guidelines help. Brush up on your manners, friends. These are modern dating rules you don’t want to skip.
Todays dating culture differs vastly from even five years ago. Everything from texting etiquette to when to become intimate makes for a sometimes-confusing modern dating landscape. Consider these 10 modern dating “rules” to create a bit of a road map helping you reach your destination of a happy, healthy relationship more efficiently.
1. Before you venture to add someone else to your life, be sure you have cleaned your own emotional closets. Nothing destroys even the strongest of connections like pursuing love from a broken place.
2. If there is someone you are interested in, make the move. Too often we place importance on things that simply hold no meaning. Waiting for them to approach you is no more significant than if you were to approach first. Life rewards the brave and self-sufficient.
3. Be you—leave your representative at home on your date. All too often we are so afraid of making a bad impression or their not liking us we end up putting on a front when we are on a date. By being authentic you allow them to get to know the full you—not just the parts you feel keen to show.
4. Do not use communication as a weapon. There are no rules for when or whom should contact after a date. If you want to reach out and express gratitude or enjoyment for the time spent together, do so! Do not withhold communication or fail to follow up until a certain amount of time has passed as a means of playing a game or otherwise gain the upper hand.
5. Obnoxiousness is not sexy. While open communication is important, this does not mean you should send eight messages for their one. There is nothing more annoying than having several messages waiting for you before you can even reply to one.
6. Invest in yourself. All too often we enter into a new connection and become consumed by it. We stop visiting our friends and doing the things that lend fortification to our foundation. You must maintain a life that is entirely your own and offers you support outside of a relationship.
7. Being Facebook friends is great. Stalking their Facebook page (or Instagram, for that matter) is NOT cool. I totally get the hunger to know someone better, especially at the beginning of a connection. Nothing is creepier, however, than stalking a potential mate on social media. It’s far more fun to allow a natural mysteriousness that comes with slowly getting to know someone rather than overdosing on their Facebook status updates from the last five years.
8. Hold the sex. While this may not seem all that modern, it can be when taken in context of current trends. These days more relationships start from what were once casual affairs—meaning that the sex came before anything else. While there is nothing wrong with this per se, it does complicate things when we introduce the hormone surge from physical intimacy that can sometimes cloud our vision. This clouded vision can make us more inclined to make choices based on innate chemical responses rather than true potential.
9. Date for the fun of it, not the destination. While marriage and children is just as much a modern concept as a traditional one, it’s important not to approach every single date as though you are interviewing a potential life partner. A sense of spaciousness where the journey is in this moment is just as much appreciated as a potential destination, which makes for a much more fun, relaxed, and enjoyable dating experience.
10. Honor yourself first and foremost. Ultimately the term “rules” implies that there is only one right way to date; something which I do not subscribe to. Honoring what you feel is right for you in any given moment is ultimately the only sure fire way to ensure you have an positive dating experience. Take time to pause and center yourself to see how your body and internal guidance system are calling you. Trust that internal guide and know it will be your greatest ally in creating healthy and lasting relationships.