Dating has always been a complicated topic through the decades. There are so many timeless unwritten rules, exceptions, and “what-ifs”.
However, in this fast-paced, changing era, there are many old beliefs about dating that need an update. You have probably heard the old saying, "rules were made to be broken".
Well that definitely applies to the dating scene. Here are just a few traditions that you do not need to feel pressured about following.
1. The Man Should Be the One Who Makes the First Move
Whether you are a woman dropping hints in hopes that the guy your friend introduced you to will ask you on a date, or the guy you have been making eye contact with the entire night at the bar will approach you, wait no further. You should initiate the first move and ask them out on a date.
If you fear rejection, think about it this way: if the person does not show interest, then you are right where you started before you asked, because you will not be having any future interactions with the person anyway.
However, if you approach the person, and they show interested, then you might gain a new relationship. So either way, you will not lose anything. In addition, if you do not ask him and decide to wait around for him to make a move, he might not ask you either. In addition, you will never find out if there was mutual interest or if you missed out on “the one”.
2. The Formal Lunch/Dinner/Coffee First Date
Scrap the awkward, staring-at-each-other, trying-to-eat-neatly, order-something-healthy dates. The first date should be a casual time where you both talk and get to know each other.
Having a sit-down meal may allow this, but if you do not ‘click’ immediately, this can lead to many unwanted silences and empty spaces. Instead, find something you both like doing, such as rock climbing, an art class, watching stand-up comedy, or anything where you will have something to talk about.
Often times, one topic will lead to another topic of interest. Even if it does not start out about either one of you, it is a great way to see if your interests match. You can always do a small activity and then have the meal, so you have something to discuss during the meal if the conversation is really dying.
3. Men Should Always Pay
This may have been the custom back in the older days when not many women were in the workforce and men were expected to be the provider. However, we no longer live in those times and this tradition should reflect that.
Whether you are going to the movies or going to the zoo, do not assume that the men should always pay. If you are a woman, it is time for you to step up. You can insist on paying for your share or the both of yours.
If your date rejects that, offer to buy snacks or pay the next time. However, this is not saying that if you are the man, you should solicit money from your date. Some women are more traditional and may get offended if you do not cover their costs.
4 .The 48-Hour (Or However Long You’ve Learned) Rule
Maybe you have learned that you should always wait 48 hours or 3 days after getting someone else’s number to call.
Here is what can happen in the few days that you wait to call: the other person forgets about you, the person’s attraction to you fades, you do not seem interested in the person, the other person finds interest in someone else, someone else texts first, the person makes plans, the person has accidentally given you the wrong number, or worse-case scenario, the person encounters an emergency (injury, accident, death).
The longer you wait to call the other person, the more that can happen to prevent you from getting another encounter with them. Send them a text immediately after getting their number so you can verify it is correct and they have your information, too.
Later that night when you get home, or the next afternoon, call and see what’s up. Who knows, the other person may be waiting for you to contact them first!
5. Never Date a Co-Worker or From a Friend Group
Break this tradition only if you know you are not the type of person to have petty revenge plans or stay spiteful at your exes.
Many people believe you should not date a co-worker or an old friend because it can cause tension in the workplace or friend group after a break up that may have gone badly. However, there are many people who also end their relationships in good terms, where everything is mutual, and there is closure.
They tend to remain friends or acquaintances with their exes. If you are the person to fall into that category and your potential boy/girlfriend also has good relationships with their exes as well, go for it.
However, some workplaces do not allow relationships between coworkers. So it is up to you to prioritize -- career or relationship?
6. Date One Person At a Time
Do not prematurely take yourself off the dating scene. Until you both have established that you are in an exclusive relationship and that everything is official, you are still single.
If you are having dinner with a friend that seems interested in you, and the next evening, you meet another person you are attracted to, do not be hesitant to ask that person for a date.
You may find yourself getting along better and being more attracted with that person. However, this does not mean scheduling six dates in one night.
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