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10 Unspoken Rules of Modern Dating

July 11, 2019 at 7.22pm by
Couple on a date

You may have heard there once was a thing called “dating.” It worked like this: a young man called up a young woman on a landline telephone and asked if she would accompany him to dinner or a movie. If she said yes, he picked her up at the assigned hour. He held open doors, pulled out her chair at the restaurant and paid the bill. Believe it or not, this thing called dating still exists. However, in these days of cell phones, social media and dating apps, the dating ritual is done a bit differently. Many of the old rules for dating have been moved to the delete bin. Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what’s okay to do on a date and what’s not. Here are 10 modern dating rules to help you navigate 21st century relationships:

Keep your commitment.

If you say you’re going to show up, do so. Sure, unforeseen circumstances can arise, but let your date know if you’re not going to make it. Be on time. Fashionably late is no longer fashionable. Stay until the end. Unless they do something totally outside the bounds of acceptable behavior, stick it out.

Don’t ghost.

If your date follows up but you’re not interested, politely reply that this isn’t going to work. You’re not required to be attracted to anyone, or to date anyone a second time, but you should let them know where they stand.

Don’t reveal too much before the first date.

Personal problems, childhood trauma and how much your job sucks can wait until you’ve known each other for a while. Of course you will check out their social media and they will check out yours, but (unless they’re a convicted murderer) be coy about letting on about what you know. And for heaven’s sake (especially for you men!) don’t send any nude photos. Nothing kills a potential relationship like exposing that part of yourself before the moment is right.

Be flexible about who pays.

In the past, the man always paid. Today, be prepared to pay, at least for your half of the expenses. If your date turns out to be a cheapskate that’s a good reason not to sign up for date number two. Also in the past, some people assumed dates only took place between members of opposite genders. Wow, how the times have changed.

Put your phone away.

If you look around you’ll see plenty of people not observing this one. But think about it: you’ve been texting, emailing and Instagramming all day long, and out of all the people you’ve connected with, you’ve chosen to spend time with this one person. Enjoy that time. People are interesting in person. Even if this isn’t the love of your life, notice what there is to appreciate.

If it’s a first date, meet in a well-lighted place with a lot of people around.

Stay safe.
Don’t gripe about your ex. If the two of you become an item, there’ll be plenty of time to talk about what a loser/villain/psycho you were stuck with. Dating is about the future, not the past.

Stay sober.

And be cautious with other recreational substances. Think before ordering that third drink. Even if your date is cutting loose, is this really someone you want to get tipsy with?

Don’t expect sex.

Just as you’re not obligated to fall in love with anyone, you’re not obligated to sleep with anyone either. If the night is fine and there’s magic in the air and you see bottomless pools of wonder when you look into each other’s eyes, then, great, go for it. But don’t go along just because the other person expects it. If the date does end in bed, it needs to be because the vote was unanimous.

Be yourself.

Putting on an act to impress someone else is a lot of work, and in the long run it isn’t going to be successful. It may turn out that you don’t like your date, or they don’t like you. That’s life. There’s someone out there who’s going to like the person you really are.

Even though there are 10 of these, they’re not commandments. Once you start to know somebody, make up own rules for dating together. Good luck with this strange and wonderful adventure!

If you’re ready to take the plunge in the dating scene, please feel free to visit Simply Dating.

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