Anyone whose ever read a lady mag is aware of the following truth: plenty of the traditional dating commandments are just downright ridiculous. Not to be dramatic or anything, but there are many dating rules to break once and for all... for the good of society!
Despite the fact that we're living in the 21st century, romantic folk knowledge would make you think we're living in Victorian times. If you've ever eavesdropped on a bunch of girlfriends at brunch debriefing on a date, you know that people still believe this stuff.
"Make him chase you." "Act like a lady." These are just a few of the random rules that people seemingly decided women needed to follow during courtship in order to avoid dying alone. But now that you've grown up into a legitimate adult who thinks critically and goes on actual dates -- yes, real dates! -- you're realizing that the list of "rules" is outdated at best, and totally bonkers at worst.
This is one of those situations which calls for throwing the rule book out the window. Here's a list of dating rules that you should make a conscious effort to break.
1. Wait For Him To Text You After the First Date
Dating folk knowledge cautions you to play it cool after the first date. But in practice, playing the waiting game — or any kind of game, for that matter — isn't worth the stress in so many situations. As relationship expert and sex therapist Akirah Robinson puts it, "women ought to feel empowered to find and listen to their inner voice." If that inner voice is telling you to text him first, then text him.
2. Stick To Your Type
Some women only date men who look like Ken dolls and work at banks. (Fine!) Others like guys who resemble Hobbits and work at literary journals. (Also fine!) Simple tastes aside, limiting yourself to dating only one kind of human prevents you from connecting with plenty of other perfectly wonderful people. For your own good, bust this rule wide open.
3. Don't Get Too Personal
There's a pretty long list of things people say you should avoid talking about on a first date. This includes, but is not limited to: politics, religion, and exes. While you may not want to jump straight into the ex conversation, there are ways to talk about personal things without getting too heavy. Just let the conversation flow naturally, and be authentic.
4. The Dude Should Always Pay... Because Chivalry?
The allure of free food and booze on a date is hard to resist. However, the origin of the guy picking up the check is about as traditional as can be —men being the household breadwinners, and women staying in the home — so you may not be totally cool with it. Bottom line: if you don't feel comfortable with your dude always picking up the check, don't allow it. You're an independent woman, and you can pay for your four glasses of wine, thank you very much.
5. Order Something Cute For Dinner. Like a Salad! Or Nothing
Plenty of women adhere to the traditional notion of snacking like a bird on a date, fearing that they will be perceived as ravenous beasts. That's some patriarchal nonsense. Honestly, we hope that your date will be no less turned on by you if you order fish and chips. We say: Eat the fish and chips, or hamburger, or salad, if that's your jam! When all is said and done, mesclun greens won't do any better of a job of getting you a second date.
6. Establish A Time Limit
I'm not sure who invented this rule, but there's a cultural consensus that you shouldn't stay on any date for longer than two hours. I'm guessing the idea behind this is that you should leave him wanting more. That, or seeming like you only have a finite amount of time makes you seem like more of an interesting and busy person. However, if you're having a good time, there's no need to play games. Hang out as long as you like!
7. Be 'Yourself,' But a Sports Illustrated Model-Slash-Dream Girl Version of Yourself (Ahem, Don't Really Be Yourself)
Sure, everyone should self-monitor a little bit when getting to know someone, but don't try to be someone you're not. More specifically, don't pretend to be a sports fanatic/ barbie doll/ girl without bodily functions because you think that's what a dude wants. Just be your sweatpants-wearing, endearingly gaseous, genuine self, and all the magic will happen.
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