The 15 Unspoken Rules of Dating

Dating would be so much easier if we just talked about our expectations — especially when it comes to romantic etiquette. Today we’re in luck, because that’s exactly what our pals over at Reddit are discussing as we speak.

They’ve already told us about their worst accidental text messages and their dating deal-breakers, so this time, the folks of AskReddit are asking and answering the question, “What are the unspoken rules of dating?” And you know what? Their responses are pretty spot-on. Everyone should be following these 15 rules of dating, whether they’re spoken of or not. Because really — who wants to go on a date with someone who’s constantly checking their phone every five seconds?

1. Wear proper attire.

As CirqueKid points out, there’s a fine line between putting in some effort and putting on a costume.

2. Curtail your sexpectations.

Except for basic manners and politeness, no one “owes” anything on a date — not even if you paid for dinner. Seriously.

3. Choose first date activities wisely.

Sitting in the dark next to someone without speaking for two hours isn’t going to help you get to know your date. Movies come later, when you can both either make fun of them or have deep conversations about them afterwards.

4. Keep your phone (mostly) in your pocket.

Phone etiquette: Very, very important. If you’re meeting someone for the first time and have a whole “Everything’s fine, he or she hasn’t driven me into the forest to kill me” code worked out with your BFF, one phone check is permissible. Just don’t be a slave to it all night. If you HAVE to use it, at least excuse yourself and check it in the rest room — although you may want to avoid continually doing that all night. Awwwwwkward.

5. Communicate about exclusivity.

If you want to turn whatever you’ve got going on into something exclusive, don’t just assume the other person is automatically on the same page as you. Talk about it. Hints usually don’t work; mind-reading definitely doesn’t work; but talking? That usually gets the job done.

6. Don’t admit to Facebook stalking.

By all means, Facebook stalk to your heart’s content; just don’t let on that you’ve been doing it. Cute gets creepy reeeeeeeeeal fast.

And while we’re on the subject of Facebook…

7. Hold your social media horses.

Ideally, changing your Facebook relationship status should wait until after you’ve accomplished item number five on this list. Also, don't friend someone you've been on one date with — you don't need to be showing up in each other's news feeds just yet.

8. Don’t be Joffrey.

He wrote the book on how not to date. If you find yourself on a date with someone who turns out to be a total Joffrey, feel free to do this:

9. Remember what the point of a date is.

Dating is stressful – but it’s doesn’t have to be about hunting down the perfect mate with whom to spend the rest of your life. Don't place all your eggs in the "this date is the key to my future happiness" basket. It’s supposed to be fun! So go! Fun! Have it!

10. Don’t string anyone along.

It’s just kind of mean.

11. Don’t let the past get you down.

History doesn’t always repeat itself. Keep yourself open to new experiences, even if the past hasn’t been that kind to you.

12. Silence is golden.

The second unspoken rule about dating is you don’t talk about the unspoken rules of dating, too. Or something.

13. Stick together.

Confession time: I’ve definitely been guilty of this. It can be tough to stay side by side with your date while you’re navigating busy New York streets. But if you are stuck in this situation, at least stop and check every so often to make sure you haven’t abandoned your date four blocks away.

14. Always have the cash to be able to pay (even if you don’t expect to do so).

Do not be this person. Or either of those people, really. Because WTF.

15. Ignore all the previous rules.