From not talking about your ex, religion, or politics to not having sex, there are certainly a lot of first date "rules" out there. Yes, you want to have fun, you want to feel comfortable, and, if you like the person, you want to make it to the second round, but ultimately rules were made to broken. Besides, shouldn't we all just relax and try to have a good time?
"If you have fun, your date will have fun," Auntie Jodi, love expert, tells Bustle. "Even if there's no chemistry or you immediately have a visceral dislike to the date, if you have fun, then at least there's that. You may never see this person again or it may be a love match to end all love matches, but the bottom line is to make sure YOU have fun on your date. You can never get that time back again, so you may as well make the most of it."
One of the best ways to make sure fun is part of the plan? Ditch those first date rules. Seriously; kick them to the curb and never look back. Throwing these seven "rules" out the window, is a good place to start.
Rule #1: No Kissing On The First Date
Whether it's kissing or sex on the first date, it's totally your call. What you do with your body is your business and it should never be up to any "rule." And don't let society decide that kissing is OK, but sex isn't.
"Stop being concerned with labeling yourself regarding your sexual choices," Jenn DeWall, millennial life and career coach, tells Bustle. "Everyone has a right to determine what is comfortable for them."
Rule #2: You Shouldn't Discuss The Future
Although the thinking is that if you ask about the future on a first date, you'll scare your date off, isn't it more important to get a feel of the direction they're headed? If your date is moving to New Zealand in six months, you might want to know in advance so you can weigh the pros and cons of letting yourself get close to the them.
"Talking about the future is a great way to get to know someone and what is important to them," says DeWall. "It helps you find common ground."
Rule #3: Don't Drink On The First Date
"Drinking can help ease your nerves," says DeWall, "but be responsible and try not to get too carried away."
Drinking on a first date is tricky. Yes, it will lighten the mood, but it's important to know where to stop. As F. Scott Fitzgerald, who knew quite a bit about drinking and being drunk, wrote, "First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you." So while drinking is fine, as DeWall points out, you don't want to let it get ahead of you.
Rule #4: You Should Expect One Person To Pay
As DeWall explains, if we're advocating for equality, we should all plan on splitting the bill on a first date.
"In days where we are embracing and advocating for equality, the old tradition of one person paying can be thrown out the window," says DeWall. "Drop the expectation, plan on splitting it. Bonus, it will make you feel less guilty if the date was a total flop."
Rule #5: Don't Text Them The Day After The Date
"If you're interested, show it," says DeWall. "If they don't reciprocate, let it go. Don't judge yourself for showing your emotions and interest; love yourself for it!"
It's not needy or pushy to put it out there that you're into someone. If falling in love means taking a risk, then sending that initial text after the first date is just the first of many risks you'll be taking.
Rule #6: Make An Effort To Impress Them
"There is nothing more boring than listening to someone brag about themselves," says DeWall. "There is also nothing more anxiety-inducing than feeling like you have to overcompensate or embellish who you are so someone likes you. Just be yourself, if they don't like it, you are one step closer to someone that will."
Besides, who wants to put on a show to impress someone forever? If you start out telling embellishments about your life and who you are, you need to keep it up. How exhausting!
Rule #7: The First Date Has To Be Perfect For The Second One To Happen
Although it may seem like an age-old question: How do I get a second date? Maybe the benefit of the doubt is the best route to take, no matter how the date goes.
"Sometimes people are nervous and it can make a date awkward," says DeWall. "If you have a good feeling, give them the benefit of the date and try a 'redo'."
There are no hard and fast rules for life, so there shouldn't be any for dating either. Keeping your mind open, having a good time, and going with your gut are the only "rules" you really need.