The dating scene continues to evolve with online dating, dating apps, texting, and other technology. Many aspects of dating have stayed the same, yet with all the new options available now, confusion can set in. Have all the old dating rules changed? Is there a right way and a wrong way to use the technology for dating? Can you really utilize modern technology to meet the right person for you?
Some of the traditional rules associated with dating still apply. But there are new rules as well. So, if you want to date smarter in the New Year, you might want to keep these ten rules in mind.
1. A first date should take place where you are comfortable.
The first date does not have to be formal. In fact, the more informal it is, the more comfortable you may feel. This helps the other person open up to you. On a formal date at a fancy restaurant with someone you barely know, you might fail to express who you are. You might not be able to figure out who they are either.
2. Don’t go all of the way on a first date.
I know men will ding me for this and say it does not matter to them. And there are times when it may not matter that much if a man truly likes you. But, most men want to feel that a woman is selective about who she is intimate with sexually. This is a double standard. Male clients often tell me that when a woman seems easy, they assume she’s loose with guys in general. I tell them this is not necessarily the case. But because of this attitude, I advise my female clients to hold out, at least past the first date. Give your date something to aspire to; give him a chance to get to know you outside the bedroom. Intimacy starts with what happens between you when you are not in bed, and this builds a better bedroom experience.
3. It’s okay to wait 3 days after a date for the next call.
Men are hunters. They like the chase and pursuit. Women are not. If we like a man, usually we’re all ready to settle in with them. But for men, the more work they have to put into the chase and seduction, the more value they attach to the woman. So even though 48% of women like to follow up after a first date within 24 hours, 68% of men prefer to play it cool and wait 72 hours before following up. At least one study has shown this to be the situation. Which is why I tell my female clients to hang back and let a man take the lead. Often they will step up to the plate and work harder to woo you.
4. Figure out your communication preference.
For better or worse, we live in the digital media era. There are many choices available to you as mediums for communication: texting, instant messaging, Skype, social media, email. Even with all of the communication methods to choose from, however, 80% of singles still prefer to talk on the phone. If you are dating someone, let them know what your preference is for communication. Also, find out theirs. Then you can determine the happy medium that works for both of you.
5. Ethnic barriers matter less. Ethnicity in dating partners has become less important than personal preference. This mean you can pay attention to compatibility, which is what really matters. Opposites attract, but like-minded individuals last longer together. Now that people all over the globe interact with one another more, we’re learning how much we all share. In selecting a mate, you need not be hampered by the old rules like dating someone of the same culture, religion, or race. This expands your dating pool and allows you to focus on compatibility.
6. If you want to play hard to get, do it at your own risk.
Because of online dating sites, matchmakers, and single mixers, there are a multitude of opportunities to meet and mingle with other singles. If you meet someone who you like, don’t be afraid to let them know. Playing the waiting game could cause you to miss your chance with someone compatible. So don’t be afraid to be assertive and go for what you want.
7. Do not assume you are in an exclusive relationship.
This is not a new concept, but it is worth reiterating. The person you are dating may have a significant other. Or others. Also, these days polyamorous relationships are increasingly common. In a society used to instant gratification, people can have difficulty settling down with one mate. If you have been dating someone for several months or more and are intimate with them, check in and ask about their attitude toward monogamy. Set expectations and tell them what you are looking for to ensure you are on the same page about sexual partners.
8. Sexting can be acceptable.
It’s ok to show some sexy in your relationship. Sometimes you want to share a picture or two or three to keep things fresh in your relationship. Make sure you are sexting with someone who respects you enough not to share your pictures with their friends or on social media. Advice to men: of course you enjoy seeing the woman you are dating in a sexy picture, but don’t send her a photo of your private parts. You love your man parts, but immediately sending your lady a close-up will not necessarily get her going. Ease her into sexting with you. Let your woman take the lead to see where she is willing to go. Don’t offend her with inappropriate sexting. You may turn her off.
9. Little things matter.
Little things make a huge difference in a relationship. Never underestimate the power of a thank you card, a phone call when someone is having a tough day, a surprise gift, the offer of cooking dinner or dinner out. Small gestures of caring and affection build a bond and create an extra layer of intimacy. The little things can go a long way toward building a stronger relationship.
10. Remember that people date for different reasons.
Dating is the traditional way to connect with others for short-term companionship and for creating a long-term relationship. Your end goal in dating may be different from your partner’s. Some people date for a night of fun and companionship. Others wish to find someone to live with, while others date in order to seek a marriage partner. What works for two people is different for each couple. When you are dating someone, you will need to find what works for the two of you. Whatever that is will give you the best chance of having a successful relationship.
In 2016, do keep in mind these ten rules for dating smart. Let them guide you to the relationship that works best for you.
Share Your Experience
Let’s talk. I want to hear about your dating rules. What rules do you use when you date? What rules about dating annoy you? Do you have a success story to share?
Please share your comments. We can learn from you.
***You are capable of receiving love. There is a relationship that will work for you. Sometimes all you need is a nudge in the right direction. If you are struggling with your current relationship, newly divorced and looking to get back in the dating scene, or single and trying to find the right person for you, maybe I can help. Reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up on my website to receive dating tips and relationship advice. For fast advice, read my book The Relationship Investigator’s Fast Guide to Successful Dating.