The dating scene has evolved with online dating, dating apps, texting, and other technology. While many aspects of dating have changed a great deal, with all the new options available now, you may wonder how can you be smarter in your approach to dating.
While some of the traditional rules associated with dating still apply, there are new rules too! If you want to date smarter, 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. Like men, women can and often do things outside of their norm when they are strongly attracted to someone.
Look – I’m sure you’ll agree that two grown-ups who are consensual can do what they want on a first date. But, usually, I advise my female clients to hold out at least past the first date. Give him a chance to get to know you outside the bedroom. And give yourself a chance to know him without complicating things with sex.
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 of going after a woman. Women are usually the same way. If you like a man, usually you are 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.
According to a fun dating statistic, 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. Which is why I suggest you hang back and let a man take the lead. Often, if a man is interested in you, he will step up to the plate and work harder to woo you.
4. Figure out your communication preference.
We live in the digital media era. Sometimes this is great, but when dating because texting and direct messaging have no tonality, good relationships can end before they have an opportunity to even start. And this comes down to miscommunication and misunderstandings about communication.
There are many choices available to you as far as communication. Texting, instant messaging, FaceTime, using social media, email, direct messaging and the list goes on and on. But even with all of these communication options and more to choose from, 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. Make sure you include face-to-face or over the phone communication, it puts things communicated to one another in a better context.
5. Ethnic barriers matter less.
Ethnicity in dating partners has become less important than personal preference. This means 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 are learning how much we all have in common which can supersede our differences. 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. And especially for women in cultures where you feel like your choices may be limited, this opens up your dating options to give you a better range of choices.
6. If you want to play hard to get, do so 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. Don’t be afraid to be assertive and go for what you want. And you’ll be surprised at how sexy a person finds it when you are confident enough to step up to the plate.
7. Do not assume you are in an exclusive relationship.
Yes, that not is in italicized for a reason. This is not a new concept, but it is worth reiterating. The person you are dating may have a significant other. Or they could have more than one person they are juggling in their dating pool.
Polyamorous relationships are becoming increasingly common. In a society use to instant gratification, and where you can swipe for a better option, 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 your relationship and sexual partners.
8. Sexting is 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.
Some advice for men: Yes, we get it. You are visual. But, voluntary sending pictures of your private parts isn’t something which you should do unsolicited. It does not necessarily get her going and if it’s early in the relationship might get her going in another direction. 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, a spontaneous date, 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 build a committed relationship which may not necessarily include marriage, while others date with the goal of finding 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 2018, keep in mind these ten rules so you can date smarter. Let them guide you to the relationship that works best for you.
Originally published on Thought Catalog.