Rules of dating, although unwritten, come with some interesting instructions. The dating game in today’s day and age is proving to be very fast paced, energetic and rampant. Moreover, with the proliferation of dating apps, finding a hot date these days has gotten too easy and is literally at your fingertips.
Since most youngsters are opening themselves up to newer experiences and exploring newer people, dating has grown and evolved into a unique and separate arena of modern-day interactions. This chaotic arena also however, comes with its own rules and unspoken expectations. That’s why the unwritten rules of dating becomes a necessity that should be diligently followed.
What Are The 15 Unwritten Rules Of Dating?
The rules of dating are not a complex manual and neither does it require some kind of devout practice. They are simply derived from the tacit understandings of the contemporary dating world. Our no-strings attached world with its polyamorous and hypersexual facets, can at times be tough to sail through for many of us.
While these unspoken rules of dating are not some kind of magical fix to help you jump into a loving relationship, they are an easy way of figuring out primarily how to go about the process.
Dating is supposed to be more exciting than worrisome. To avoid your dating experience from becoming a highly tumultuous or confusing affair, here are a few simple tips for you to keep in mind during your dalliances.
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1. Arriving on time
Seeming too laid-back and pretending to be less interested than you actually are to gain the other person’s attention really does not seem to work. Trying to arrive late in order to downplay your efforts might make you seem frivolous rather than attractive. Time is so very precious in the dating world and it is the job of both individuals to value and respect that.
If you are running late for genuine reasons though, make sure to text or inform your date beforehand instead of showing up 30 minutes later without any explanation in advance because that is the recipe for an annoyed date and a lousy encounter.
2. Keeping your expectations to a minimum
The rules of dating someone new, includes keeping your emotional requirements in check. Not everyone around is looking for the same things as ourselves. It is necessary to gauge and identify the intentions of your date before jumping in with your needs.
Do not disregard your expectations, but take some time before showing all your cards. You don’t want to intimidate your date too soon. Do you?
3. Give your date the space they need
One of the most important and defining rules of dating is to effectively give space and keep those boundaries at bay. While old fashioned dating etiquette might teach you to jump into relationship labels and exclusivity tags sooner, modern day dating just does not subscribe to that manual.
We are used to meeting so many people at once, that not everyone is eager to announce their loyalties too soon.
Time is of essence. So give your date the space to decide when it is time for them to be exclusive to you. Do not be disheartened either and use that same time to keep your options open.
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4. Space out your interactions
Meeting often is great since it establishes that you are both ready to invest time into your dates. But one should try to not seem too overbearing or desperate. Take days off between dates to avoid smothering your potential partner.
Just like you need rest days in between workouts to allow your muscles to recuperate, take rest days in your dating life to ease into the process. Do not exhaust yourself or the other person by having to constantly make efforts.
Regular intervals will also ensure a good consistency of your presence in the other person’s life.
5. Avoid calling immediately after a date
Even if your date has gone phenomenally well, calling them the same night might reveal your feelings and expectations a little too soon. Perhaps drop a text indicating that you enjoyed yourself very much. Leave it at that.
But try to avoid seeming too eager as this might intimidate the other person. Perhaps, save calling up for the following day.
6. Keep the duration of the date short
Two hours should be your cap. This is one of the most important rules when dating somebody new. Even if you are thrilled on your first date and cannot get enough of the other person, know that unduly extending your date can eventually turn your date into a drag.
A dragged out date and boring date can reflect poorly on your personality. Do everything you can to evade that possibility and snip it when the going is still great.
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7. Don’t mention the exes too much
On a date, while it can be interesting to mention previous relationships and encounters to give the other person a feel of who you are romantically, it is important to know when to stop.
You do not want to give off the vibe that you are still emotionally invested in an older relationship or are setting specific standards for your date. Keep the stories fun, short and also keep an eye out if you are making the other person uncomfortable.
8. Elevate your texting game
Yes, there are some unwritten rules of online dating as well. Online dating relies heavily on texting back and forth. Your texts become a prelude to your personality. Make sure you pay attention to how you’re texting and how often the other person likes to text.
Keep your messages consistent, considerate, short and interested. Try not to reply too late since that can take away the spark from the conversation and change the whole mood.
Many people in their 20s measure the time it takes for their partner to reply and try to match that time delay to avoid seeming eager. This habit can become toxic and make it a game of egos, a game that you do not want to play.
9. But also do not bombard them with texts
Yes, the rules of dating texting have their limits too. Double texting too much or demanding excessive attention can become exhausting for the other person. Do not try to drag a conversation when it is clearly heading nowhere.
If things are becoming dry, try to change things up by playing an online game or asking if a phone call would be okay. Keep a watch out for signs of uninterested behaviour.
10. Asking reasonable questions
The key to getting to know another person lies in asking the correct questions. You want to know enough about them to determine whether you like them or not, but you also should refrain from getting too personal on initial dates.
Unless they are clearly willing to delve deep into their personal histories, do not go poking your nose in places your date might not be comfortable.
A friend of mine once stopped seeing a guy because he constantly pestered her about her family history which she wanted to evade speaking about on the first date. Therefore, do not jump the line.
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11. Drink responsibly
Unless the two of you have sparked a charm between yourselves like you’ve been pals for years, drinking too much on initial dates is not advisable. To get to know and understand someone, you want to be fully present in that moment and receptive to their stories. You should also be willing to show that you can be responsible in your social interactions.
Moreover, drinking rarely ever increases somebody’s glam quotient, so do not keep those martinis coming indefinitely.
12. Do not hawk around their social media profiles
A few likes and an occasional comment on posts or pictures should be harmless when interacting online. But do not constantly use Instagram story reactions to start a conversation.
It is a tried and failed method. Show that you are interested and appreciate the things that they share. Be careful however and do not stalk (or at least don’t make it obvious that you do).
Also during conversations, try not to bring up any very old posts or pictures they might have posted. They’ll know about your pre-bedtime online stalking ritual.
13. Keep your phone on DND during the date
This is one of the most important unspoken rules of dating. You do not literally have to use the DND feature but essentially try not to check for text messages or succumb to your notifications. It can be considered rude in most social situations.
If you have to check your message, make sure to clearly say ‘Excuse me’ before you do to clearly indicate that you know you are stepping out of your polite zone. No matter who texts or calls you, do not keep a conversation hanging or going while you are glued to your screen.
Related Reading: Dating etiquette- 20 things you should never ignore on a first date
14. Offer to split the bill
Rules of courtship are over. Modern rules of dating are here instead. Paying the bill should not be an assumption or an expectation. Keep it cool and in any and every case, offer to pay for your share at least.
If they insist on paying for you, it is entirely your call after that. But know that, no matter how well a date goes, nobody is obligated to pay for your share of the date.
15. Do not keep breadcrumbing
Breadcrumbing is a modern dating term for someone who keeps a potential partner hanging by keeping them on a hook but denying any kind of accountability or clarity. After a point, you must come clean about your expectations.
Do not insinuate any false goals and excite hope in the other person. If you are wary of dating them further, honestly communicate your feelings to them instead of leaving them a trail of breadcrumbs to follow you into a potential heartbreak.
While these basic rules should keep you afloat in the dating world, everyone still has personal preferences about how they like to go about this process. Opening up to somebody can be a huge deal to many people and some others like to jump right into the deep end. Understand the balance and align your paces. Be open to change, carefully observe your partner’s reactions and most importantly, have a fabulous time.