Did you think about what your rules for dating were? Here is a long-winded list to work your way through. Go ahead and judge mine, as I too, know they aren’t perfect.
1- Dating the bad girl is always fun, often because you viewed them as untouchable and now you’ve got an ego boost. Now by always fun I mean it adds some entertaining stories to the night at the local pub, just don’t make this the norm. What is it about this characteristic that we are all drawn towards? Much of this just shows in classic fashion that quite often dating is just a game. In my heart of hearts I know I won’t end up with this type of person, so maybe it’s just for a story or they caught my attention. Even as I write this I immediately think of the people who I’ve known in this category and I’m sure you’re doing the same. The best part about dating the bad girl is the fact that not only are you breaking the rule about dating this type of person, but you’re likely breaking a dozen other rules too. Sadly, that’s actually the best part too. All of us grin a little bit when the girl we’re with turns a couple heads, because we know no matter what happens that night they are touching our wrist in conversation, touching our leg under the table, kissing us on the cheek, and leaving the bar with us that night. Now do we seriously want the reason that the heads are turning to be because her skirt is too short, shirt is too low, and the makeup took the better part of a baseball game to put on? The one thing you will always think about is whether or not they are the one to sit at the Thanksgiving table with you and your family. Keep in mind, though a bad decision can make an entertaining story you’ll tell a couple times; good decisions make better stories that you’ll tell for years to come.
2- I’m a no first date on Friday person. First dates are great for getting to know the person a little, just enough really to set up the second date. No work on Saturday morning allows for these dates to drag on into the early morning, often leading to too many drinks or some failed decisions. Stick with Thursday instead, knowing you have to work on Friday. I like to keep the first couple of dates to getting to know the person, and not what size bed she has.
3- This has become comical to me, but don’t date people you meet on the softball field. This seems like a rule easier to break than you’d think. If you run back through all the girls you’ve dated you probably won’t think softball chick, so seeing as how you’re still single when one comes along that catches your eye it’s easy to assume the reason you are still single is that you need to break a rule. This rule just so happens to be an easy one to get caught up in, I mean all guys think a girl in short shorts is cute. Though, I will always believe in the “rule of 3’s” I have already watched three strikes go by. We all love girls that like sports right? Wrong! We like girls that will let us watch a mid-season game against rivals and won’t get mad when we get tickets to a game, which might even make us have to cancel preexisting dinner plans. Want to know what’s annoying? Dating someone who’s more of one of the guys than you are. When she drinks you under the table and curses like the sailor from the local harbor please think about how she compares to your last girlfriend, and then your buddy who played first base. It’s a great example of meeting people of the opposite sex and understanding they can just be friends. Keep in mind when the conversations turn into one you’d have in the locker room, involving the terms cheating and mistress you really might want to avoid second base.
4- This is likely one of the most debated rules in history, but I more often than not avoid kissing on the first date if I’m really interested in the person. It’s always good to leave something desired on the second date that doesn’t result in you waking up next to the person. All situations are different for how we got to the relationship we’re in, and maybe we actually kissed them before the first date, but there is always something to be said for things moving at a often slower pace.
5- To follow along with the last suggested rule it is sometimes very difficult to keep your phone in your pocket after a night at the bar, but will save you some bad feelings the following morning. After a couple drinks and a break in nonstop conversation with your friends the idea of sending a text message to a former fling is pretty easy to do. Keep your phone in your pocket. Life is full of snapshots. Like any picture, it’s just a memory that you aren’t supposed to be able to jump back into with a quick message. So avoid the urge to pull your phone out and allow yourself back into this picture. That former friend with benefits is always a likely candidate of this message and you are already pretty confident that they will be sitting next to you in a matter of minutes if you just hit “send”. Here is your headache because you have ended this once already, do you really want to have to do it again? Now maybe just not calling is fine, but if you’ve done that once before you probably burned your bridge and that seat will remain empty next to you. I’ll continue to leave that seat empty next to me, and hope that next time I pull out my phone I delete the message before sending it. A quick fix has no positive outcome a week in the future.
6- Take one step forward and then two steps backwards. It’s an easy way to play hard to get to keep things exciting. If you want to know they like you and not just the attention take a couple days of not contacting them to wait for their outreach. If you don’t get it and still want to find out, find a random reason to drop them a message but without any indication of making plans. Good luck pulling this off if you really like someone. This can substitute for the waiting three days to call someone. Do not mistake this for playing a game, it’s a test of your self control to help make sure you aren’t coming on too strong and inadvertently pushing them away. A solid relationship is based on both people wanting to give time for the other person. No guy or girl should be reaching out to their love interest 100% of the time.
7- Avoid saying “I’ll call you” if you really don’t plan to. If you do say it, call either way. This is a simple one to abide by. After a date or a meeting, say what you’re honestly thinking, “I’ll be in touch”, “It was nice meeting you”, “That was fun”. You can say any of these and not tie yourself to saying you want to go out again. Remember you want to leave a positive lasting impression with anyone you’re with or might see again, so don’t be the guy that says “I’ll call you” with no intention of actually doing so.
8- Proceed with caution when pursuing a friend, or friend of a friend. I used to think this would be the rule that I never broke. We all consider our mate, or want to believe our mate will be one of our best friends. Like all friendships those develop over time, being friends with someone doesn’t need to be the justification for becoming something more. Just because you enjoy watching a football game with a girl, or have always enjoyed grabbing drinks with her, doesn’t mean you’ve met “the one”. Remember all of those things you’ve said in the past, possibly about a future that you two could have “if only things were different”, anything can come back and haunt you. Some things have to be different if you have this rule and decide to break it, as you already have a developed relationship and the other person may know a great deal about you. Keep the bullshit to yourself because you will be called out on it. Also make sure you can keep things to yourself, because anything you say or any frustration you show is going to show when your friends are around. Any relationship needs to have moments that are left between two people, so make sure you keep those. Remember to be open and honest. Keep some conversations between you and your other friends while making sure you also have some that are just between you and your significant other. When dating or pursuing friends you are going to have a much larger fan club and expectations are going to be high for a successful relationship to come out of it. Though the rewards are high in these situations, the downside could be just as bad. As I’ve learned giving these things time is mandatory or the flame will burnout early.
9- I’ve always had a “Rule of 3” when it comes to making a solid determination on someone or something. Now the truth is when it comes to girls I normally had a rule of 2, as in even if the first date didn’t make me jump I’d wait until the second date before deciding if I would ask them out again. I always remind myself that the first real date with someone can always be a little awkward. You are now alone with someone and both have agreed you’re out because there is some attraction, so don’t put too much pressure on that moment. You also can’t get too excited if that first date goes well, I’m sorry but it’s true. If you just met the person and you leave that night thinking you had a wonderful date all that means is that you were able to keep a couple conversations going for however long it takes a date to last. The second date is always a better indicator. If the first date ended on a high note, you’ll have higher than reasonable expectations on the second. However, on the flip-side if the date left you with more questions you’re going to have a slightly lower thought of the second date. The one thing to remember is to not lead the person on when doing this. Be honest and don’t go overboard telling them how great they are. Manage your flirting, and in the end if you just aren’t interested don’t prolong things. There is a good chance they aren’t feeling the spark either.
We will all continue to create rules and break them just as often. Some rules are challenges and when we keep them we really do become stronger people and will help in the long run. However others should be broken when it feels right. Don’t close the door on an opportunity to meet someone no matter what your previous experiences have been. If you don’t take a risk you might actually pass up an opportunity that is meant to occur. There are universal rules or rather things to consider, and finding a subtle way of being noticed is a good one to start with.