I feel like Carrie Bradshaw titling a post that way.
Currently, I really should be focusing on studying microeconomics (has anyone seen a pattern recently?), but I would rather write a post on Dating Rules.
Do you have dating rules? I do. I don’t by any means think they’re universal, but I do like to set boundaries for myself and at least try not to habitually break them. Why? Because after my big summer dating extravaganza last year, I have a much clearer idea of what I want, and what signals other people send to tell me what they want.
1. I always assume the bill will be split, but if my date offers, I have no qualms with letting him pay. These nails don’t buy their own polish, after all. It’s only polite to at least take out your wallet and expect to throw down for what you ordered, especially if you’re like me and you drink craft beer at $5-7/bottle. (I’m a girl with standards, ok?)
2. If I don’t feel a romantic interest, but I’m attracted and it seems like he’s not looking for anything serious, I may sleep with him by date 3. If I’m actually interested, it’s going to take longer than that. This is absolutely personal preference, and I can’t stress that enough. I personally will worry that a guy is only seeing me for sex if I actually like him and we sleep together particularly early. Of course, waiting til date 6 or 7 doesn’t guarantee that he’s not, but it is a good way to hedge your bet.
3. Be honest. This one, I think, is much more universal. If you don’t like something, don’t pretend that you do. If you’ve ever seen 27 Dresses, you should know what I mean. Don’t pretend to be a vegetarian if you’re not prepared to commit. There are two major dating caveats in my life, as I see it: 1) I have a pet rat, and 2) I want to own my own sex toy boutique. I bring those both up between dates 1 and 3, because if a guy wants out due to one or both, I want to know sooner rather than later.
4. ”Nice to meet you,” means we aren’t going out again. ”I had a great time,” means we are, if it’s up to me. Don’t use those phrases interchangeably.
5. At a certain point, it’s reasonable to have the “are we seeing other people” discussion. There’s absolutely no way of knowing exactly when that point is, and you’ll probably feel nauseous trying to figure it out. (Not that I’m projecting my general anxiety onto you, readers. …except I totally am.) But it’s definitely a conversation that should happen if you actually want to be exclusive. I personally can’t be in a relationship – casual, exclusive, or otherwise – with bad communication.
6. Until then, feel free to date around. I spent the summer dating like it was my second job. I’m not sure that anyone I was dating knew that, but if they’re reading, they do now. Ah-hem. I was a free agent, and just because you were cooking me dinner did not mean someone else wasn’t buying me coffee. That got kind of stressful after a while, but for a bit, it was a lot of fun.
If you’ve ever wondered how to date like Sarah from Marveous Darling – tapping into some serious narcissism here – there you have it. What are your dating rules?
Also, I’m not really digging my old sign-off. It’s not working out. Time to break it off.