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.
It’s been a very long time since I posted about this, but it’s exciting so I feel like broaching it again: online dating. I don’t think I’ve ever addressed here, properly, why I like it and why I don’t think it’s just for crazy cat ladies.
I’ve actually met some nice, normal guys online. Specifically, on OKCupid. It’s free, and there are a lot of students – both undergrad and graduate – in my area. Perfect, really, for casually dating or looking for something more serious. I swear! It’s true! Guys who have respected me, had life goals, and carried on great conversations! They just weren’t the guys for me – and that’s okay.
If you have the chance to check out someone’s profile before you go out, you can tell at least a couple of things about them. In my experience, people’s pictures are pretty accurate. I’ve never met up with someone and thought, “Wait, that’s him?” Usually, people at least try to give you a decent idea of who they are. You can find out if you have a couple of surface-level commonalities to at least get the conversation ball rolling, and it’s usually decently simple to weed out the guys looking for just sex and find guys actually looking for a date. (I know! I know! Dates!)
I’ve heard this little pearl of wisdom more times than I can count: “Friends first.” Here’s the thing about dating your friends: you can’t go out on a date – usually – and just take things back to normal if things don’t go well. You actually stand a chance of losing a friend if you try and fail to date them. Sometimes, this works out awesomely and you get to be best friends with benefits and commitment so like, you can cook dinner and then when you get food poisoning and can’t have sex later, you’re ok saying, “Hey, babe, I just vommed. Maybe tomorrow.” With a new dude, that’s intimidating. So yes, sometimes this works very well. But often, you lose friends. It’s also confusing for people like me who like to know where things stand. Does he have feelings for you? Does he want to take it further? Do you? What does it all mean?
If you start on a dating site, you have at least a decent idea of what the other person wants. They either want sex, a date, or a relationship. They may not know which of those three they want, but they probably don’t want to just be friends. So, if you go out once and you’re like, “Nah, dog,” it’s okay. You don’t have to see him again if you don’t want to! You can just keep going on dates with new dudes and practice your rad date skills ’til you meet a dude you want to go on a date #2, 3, 4, 5, and sex with! It’s grand! Trust me!
Ok, fine, I admit – there’s a dark side to online dating. Some people are weird. Really weird. If you’re curious, I actually once posted about my very first OKCupid date, which was not so nice. But I promise you, if you do some decent messaging back and forth and listen to your gut, you will run into one, maybe two total weirdos. And you will meet some decent people, even if you don’t end up with them. I firmly believe it was a great experience for me to learn to casually go on dates and enjoy myself with new people.
I’m really sorry if this post was horribly disorganized! It was a very long day. I had an intermediate microeconomics exam this morning, wherein my brain decided it hated algebra and screw that, it wasn’t doin’ it.
Have you ever tried online dating? What did you think? Are you skeptical?
Safe & sexy,
So I have a lovely reader/friend/Swede who reminded me that today is, in fact, MANDAY. …Basically, what I’m getting at is that I didn’t really have a plan for this Manday so I’m kind of flopping around wildly asking the men I know, “What should women know about men?” And getting answers like, “I don’t know anything about men.” (This is what I have to work with, people.)
Then I asked one of the guys I had a thing with over the summer, with whom I’m on good terms, and he said that guys don’t care about your whiney needs. I’m pretty certain that accounts for a solid 15% of why we are now Just Friends. And then he said that men will change their behavior when a woman thinks she’s figured it out. I, personally, think he’s bullshitting, because he’s going to law school so that’s basically what he’s going to someday be paid to do.
What am I actually going to talk about for Manday? The delicate art of the Walkaway.
You’ve probably used the Walkaway correctly and incorrectly at some point in your dating life. It’s one technique, but it has the power to completely blow up in your face. With great power comes great responsibility.
You’re in an argument with your significant other. Things are heated, and you know that you personally are about to say some things you’re going to regret. The good Walkaway begins with, “Honey, I can’t talk about this right now. I need to cool off. We can talk again in ________ minutes/hours. Ok?”
You’ve effectively expressed that you need to relax and that you are willing to talk, just not right now. And at this point, once he’s agreed because he understands (hopefully), you can walk away.
You’re in the same argument with your significant other. You’re still getting heated, and you know you’re going to say something you can’t take back. The bad Walkaway is when you make some kind of threatening noise or say something mean, and just straight walk away. No explanation, no warning, just walk away.
This is bad because it totally shuts the lines of communication and quite frankly is a bit selfish. You might cool off, but your significant other is just wondering what the fuck happened and is probably getting more worked up as a result of you bookin’ it.
I believe that when properly executed, the Walkaway is a great tool when you find yourself in a situation that could easily boil over for little to no reason. In my experience, guys aren’t exactly keen to fight or argue with you, so they’ll happily take the necessary cool down time if it means getting back to good terms later.
Ok. I’m cheating, because I didn’t learn this from living with dudes. I learned it because I did a very bad Walkaway from my dude the other night. Because he’s a rather good dude if I may say so, he came after me and we worked it out. But I really learned the importance of the Walkaway.
Anyone else a fan of the Walkaway? Do you have a policy with your partner about heated arguments?