6 dating ‘rules’ that we need to rethink
It's time to retire the old 'the man does the asking' trope
Modern dating is a mindfield. It doesn’t feel particularly feminist or #woke to ask questions like ‘Why hasn’t he texted back yet?’ or ‘Should I make the first move?’, but that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped discussing them over glasses of rosé on a Friday night. The truth is, in a world where we all date via Tinder, a lot of that old school ideology about relationships is just that: old school. It’s outdated and not really relevant; but a lot of the time we’re still subconsciously buying into it.
So, we’re rounding up the six dating ‘rules’ that you need to rethink—whether it’s assuming that the guy should make all the moves or stick to the ‘no sex on the first date rule’, consider this official permission to liberate yourself.
Dating rule: The man needs to make the first move
We tend to think of dating as a game of cat and mouse, where men pursue and women are pursued. Sure, deep down we know that’s wrong, but it doesn’t stop us from feeling like we should sit back and wait for a guy to take the lead. To assume that a man is just programmed to be confident and dominating is to buy into the gender tropes we’re trying to get away from—plus, would you really want to go out with a guy that didn’t like an assertive partner? Send. That. Text.
Dating rule: The man should pay
The idea of having a meal (or a whole night’s worth of drinks!) for free sounds great in theory, but the expectation that a man should pay for everything is really at odds with having a relationship where both parties are equal. The idea of men paying is a throwback back to an era where women didn’t pay because they literally didn’t earn any money. Ergo, these days, we shouldn’t expect men to cover for us financially.
Dating rule: You can’t have sex on the first date
For all the boundaries we’ve pushed with shutting down slut shaming and embracing our sexuality, there is still an underlying sense that women should ‘withhold’ sex from a guy they see as boyfriend material. Last year, when I became single for the first time in years, I was shocked at how many women’s books, websites and articles existed advising women to wait five, six, seven dates before sleeping with a guy if they wanted them to stick around. Repeat after us: If a guy loses respect because you’ve had sex with him, he’s the problem.
Dating rule: You shouldn’t wait *too long* to have sex either
It should go without saying, but there is absolutely no time limit when it comes to deciding when to sleep with someone for the first time. It doesn’t matter if you want to wait six weeks or until marriage, the only time sex should happen is when you’re both enthusiastically consenting.
Dating rule: Your need to play hard to get
The clue is in the name: playing hard to get. Dating can often feel like a game, but if you’re treating it like one, it’s unlikely to lead to something meaningful. Don’t calculate the minutes between when he replied to you so that your response takes longer (we’ve all done it, don’t lie). Don’t pretend you’re busy to seem unavailable. If you focus on your own deeply interesting and fulfilling life, then you won’t need to feign disinterest, You’ll just come across as effortlessly aloof, because you are.
Dating rule: You should avoid asking the dreaded ‘what are we?’ question
There are few things single women fear more than the ‘clingy’ label. This can mean we’ll put off the discussions we actually want to have in an attempt to look like The Cool Girl. You need to remember that you’re a functioning human being with complicated thoughts, feelings and experiences, and that you’re allowed to talk about the fears or concerns you have without looking like a lunatic. Sure, don’t ask a guy to move in on the second date. But don’t bend over backwards to act like nothing phases you. Speak up.
From: ELLE AUSTRALIA