With any type of game comes a particular set of rules. Rules are put in place to reach an end goal of winning. Without a structure in place, there would be no winner or loser.
Unfortunately, the act of dating has somehow become a game, one that's developed its own set of universal, unwritten rules.
But why and how? Who wrote these rules, and why have they become ingrained in the dating game?
It’s time to burn the rule book, and forget whatever regulations you put on yourself within your dating life:
1. The Waiting Rule
"Should I call her? Should I text her? I’m supposed to wait a couple of days, right?"
"Is he going to call me? Is he going to text me? Should I text him tonight or wait until tomorrow?"
This is the most common internal conversation every guy or girl has with themselves after a first date. We question ourselves regarding whether or not we should reach out to the person that night, or if we are supposed to wait three days to make contact because "that’s the rule."
You need to stop waiting.
If you had a good time with her and can’t wait to talk to her, then text her. Let her know you had an amazing night and can’t wait to see her again.
And, ladies, you don’t need to wait for him to text you or call you because "he’s the man," and because you believe he should be the one to reach out to you first.
If you want to see him again, tell him.
He may have thought the date went well, but wasn’t entirely sure how much fun you had. Getting a simple, "I had fun tonight" text from you that same night (or next morning) will help ease his worries.
Stop waiting, and make your move.
2. The Kissing Rule
How many times have you heard the phrase, "You’re not supposed to kiss on the first date?" Somewhere, someone came up with this "kissing rule."
For some reason, you're supposed to wait for a moment past the first date to kiss someone. If you told your friend you kissed on the first date, his first response would most likely be, "Oh my god, you did?"
Why is that the first response?
The first response should be, "That’s great. Sounds like you had a great time."
There shouldn’t be this sense of shock if you kiss someone on a first date. Remember, there’s no rule you have to abide by. If you are attracted to her and made a strong connection in a short period of time, then go in for the kiss.
Chances are, she’s waiting for you to kiss her too.
3. The Sex Rule
"You shouldn’t have sex until the third date."
I’m sure you’ve heard this rule before at some point, or even told your roommate a time or two: "It’s only your second date. Keep it locked up." This is another countdown that has somehow become a rule we feel shouldn’t be broken.
When we are dating someone, it’s as if there’s this invisible sex countdown clock, set to 72 hours. Only once you hear the alarm go off, are the sex gates open and you are allowed access.
You need to throw away that clock and get a new one.
4. The "I Love You" Rule
You know how much money every guy in any movie ever could have saved, if he had just told the girl he was dating he loved her, the moment he felt it?
Instead, he always waits until about five minutes before his girlfriend is about to board a flight to the Swiss Alps before realizing, "Oh wait, I think I love her."
Why can't a guy tell a girl he loves her the moment he feels it, even if it's too soon? Why can't the girl say I love you first? Maybe he's waiting for her to say it.
Why does she have to wait until he's ready?
When I started dating my current girlfriend, I fell in love with her within a couple of weeks of meeting her. It just happened one morning.
We woke up, I looked at her, she smiled and I just knew. As cheesy as it may sound, that's honestly the moment I knew I loved her.
Something clicked. Something changed. Something felt different.
I knew she was the person and that was the smile I wanted to wake up to every morning for the rest of my life. In that moment, I wanted to go out and build her a house to show her how much I loved her, "The Notebook" status.
But did I? No.
There was this cloud of "it's too soon to say I love you" raining over me. I felt if I said "I love you" too soon, I would be breaking all the rules.
Now, you may not fall in love as fast as I did. It may take longer, or it may be even faster.
Either way, you shouldn’t restrict yourself to what you think is right or acceptable in terms of dating. If you feel it, say it.
If you love her, tell her. If you love him, tell him.
Wouldn't you rather know how he or she is feeling, sooner rather than later?
Dating is a journey, not a game. It's an experience. It's about discovering yourself.
It's about discovering how you feel about another person. It's about finding someone who enjoys eating Lucky Charms with you at midnight, while watching terrible reality television.
Throw that imaginary rule book out the window, because dating is not about winning or losing. It's about finding happiness.