Something really alarming dawned on me the year I turned 24, namely that I had been going about this whole dating thing entirely wrong. As someone who thrives on logical list making, planning, pre-calculating and sticking to strategies that lead to semi-predictable outcomes, I had subconsciously convinced myself that there must be some order to how I should behave to keep a guy interested.
I have no idea as to the origin of these regulations — there's no evidence to prove their legitimacy and from what I can tell, they're so outdated that someone should have thrown them out years ago.
Whether or not you're aware, you've probably been playing by the rules, too.
Some of these guidelines are supposed to get us what we want and some of them are supposed to prevent us from getting hurt. The fact remains, though, that dating is not a competition. And it's definitely not a formula. So why are we sticking to a code of conduct like it will help us win?
After all, some rules are just meant to be broken — all of the following definitely should:
1. Wait three days to call her.
Here’s a novel idea: Show someone when you’re interested. While you may believe that waiting prevents you from seeming desperate or overeager, to her, it says you’re not that into it. Of course, there’s no harm in slowing your roll if you’re planning a killer first date or if you’re just slammed with work.
Otherwise, feel free to shoot her a text the next night to let her know it was nice to meet her or to see what the rest of her week looks like. That way, you’re not laying all your cards on the table, but she doesn’t write you off. The bottom line? Playing hard to get will get you nowhere, unless you’re looking for a girl who plays games.
2. Don't get involved with a coworker.
No one wants to deal with passing an ex every day by the copy machine, dodging her at the water cooler or awkwardly riding the elevator with her. Dating a coworker is definitely a risk, but guess what? So is any relationship. Actually, it makes a lot of sense to fall for someone in the office — you have the same work schedule, you already know that you have a common passion and you have the advantage of witnessing a different side of the person.
What’s hotter than seeing how driven and ambitious someone is? Just don’t mess around with your superiors. A breakup with a boss could bite you in the ass professionally.
3. Always let the man handle the bill.
On the bright side, we’re finally getting somewhere with gender equality. The downside of this is that it means you can’t demand a man who picks up the check every single time.
Maybe you think it’s customary for the guy to pay on the first couple dates, especially if he’s the one who asked you out. After a little while, though, it’s time to start pulling your weight, even if you do it in small ways. Buy coffee and scones the next morning or your after-dinner drinks. Once you’re in a committed relationship, it’s only fair to trade off who handles the tab, provided you’re both on a fairly level financial playing field.
4. Resist sex for X amount of dates.
It’s the age-old debate — will you lose his interest by sleeping with him too soon or by waiting too long? The simple truth is that it doesn’t matter. You can make him work for it but he still may drop off the face of the planet before you have the chance to give it up. Also, you can invite him back the first night you meet and wind up as a happy couple.
If he’s a douchebag who’s just out to get laid, you’re doing yourself a favor by hooking up early on because you’ll discover his true colors a whole lot sooner. I’m not saying you should always spread your legs early in the courtship, but if you want to take him for a test drive, then definitely don’t cock-block yourself because of some fabricated fear that he’ll never call you again. Besides, if the sex turns out to be great, he’d be deranged not to want to see more of you.
5. Never date a guy who’s younger than you are.
At one point or another, all women are convinced they’ve finally figured it out; older men are the answer. After all, they’re usually more mature, more established and more experienced with women (and have a higher salary), right? The rule seemed logical to me until I realized that age is indeed just a number and some of these single older men were more clueless than their 20-something counterparts.
It all became as conspicuous as their impending midlife crises: Why are they still single? Maybe it’s time to embrace your inner cougar — don’t disregard a guy just because you have a few years — and pop culture references — on him. Younger men have energy and optimism on their side not to mention, stamina.
Women reach their sexual peak later in life, so this iteration of age difference could prove to be a major advantage between the sheets.
Photo via We Heart It