What “Rules of Dating” Really Matter?
Boy, do we have rules when it comes to dating and relationships! Most of us have no awareness of them until we stop long enough to see them.
And, truth be known, about 90% of these rules only get us into trouble.
A good friend introduces you to someone, saying “You two would really like each other. You should get together!” Well, since personal introductions are as rare as hen’s teeth, you’d be a fool to ignore it. Who makes the first contact? Rule 1: Assuming this is a heterosexual match-making effort, this rule says that the man “should” take the first step. But Why?? Remember going to the junior high dance with your girlfriends and waiting for one of those cute, sweet guys to cross the gym’s Arabian Desert with the confidence of the Fonz? Pretty much didn’t happen, right? Well, why are we still believing that is their job when it was too scary for them way back then?
Try on this one…Rule 2: Men don’t like women who are aggressive, bossy, dominant, “forward”, or… wait for it…powerful. True or False? Who knows, but many women have this belief in the marrow of our bones, so to be the first to say, “Let’s meet for coffee” feels scary and risky. My question is WHO IN THE HELL WRITES THESE RULES?
How many dates until you sleep with her? Who pays the dinner bill? How long after the date should you wait to send a text saying “I had a good time” or “Want to do this on Friday night?” How long do you date before you expect someone to be monogamous? How do you ask them if they are still online?
And after you have been seeing each other _______ months, is it time she/he introduced you to friends and family? He/she hasn’t said “I love you” and it has been ________ months. He wants to go to Peru for two months. How can he do that? He must not care.
You get the gist of it and if you pay attention to your own thoughts, there are many many more of these RULES by which we live for some ungodly reason that is beyond me. And yet, I am drawn to live by them too until I realize (and I have realized big time lately) how utterly random and destructive these kinds of benchmarks are in our love lives.
Me… I am working hard at developing a new paradigm of dating and relationships. In this new world, I will let go of artificial timetables, useless stereotypes, and random measuring sticks as much as is humanly possible. Then, I plan on spending some time surveying what “rules” might need to remain because the remaining 10% are healthy guideposts and boundaries and those are a necessary part of loving someone and building a life together.
Confusion often leads us to make mistakes that can cost us an opportunity to find the love we so want.
If you’re not having success in your search for love, perhaps it’s time to learn the truth about what men and women are all about and discover just how to find a special someone with whom to share this amazing chapter of your life!
Donna Bailey, MS
Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups
Donna’s Big Red Chair