Thought Catalog
June 19, 2017

10 Rules Of Modern Day ‘Dating’ (Or Whatever You’d Like To Call It)

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Toa Heftiba

Bumble. Tinder. Coffee meets bagel. Drunk hook ups. Dates that aren’t clearly defined as “dates.” Hanging. Chilling. Ghosting.

Yes, this is what dating has come to. So, as far as dating (or whatever you’d like to call it) goes, stay calm, and follow some simple rules.

The rules of modern dating are as follows:

1. Don’t underestimate bad vibes.

Last fall I went on a date with a hipster to Starbucks. Side note: he ubered 40 minutes to get there. We arrive at Starbucks, and he said “oh so this is what Starbucks is . I’ve never been to one.” I already had bad vibes, all in the first 1 minute of meeting him. Then he proceeded to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, followed by, “this is f***ing delicious.” Needless to say, we didn’t hit it off. We said goodbye and he ubered his way back home. If you get bad vibes or if your date has never been to Starbucks, you don’t have to see him again. Even if he paid. Even if he traveled to get to you.

2. Be open minded.

This comes to appearance as well as personality. Bumble provides us with a quick and convenient way to pass judgment. We base who we talk to or meet up with solely on looks. And I’m not saying looks shouldn’t be a factor. Attraction is important! Duh. But sometimes the “not as hot” guys are the keepers – the ones you may actually fall for. Don’t be so quick to swipe left just because he looks a little nerdy. He may be husband material.

3. Chivalry is NOT dead.

Dating may be temporarily dead, but chivalry is not. Even if you’re just “hanging out.” Manners are manners, and they tell us so much about a person. He doesn’t have to open every single door for you or wait on you hand and foot, he just have to have some basic manners!

4. Stop pretending to be so chill…unless, you are in fact a chill person.

I unfortunately am not chill. I’ve reached the conclusion that if we act chill for too long, we eventually explode. So, as to not suddenly explode and turn crazy on him (because nobody wants that), tell him what you are looking for. Don’t just go with the hanging out thing if you want to date. If you want a relationship, you don’t have to listen to his “we don’t need a label” speech. In fact, if this is the speech you are given, and you want more (you want that label!), get the heck out of there. Run away. Find what you want elsewhere.

5. And right along with that, if you want to go on a date, say it.

Tell him. You don’t have to do this whole “casual” thing if you don’t want him. Tell him you don’t want to drink beer and chill. You don’t want to order in Taco Bell and enjoy some nice bro time. Tell him you would like a gentleman, paired with a nice Italian dinner and some white wine.

6. Stop over-analyzing every single text he sends (or every single word in every single text).

This isn’t Romeo and Juliet. There’s not always a literary theme, and there’s rarely a Christ figure. Texting causes so many miscommunications and fights. Don’t read so far into what he texts you. If something that he says bothers you, talk about it in person. Don’t panic. Don’t read into it. Just talk about it.

7. You don’t have to time when you respond to his texts or Snapchat.

You don’t have to play these games where you pretend you are in no rush to talk to him. So what if you text him back in a minute? So what if you open his snapchat a whole day later? So what? He will deal. If he thinks you’re clingy because you feel the need to respond to his texts in a timely fashion, he’s probably not going to be a keeper. Set the scene for what you want in a relationship. If you scare him away, he’s not your guy.

8. Ghosting. Why. Is. This. A. Thing.

Why do people think it is okay to just stop talking to someone or to ignore them? This goes back to basic manners. It is not so difficult to pick up the phone and tell someone you’re not feeling. And if you do get ghosted, remember that you’re only being ghosted because the guy is weak and insecure and doesn’t have the guts to tell you to your face. This is a communication red flag so run while you can. Moral of the story: don’t ghost. It’s not okay! Have a heart. Use your words. ANd if you are ghosted? Try not to feel too heartbroken. There are red flags everywhere.

9. Don’t be afraid to ask someone what they’re looking for.

Unfortunately because there are a billion new terms for “dating” (or the like), it’s easy to be a thousand percent confused. Dating. Talking. Hanging. Having fun. Etc. Don’t feel like you need to quietly try to decode what he wants like he is a complicated math proof. If he never wants a relationship, and that’s what you’re looking for, listen to him. Don’t waste your time trying to change him. You don’t want to date someone for months on end never knowing if you are exclusive or a couple. Or if he wants to be married in “a year or two” and this is the total opposite of what you want, no need to drag him around like a flopping fish. Tell him. It’s hard to let someone go, but there are plenty of someones out there who want exactly what you want.

10. If he wants to be with you, he will try to be with you.

It’s that easy. Maybe in the beginning as you get to know someone it’s a bit hazy, but after a while, he has to show you that he’s interested. You shouldn’t feel like you’re convincing someone to date you. You’re a prize! You’re a gold medal! Find someone who wants this medal. TC mark

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