5 Dating Rules I Will Never Understand

If you’re the kind of person who has a copy of The Game hidden somewhere in their apartment, has a monthly subscription to Cosmopolitan magazine, or DVR’d every single episode of The Pick Up Artist (and shame on you if you did, that show was god-awful), you are probably familiar with these rules. But even if you’re a less religious consumer of all things seduction-tips, we’re all constantly trying to get into each others’ pants (and hearts… awwww). And we’ve all heard rules before that we’re not supposed to transgress if we want to be successful. Here, a few of said rules that I simply refuse to understand.

1. Don’t call until three days after your first date.

I believe that there were several truly evil figures throughout history: Hitler, Ted Bundy, and the Ed Hardy-wearing toolbag that coined this torture device of a rule. I’ve always been of the camp that if you like someone, enjoyed their company, and have some kind of interest in ever seeing them again — letting them know in a timely fashion is amongst the best ways to communicate (third only, perhaps, to telepathy and throwing a brick through their window with “LET’S F-CK” written on it in blood). There are few things worse than going out with someone you’re truly interested in, only to spend the next few days wondering if the sight of you repulsed them and they’re busy moving out of the tri-state area to avoid you, or they’ve just read Tucker Max a few too many times and are now waiting a standard three days to ask you out again. Either way, you’re guaranteed to have a small heart attack every time your phone buzzes, only to see it’s just your lame friend again, and not the only person in the world you’re actually interested in hearing from. Let’s just avoid this process in the future.

2. Wait until the third date to have sex.

There seems to be some kind of rule of thirds when it comes to douchey pseudo-rules to dating. And it’s strange, because the kind of person I imagine would subscribe to a set amount of time before which it’s not “okay” to bone a potential suitor also strikes me as the kind of person who’d want to wait for much, much longer than three dates. I mean, it’s surprising that in 2012 anyone would have some kind of line in the sand about how many pasta dinners a guy has to take you out for before you can take your vagina out of its silk-lined jewelry box and let it participate in the relationship. In any case, it’s probably best to just do whatever feels right. Things going awesome on a second date? Go for it! Wanna wait a month? It’s your prerogative. Just do you, and don’t carry around a stopwatch counting down the seconds until you can stop pretending to be coy and get to baby making.

3. The man must always pay.

While I am in no position to deny someone a moment of chivalry if they so desire to exert it, it seems so outdated and, frankly, stupid to have this rule etched in stone. Let’s face it, with the economy the way it is and post-grads looking at job prospects closely resembling the Hunger Games, I kind of feel like whoever can pay should just do it, regardless of sex. I have girlfriends who won’t even take wallets out on dates, and though that makes them a heavy favorite in the running for Worst Human Being Ever, I can’t say it’s not reinforced by our dating culture. I personally get a thrill from being able to tell my date, “You get whatever you like tonight, sweetheart, have fun,” chucking him gently under the chin, and leaving a fat stack of hundreds bound together by a rubber band on the table when we leave. We all deserve such joy in our lives, why just leave it to the men?

4. Only date men with good jobs.

This one clearly goes hand-in-hand with the previous, and is often espoused by your witch-like aunts and grandmothers who insist that, should you marry a waiter who goes to school at night, you will essentially burst into flames out of shame and poverty a few months after your wedding. Yet another archaic remnant from the era in which the only reason for a woman to go to college was to wait outside the medical and law buildings with tranquilizer darts and drag their conquests to the nearest chapel. Today, though, we all work — and we’re all trying to make ends meet. And while it’s certain that someone who completely lacks ambition and envisions their financial future as just consistently having enough for a couple of bong-loads is perhaps not our dream date, in this economy, the job that you hold today is often zero reflection of your talents, qualifications, or desires. If you find a guy that’s putting in his time at a coffee shop, staying on his game, and working hard to one day fulfill his dreams — there is no shame in that. (I would endorse dating guys who are super-dedicated baristas and envision their career in coffee, but they are almost guaranteed to be crunchy-granola-good-looking and already nailing every girl who orders a soy chai.)

5. Eat lightly on a first date.

There is no pain greater than watching people use all this money and energy going out to a bomb-ass restaurant with things like roast duck and four-cheese risotto on the menu, only to limply pick away at a salad as they sip their drinks and make stilted conversation. If the date is good and you guys are hitting it off, be yourselves and indulge in that awesome four-pound pasta dish. If the date is going horribly and you want to gouge your eyes out with a melon baller, why make a bad thing worse? Use the one upside of this situation and gorge yourself on awesome (and potentially free) food. It’s a win-win. And you certainly wouldn’t want to ensnare someone on the false premises that you only daintily nibble the occasional shred of lettuce, only to have them discover that you essentially eat your hamburgers like a duck, often forgetting to chew. Just be real, it’s better that way. TC mark

image – Javier Balseiro

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


More From Thought Catalog

  • Seikel

    I usually don’t stuff my face on a date because I want to fuck, not sleep. duh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anniehighleysmith Annie Highley-Smith

    Chewing is super lame anyway.

  • Sdsunshine619

    Hmm… I always thought the goal of dating was to find a potential lifelong partner. Seems like what you are describing here is “How to settle for a decent booty call”. 

    • T

      Seriously. I tell men if you’re seriously interested, I want to be courted. Not dated.

  • mookie

    To all my dudes out there- 

    Any of the rules that were based on the traditional female perspective; such as men need a good job, men need to always pay; aren’t meant to be broken. While women can fuck on the first date, expect a follow-up call in a timely manner, and indulge themselves during the date; men will never get away with not paying for dates and not having good jobs. It’s a bullshit lie, to be honest.

    • http://scjournalist.wordpress.com scjournalist

      Why is that? You seem to be putting out generalizations without any logical reasons. They aren’t meant to be broken? Says who? It’s a bullshit lie? Says who? The idea that women are helpless is the bullshit lie, to be honest. Plenty of women can support a family and their husband. If he cannot or choses not to, that’s his decision. What would you say to same-sex couples? Your argument is flawed and ridiculous at best.

  • Gorce Garcia

    I think this is something a 1 3 year old chick with some extra weight would write something like this, eager to get laid the soonest possible.

    Real dates are not that predictable, real dates have no set of rules, and not everyone wants to jump on someone’s pants. Those dating rules are just urban legend lol

    • Olive

      That’s pretty much what she was saying

  • Josh

    I love this.

  • http://richay77.wordpress.com richay77

    great stuff, Chelsea

  • http://gravatar.com/drm76 guest

    wait but soy chais are great.
    Nah girl, this shit is hilarious.

  • Laurabeth

    the last 7 words are so true, pertaining to everything, ever.

  • AceTygra

    These rules were made at a time when the economy was good enough for women to just find a husband and then spend the rest of their days watching soaps and getting white wine drunk by 2pm! Housewives seem like a joke now! Now when people think of them they don’t think June Cleaver! They think of those plastic surgery disasters on BRAVO who share clothes with their 15 year old daughters dispite being 48!

  • 8020&Rock

    creating lists about stuff really helps me narrow it down. everything else is so understandable.

    • http://gravatar.com/waicool waicool

      head’s explode! lol!

  • http://www.tipsinternetdating.info/2012/06/5-dating-rules-i-will-never-understand/ 5 Dating Rules I Will Never Understand | Tips Internet Dating - Online dating tips and advice | internet dating| online date|

    […] Read the whole story google_ad_client = "pub-5248650123369971"; google_ad_channel =""; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; google_ad_format = "468x60_as"; google_ad_type = "text_image"; google_color_border = "000000"; google_color_link = "0000FF"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_bg = "F0F0F0"; google_color_url = "008000"; […]

  • Judge Judy

    The not stuffing your face is so you don’t feel too full while riding later. Whether on top or bottom, a full belly makes that uncomfortable, especially if your legs are over your head.

  • http://www.emailcrush.com/2012/06/5-dating-rules-i-will-never-understand/ 5 Dating Rules I Will Never Understand | EmailCrush.com - Find your dating soulmate!

    […] Read the whole story google_ad_client = "pub-3831624734245132"; google_ad_channel =""; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 60; google_ad_format = "468x60_as"; google_ad_type = "text_image"; google_color_border = "FFFFFF"; google_color_link = "0000FF"; google_color_text = "000000"; google_color_bg = "FFFFFF"; google_color_url = "008000"; […]

  • http://travelologie.blogspot.com Kaylee Robinson

    Complaining about the “man must pay” rule is pretty lame. I’m a woman and I actually don’t mind buying a man a drink or going dutch for meals. However, in the beginning stages of being courted, I prefer a man to pay for the first date or two.

  • http://married2theblog.com/2012/06/waiting-three-days-to-call-after-a-first-date-cut-it-out/ Waiting Three Days To Call After A First Date: Cut It Out! | Married 2 The Blog Presented By BlogXilla

    […] you’re interested in when you damn well feel like it, right? Here are some dating rules Thought Catalog just doesn’t understand. 1. Don’t call until three days after your first date: I believe […]

  • http://sarahviveca.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/dating-rules-we-arent-living-in-the-1950s-10/ Dating Rules: We aren’t living in the 1950′s. « sarahviveca

    […] Dating Rules: We aren’t living in the 1950′s. http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/5-dating-rules-i-will-never-understand/ […]

  • http://www.twoofusirvine.com Two Of Us Dating Service

    I agree with your idea of throwing the rules out, and instead, just being yourself on a date. I especially like the fact that you debunked the idea of waiting three days after a first date to call. And I wish every woman could understand that a healthy appetite for food translates into a healthy appetite for life!

  • http://hotfemmeinthecity.wordpress.com natasiarose

    Three days is a long time and playing the waiting game sucks. Picking up on the other person’s body language and acting accordingly is a much better way to go. Great post!

  • http://leydicu.wordpress.com leydicu

    Reblogged this on leydicu.

  • http://singlesinmyarea.info/5-dating-rules-i-will-never-understand-thought-catalog/ 5 Dating Rules I Will Never Understand | Thought Catalog – Singles In My Area | Finds singles in your area tonight. Hook up or find friends near you now! | Singles In My Area blog

    […] There seems to be some kind of rule of thirds when it comes to douchey pseudo- rules to dating. And it's strange, because the kind of person I imagine would …thoughtcatalog.com/…/5-dating-rules-i-will-never-understand/ […]

  • Thought Catalog

    Reblogged this on 150firstdates.

  • http://www.loveandalchemy.com/should-a-guy-wait-3-days-to-call-her/ Should a Guy Wait 3 Days to Call Her | Love & Alchemy

    […] you are allowing yourself to become nothing more than just a Digital Pen Pal. Thought Catalog’s, Chelsea Fagan, feels that there are few things worse in the world than having to wait around for someone, “only […]

blog comments powered by Disqus