1. Don’t be one of those people who tries to maintain side relationships while seeing how their main one plays out. It might be convenient for you and feel emotionally safest, but when you’re only partway in because you’ve got other options, that’s doesn’t even give your relationship a fair shake.
2. As tempting as it may be, don’t overshare negative aspects of your dating experiences on social media. The bitter person who makes harsh generalizations, angrily trashes entire genders or constantly grumbles about romance is only dropping their own stock.
3. Never, ever go to the movies for one of the first three dates. There is very little opportunity to interact, which is kind of crucial early on.
4. When it’s difficult to tell if someone is playing hard to get or simply uninterested, the safest middle ground is to express your interest in a clear, not passive aggressive manner, and leave the ball in their court.
5. Never send 3+ text messages in a row without a response.
6. Be well aware that “Aww thanks” “haha” and “K” are the unofficial, official rejection texts.
7. Don’t purposely act coy and nonchalant about things to mask feelings. One because the person might mistake your fake not caring for actual not caring, and two because someone can swoop in and treat them like a grown up should.
8. Keep your phone put away for the extent of any date, and relish spending time with the other person. This should really apply to any social gathering, but especially a romantically driven one.
9. Don’t compare your relationship to other relationships, especially when all you get to see is two people appearing to have a flawless, issue-free life on social media. Most couples wisely don’t share the blemished aspects of their relationship with the world.
10. If you’re going to research a person via their social media, be sure to separate what they’ve actually told from what you read while lurking a three month old conversation they had in the comment section of their Instagram photo.
11. Turn off your read receipts if you have an iPhone. It’ll save you from feeling obligated to text back immediately and spare the other person getting worked up over your lack of response.
12. If you don’t want to get screwed over by someone you like, don’t assume you’re exclusive. Have a discussion, establish an agreement you’re comfortable with, or get all of the way out. It might suck to break off from something that has potential, but it would be a lot worse to get further invested in some unofficial, unclear “talking” charade where you have no peace of mind or commitment.
13. Don’t flake. Also, if someone has given you garbage excuses and made last minute cancellations multiple times, stop trying to initiate plans.
14. Avoid holding conversations of ANY importance over text. Call, talk face-to-face, even Skype would be better – just don’t leave tones, body language and other important factors out when significant discussions are happening.
15. When you have an issue, tell the person. Don’t give attitude until they guess what’s wrong, don’t post insinuative song lyrics on Twitter, just use your words.
16. Have your own, separate life with goals and interests that may or may not be the same as the person you’re dating.
17. We depend on technology for so much interaction, which has contributed to the development of some cowardly habits, but don’t lose your considerate human being component. Things like text message breakups, stringing a person along and completely ignoring someone when no longer interested happen way more than they should.
18. And the final rule… There are none (yes, that’s pretty much a ripoff of Will Smith’s last line in the movie Hitch), but I mean there aren’t any set rules in the sense that, not everyone has standards or cares about hurting/permanently damaging/being considerate of other people, and it’s important to remember that at all times.