1. Agree to date. Or agree to keep it casual.
But please, whatever you do, don’t hover in dating purgatory. You know, that place where you’re semi-serious and meet up every Friday night, but you’re still signed up for Tinder, and aren’t sure if you’re allowed to use it or not. Save yourselves some trouble by calling each other up and picking a side.
2. Meet in person before getting too attached.
There’s a limit to how long we’re supposed to wait to text someone and how many times we can text them in a row. But what we really need is a limit on how much we’re allowed to text until we meet face-to-face. That way, we would actually get a chance to develop a real relationship with a guy, instead of continuing to send half-naked SnapChats to him when we both know we’re never going to put down our phones to go on an actual date.
3. Clarify what intimate moments mean.
If you kiss someone and see fireworks, tell them that it meant something to you. If you fuck someone just for the fun of it, do the decent thing and let them know it was a one-time thing. Put an end to curiosity and make honesty sexy again.
4. Have sex whenever the hell you’re horny.
Don’t wait until the third date to have sex when you want it on the first date. Don’t force it on the third date if you don’t think you’ll be ready until the tenth date, either. Let it happen naturally. Schedules aren’t sexy. Spontaneity is.
5. Act interested if you’re interested.
Once you find the person you want to be with, why would you pretend that you aren’t interested and make them feel like shit? Wouldn’t it be better to let them know you value them, since there’s already so much self-doubt in the world? Why would your go-to flirting technique be to make the other person feel inferior? If you’re interested, act like it.
6. Talk about whatever topic comes up.
Don’t stick to talking about the easy issues when you couldn’t care less about his favorite hockey team. Talk about the deep stuff you’ve been warned to stay away from. If you’re both Political Science majors, then it’s okay to get into a screaming match about Donald Trump. If politics are important to you, opposing views might be a deal breaker. It’s better to talk about those things early, before you get attached.
7. Break up the old-fashioned way.
Don’t ghost. Be a vampire instead and leave a painful mark before making your exit. It’s better for them to know for sure that a relationship is over than to wonder if you’re ever going to swoop back into their life. I don’t care how inconvenient it is for you to send a breakup text. Use “It’s not you, it’s me,” if you have to. Just say something to officially end it.
8. Delete “hang out” from your vocabulary.
Ask someone to come over to eat the dinner you made, so they know to wear a pretty dress. Ask someone to listen to Supernatural drone on in the background while you eat them out, so they know to shave. But don’t ask them to hang out. The definition shifts too much for anyone to understand what you’re expecting of them.
9. Go on dates where you can actually interact.
If you’re looking for more than sex, don’t invite someone over to your house the first time you’re seeing each other one-on-one. It’s too modern. But don’t go too old-fashioned and take them to dinner and a movie, either. Go to the planetarium. Go to a winery. Go to the park. Go somewhere that’ll allow you to have an actual conversation instead of talking over movie dialogue.
10. Stop making assumptions.
Don’t assume a girl wants to marry you, because she holds your hand. Don’t assume a guy only wants to fuck you, because he kisses your neck. Gender stereotypes are so last century. You can’t make assumptions anymore. Not accurate ones, at least. You never know who wants something real and who’s looking for a hookup—unless you ask.