Alright friends, we’re adults now. We’ve graduated college. We have full time jobs. We’ve made it. Life is different now, and the way we dated in college just doesn’t work anymore. Our free time outside of work is now at a premium, and having that time wasted by a potential romantic partner who doesn’t have their shit together is probably the most frustrating thing we face in our quest for romance. Here are four dating rules for the professional world that will save you from accidentally offending others.
1. Know What You Want, And What You Can Commit To
In other words, let your potential romantic partners know what they can expect from you. Are you looking for a serious exclusive relationship? A casual open relationship? A one night stand? An ongoing friend-with-benefits that you only visit on Tuesday and Thursday nights after 10 PM because you have night classes every other night and leave town every weekend to take care of your sick grandma? These are all valid relationships, provided that expectations are made clear.
We all have busy schedules. Review your commitments and priorities and determine exactly how much time you have for a romantic interest. Know this info before you pursue something with a new person. If the two of you don’t align, have some courtesy and move on. Unclear expectations lead to unnecessary drama that has no place in the adult dating world. Manage your partner’s expectations by knowing yours and making them clear from the start.
2. If You Aren’t Interested, Make It Clear
This doesn’t have to be awkward or complicated. You meet for a first date, you have a nice time, but the “spark” just isn’t there. There’s nothing wrong with this, however your date may feel differently and expect a second date. Don’t waste their time by letting them sit around wondering how you feel about them. Let them know that they should move on.
A simple text or phone call will do. “Hey, thanks for last night. I enjoyed meeting you, however I don’t feel that we’re a good romantic match for each other. Good luck to you!”
Nine times out of ten, your date will thank you for your honesty, and you can both move on to something more fitting. It’s a win-win. If your date gets upset and dramatic, celebrate the fact that you dodged a bullet.
3. If You ARE Interested And Honestly Don’t Have Time To Date, Make It Clear
Like I said, we’re all busy. Sometimes you’ll meet someone and instantly hit it off, then not have time for another date for a while. Again, nothing wrong with this! Just make sure your date knows what to expect.
If someone asks you to go out on a Thursday, and you’re busy until next Tuesday, simply let them know by suggesting you meet the following week. If you turn down an invitation and don’t suggest an alternative time, most people will assume you aren’t interested and move on. It sucks when this happens, especially because it’s a silly miscommunication that can be easily avoided.
4. Respect People’s Time, And Be Safe
It really all comes down managing expectations, and being consistent with how you feel, what you say, and what you do. We’re all very risk-averse when it comes to protecting our free time, and our dating lives are one of the biggest time-risks that we’re forced to take on. Nothing is more frustrating than going on a few dates with a new person, thinking that it’s going well, then finding out that this person isn’t what you expected. It’s a waste of time, effort, and emotions and can lead to dating burnout in a hurry.
Be considerate of other people’s time. Dating takes time and effort from both parties, so keep that in mind as you go about it. You’ll all have more fun and less drama as a result.