Dating is fun! That’s the whole point, isn’t it? If you do it right, it ends in a happily ever after. On your way there, though, there’s no denying that there are dating rules that don’t make sense. Like, really, how did any of us meet anyone in the dating world we’re in today? There are so many backwards guidelines we follow that aren’t helping anyone that it’s a miracle marriage is even still happening. Some of these things are actually really creepy (especially if they were taken out of context) and others seem like they wouldn’t work (although they often do). It’s kind of infuriating, honestly.
Rules change and adapt over time – nearly half of these weren’t in place when your parents were getting together – so how did we end up with these? Is there a secret council meeting that none of us were invited to? That being said, no one is saying that you have to follow these dating rules – actually, I’m telling you the opposite of that. Whether it’s dating related or not, if you think something is too weird to be real or makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t do it. Society might be okay with these eight strange dating rules, but that doesn’t mean you have to be!
Opening Up To Someone You May Never See AgainOkay cool, let me tell you all my hopes, dreams, and vulnerabilities, without any failsafe guarantee that I'll ever see you again. Weird, huh? If they're not a stranger, they're just a friend who you're going to see again in school or at your job... who still knows everything about you... even though you're not together anymore. SO. CREEPY. It's like a ticking time bomb that they can use that information against you at their will. That is, of course, if things don't progress past a few dates. Source: iStock
Playing Hard To GetI get it, everyone wants what they can't have. Want to know when both parties should "want" equally? Sex. Why send mixed signals? To make them want you more... by saying no? Then you get frustrated when he won't make the first move? Talk about confusing. If you like someone, it's your job to make it clear that it'd be okay if they held your hand (for example, but sub in whatever you'd want in this situation). Not to mention that this is a little heteronormative and makes women the guardians of their sexuality and men the pursuers who have to "earn it" or crack the code in order to get the sex. Excuse me, no. Source: iStock
Sending Nudes And SextsLet me be clear, I'm all for it! But it's creepy when you do it before actually getting naked IRL with someone. By that, I mean you should only do this with someone you explicitly trust because they have the power to share what you send. Not even that, but if you poke around in your history, iCloud, or app storage, I'm sure you're bound to unearth something you wish stayed buried. Then after you break up, this person just has super vulnerable sexy pictures and explicit texts that you sent without any mandatory "delete it now, that doesn't belong to you anymore," enforceable policy? Ahh! Source: iStock
Telling Everyone Your BusinessYou get secretly obsessive. To their face you're all cool, but you definitely just poured over their Instagram feed with a conference table full of your besties and consulted them like a board of directors when you didn't know how to text this person back. Before your friends even meet this person, they know everything. Ever walk into a room where everyone was *just* talking about you? it's like that, but with someone you don't want to resent you. Oops. Of course, ask your friends for advice if you feel genuinely stuck, but there's no reason for them to know every little detail of your date or what you do sexually because it's literally none of their business. Source: iStock
Meeting Strangers On The InternetAdmittedly, internet dating is something that's more prevalent among people 18 and older - I know a lot of online dating success stories who went on to get married - but there's no denying that there are people in your Instagram DMs, messaging you on Facebook and Twitter, and following you on Snapchat because they think you're hot. You don't need an app or an OKCupid account to need to know some basic internet-dating safety rules. So, that in mind, since when is it acceptable, safe, or cool to meet up with a stranger in person who you met online? Red flags everywhere! But it's normal now because "everyone's doing it"? No. Not okay. Source: iStock
Asking Parental PermissionLast I checked, my parents don't know what's best for me when it comes to my dating life. Asking parental permission in dating is more common in very religious or conservative backgrounds, but it's still mildly offensive when you find out someone *didn't* ask the dad's permission before asking to marry their daughter. Unless you plan on marrying someone's dad, this should be more of a "heads up, this is about to happen, I hope you're cool with it," than a literal ask for permission. How sexist, too. Why not ask mom? Why does this only happen with daughters and not sons? Everyone's parents can take a little less active role when it comes to dating, thank you very much. Source: iStock
Having Them Pick You Up And Drop You OffIt's cute and sweet once you get into it, but you don't know what this person's deal is. Unless you're being driven around by a parent, be wary, especially with older guys who have their own cars. Why does this random person now have your home address and how did they get in total control of you getting back home? Thank god for Uber and Lyft. When in doubt, always arrange to meet a date at the location, especially if it's a first date. Once that goes well and you trust this person, then maybe give them your address and let them walk you to the door. Why not? Source: iStock
Setting Expectations For Sex Based On The Number And Quality Of DateYou don't have to sleep with anyone for a steak dinner. Someone buying you an expensive dinner does not grant them permission to be rude and awful the rest of the night because they're #SuchANiceGuy. You don't have to sleep with anyone after the third date, and you don't have to wait that long if that's not how you roll. Since when is an elaborate system of metrics setting up dates and sexual favors in ratio to one another not totally creepy and weird? If you don't reciprocate a date with physical affection it makes you prude or frigid? That's beyond rude. You don't owe anyone anything for a good time. Source: iStock
What do you think is the creepiest thing about dating? What rules do you follow? Which ones do you want to break? Let us know in the comments!
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.