8 Old-Fashioned Dating Rules You Don’t Have To Follow

Everyone’s main complaint with dating today is that we’ve strayed too far from our dating habits from back in the day. You know, before we had smart phones and the internet and ventured into this new land where common dating rules like guys always asking girls out don’t apply anymore.Of course, when you think about it, doing what you want when you want to is kind of an overwhelming amount of freedom to have, especially when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to dating.

The thing is these rules are called “old fashioned” for a reason–they’re out of date. We’re in a totally different place now than we were back then! For starters, most old fashioned dating rules are heteronormative AF, meaning they’re catered to men pursuing women (so if you’re queer, apologies in advance, but these rules never applied to you – congratulations! *throws confetti*). Now that bae is no longer calling your house phone, you can get directions on demand if you’re lost, and we’ve more or less accepted that women don’t have to be bribed and that dads threatening our dates with hypothetical shot guns is not normal, we kind of don’t need these rules anymore. In fact, holding on to these arbitrary codes of conduct is holding you back from relaxing and enjoying a date because you’re running off a checklist of expected behaviors and basically testing the person you’re on a date with without their knowledge. How unfair is that? So, relax. If you still like these rules, please acknowledge them as preferences, not universal requirements, and hear me out. These are eight old fashioned dating rules no one has to follow anymore.

The Guy Should Be The One To Ask The Girl, Not The Other Way Around

Okay, no. It's certainly a turn on when a guy knows what he wants and goes for it, especially if that's spending time with you. But, who says that being the one to initiate is a turn off or not ladylike? Oh, I know. The same people who believe that "men should be men and women should be women." Cool, got it. Well, we all know that statement means basically nothing, so why follow it? If it's sexy when a guy goes for it by asking you out, it's probably just as sexy when a girl does it. So, why not? Sticking to this rule is completely outdated and to be honest, prevents many people from potentially finding happiness with someone they're attracted to.

Source: iStock

He Should Always Pick You Up At Your House

Or maybe not! Of course it's sweet when it happens, but what if you aren't sure about this person? Or their mom is actually the one who's going to drive you? There's a lot of pressure to stay in a date if they're also your ride home. You might want to leave if it gets too awkward! So, it's important, especially if you aren't sure about this person on a first date, to arrange your own transportation, if that's what makes you feel safest so that you can actually relax and enjoy your date. The idea that someone is somehow less of a man for not doing this or it's not really a date unless this happens is a weird line to draw in the sand. Not all dates have to follow the same rulebook.

Source: iStock

He Should Always Walk On The Street-Side Of The Sidewalk

The reasoning behind this one? In case some rogue car jumps off the road and barrels down the sidewalk, bae is the one to get hit first instead of you. What a gentleman, right? Um, you're cute and all, but you honestly don't have to lay down your life for a girl you're on a date with because that's a bit much, don't you think? Another theory behind this social behavior stems from when chamber pots - aka buckets full of excrement - would be emptied out of top floor windows that the poop would splash on the man, not the woman. Either way you slice it, we don't need this anymore and where you stand on the sidewalk reflects zero priority in who's life matters more should some fictional horrific car accident happens. Most of us have indoor plumbing now, so chill.

Source: iStock

He Has To Bring A Small Gift Or Flowers On The First Date

Cool, thanks for the flowers, babe... now what am I supposed to do with them? If you want to bring flowers, do it when you pick someone up so they can ditch them at their house and don't have to carry a dozen roses to dinner and a movie like they're Miss America or something. Also, it's not a requirement of a first date. It's a nice gesture, if you're moved to do so, but don't feel like boys owe you a token of their affection before they've spent any time with you at all. It's a bit much and I'm honestly still surprised by how many girls borderline demand that this happen or else they think the date or the dude is trash.

Source: iStock

The Guy Should Always Pay For Everything, No Matter What

I personally believe that whoever asks should be the one who pays. For example, if you want to try oysters with someone on a first date, don't ask to split the check (happened to me - those things are expensive, it's a bad move). So, keep that in mind when you propose an activity for a date. Now, it's not all on the guy to pay for everything because your masculinity and value in a partner is not measured in how much money you can fork over in the name of having a good time with the person you're with. It's just money. Not everybody has a lot of it and it's not the end of the universe if you have to split the check or switch off who pays for what.

Source: iStock

You Should See Fireworks When You Have Your First Kiss

Stooooop it with the expectation that every first kiss with someone who's ~meant to be~ includes a fireworks-like sensation. It won't always be there! Sure, it shouldn't be bad, but it's okay if it's just nice enough. You just kissed each other! As much as you're just getting to know this person, you're also just getting to know how they kiss, so if it's not totally mind-blowing, it's okay. The idea that a first date should end with a first kiss and that's the barometer with which you decide whether or not to go on a second date is antiquated and kind of puts a ton of pressure on both of you, don't you think? Kiss someone when you feel like it and hope that you're pleasantly surprised.

Source: iStock

You Owe Someone A Hook Up After The Third Date

Repeat after me: you don't owe anyone sex for being nice to you. This whole "well, he bought me dinner, so I should probably touch his penis" rhetoric has to stop. Your sexual interest should not be measured in dollars spent or relative kindness. Does waiting for the third date or another unrelated benchmark to get sexual with someone sort of feel like prostitution, in a sense? Don't worry, those feelings aren't too far off since you're actually waiting for a quota to be met in order to get naked with someone. The key to not feeling like this is only hooking up with someone when you're moved to do so. Be turned on and excited, don't do it out of obligation or because you feel like you "have to."

Source: iStock

Only Date One Person At A Time

Before you jump to conclusions, I'm not advocating that people be in multiple committed relationships at a time (unless they're poly, in which case, make your own rules). If you're just in the dating-phase of things, there's no reason to only date one person. You can, and in some cases, should be dating more than one person at a time. It's surprising and a little old fashioned how quick we are to get monogamous. Of course, break it off with other people if you feel like you really want to get to know just one person, but there's no harm or foul play in going on a couple of first dates with different people in one weekend. Why not?

Source: iStock

Which of these dating rules do you actually like? Which ones do you want to see disappear forever? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.

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