Should You Really Be Following ‘Dating Rules’?

Somehow, over time, the human race has managed to create different sets of ‘dating rules’ with guides on how to follow them.

“Don’t reach for his hand during dinner, it will turn him off.”

“Meet him at a restaurant that turns into a bar after 10 p.m. and you’re guaranteed to have him interested in you.”

“Don’t take your first vacation together in the winter otherwise you’ll only have 3 children, no boys, and won’t get engaged for another two years.”

With every new rule the pressure to be perfect increases, and all anyone focuses on is everything they can’t or shouldn’t do instead of just being themselves and taking a big breath.

I recently read an article about 11 things that should happen on a real date that people don’t do anymore. I won’t name the magazine as my goal isn’t to start an online words war, but it did make me laugh and roll my eyes.

The man who wrote the article expressed that people don’t know how to date anymore, a statement I slightly agree with. But it was what he went on to discuss that had me confused.

“Prior to the date you should feel nervous. If you don’t feel nervous then you’re not excited about the date,” he wrote.

So, if my friend attempts to set me up on yet another blind date I have to be nervous? And if I’m not that means I am not interested in going?

Here’s the deal, not everyone is going to be nervous before a date, and not everyone needs to have it in their mind that if they are not nervous something is wrong with the situation.

Maybe some people don’t get nervous easily, or maybe they don’t see the point in putting added pressure to the situation by walking into it a ball of jumpy nerves.

All I do all day is speak to people I don’t know. I rarely get nervous to sit with a stranger at this point, but it doesn’t mean I am not happy to be there.

If you’re nervous, great. If not, that’s fine too.

“You’re suppose to spend too much time getting ready,” was another thing that should happen.

I once went on a date straight from work. All I did was touch up my hair and makeup for a whopping ten minutes in the bathroom prior to meeting him.

Does that mean I killed the date because I didn’t spend 4 hours curling my hair? No, in fact the date went really well and resulted in a second date.

Overall, our little romance didn’t work out and he’s engaged to another woman, but I’m pretty sure that had nothing to do with me not taking enough time to get ready before our first date.

“Dinner, not coffee, not drinks,” and something about not going to a movie was another thing that only happens on a real date.

Some of the best dates I have ever been on are the ones that are spontaneous and take place in a dive bar or hole-in-the-wall burger joint.

Why? Because there is no pressure! You both figure at this point there is no way to make the date perfect, so may as well go with it and see what happens.

It’s when we both let our guard down and just relaxed did we actually start having fun and learning about each other. We still didn’t drink too much, we didn’t hook up at the end of the night, but we did enjoy the conversation and company because we were being real and authentic.

The whole point of dating is to simply get to know someone better, not to seal the deal on day one and live happily ever after. Yes, dating can be scary and intimidating, but it can also be fun if you just allow yourself to relax and go with it.

And who’s to say if one thing does or does not happen than the date is a bust, or better yet not ‘real’?

Do what makes you comfortable, and most importantly enjoy yourself. You never know where unconventional might take you.