I was chatting with my coworkers at Contract Live in France earlier this week and one of the guys brought up a really interesting point: why do we have dating rules in the US? You know, you shouldn’t have sex until the 3rd date, etc.
There are the obvious reasons: 1. you have no idea what you’re doing and find security in having rules to follow (which should, theoretically, help you not mess up, but we probably all know by know how theory tends to translate into real events…), 2. you think these rules will help you be more attractive to potential dates/mates (aka playing hard to get).
Now, from a girl’s point of view, I can see the use of some of these rules. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, you may want to wait a few dates to make sure the guy is interested in the same thing (or why not just ask him?). I have regretted having sex with several guys guys a little too early (yup, I did NOT learn the first time) and then figuring out that they weren’t looking for the same thing I was. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal. It would have been nice if I could have avoided having this emotional, bonding experience with these guys though!
I’m just going to put it out there, I don’t believe in these rules. I think that if someone truly is interested in you s/he’ll stick around even if you mess up or don’t use rules to make yourself more attractive. I’ve dated several guys that were… not sure how to date? Let’s just say the first few dates weren’t the smoothest. I could tell they were great people though and stuck around for some good times.
Another thing, I firmly believe it’s important to remember that dating is not a game. Yes, dating can be fun and all of the mystery, flirting and anxiety can be very exciting, but it can also be very painful when things go wrong. I messed up a few weeks ago when I accidentally led a guy on. I realized he liked me but I thought I was doing a good job of acting like we were just friends and when we went to hang out… well then it became clear he actually liked me more than I thought, and explaining that I didn’t feel the same way was pretty awkward (translation: I did a really crappy job. Davy–if you read this, I really am sorry!)
The point is, this isn’t a board game.
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