If you do a quick web search for ways to snag a date or tips for displaying proper dating etiquette, chances are you will stumble into a gold mine of bad advice. Some tips may be obviously bad, such as “bring your mother to a first date,” or “definitely wear parachute pants on a date to an upscale restaurant.” However, some of the advice you’ll find will seem fairly sound. There are several “truths” about dating that have been passed along for generations. Unfortunately, many of these tips are just old and simply do not apply to the modern world. Here are some bits of old-fashioned dating advice that you should ignore:
1. The “3 Day Rule”
What it is: After a first date, it is standard procedure to wait for three days before contacting the person again.
Why it’s outdated: This rule may have made sense in a time before the internet and cell phones, but now it seems pretty rude to ignore someone for three days if you had a good time. If you had a great time, let the person know! By calling someone the day after a date, you convey the message that you like the person and could not wait to contact them again. Rather than appearing desperate, it makes you appear reliable and classy.
2. The “Play Hard to Get” Rule
What it is: By pretending you are not interested in a potential partner and so decreasing your supply of attention, the other person should naturally be even more drawn to you and demand your attention. In contrast, if you seem eager to date a potential match, they may be put off from you and withdraw their interest.
Why it’s outdated: First, neither you nor your potential love interests are products valued on Wall Street. There really aren't any rules of supply and demand when it comes to love. Playing hard to get may work in select social circles, specifically ones that consist of people driven daily to high school by their parents, but it does not work for adults. If someone that you like seems to reciprocate the affection, be open about it! Unless your life is a network television crime drama, there isn’t a need to bring the eternal “will they, won’t they” question into your love life.
3. The “After Divorce, Wait One Month for Every Year You Were Married Before Dating Again” Rule
What it is: As the title indicates, this rule prescribes a lengthy amount of time before jumping back into the dating pool. This likely became a common practice as divorcees tried to avoid further bad relationships.
Why it’s outdated: Any kind of hard time limit for anything in the dating world is arbitrary and can’t apply to every situation. A better plan would be to spend time figuring out what you want in a new relationship and your own timeline for moving on from a past relationship.
4. The “Guy Should Always Pay” Rule
What it is: This rule used to be incredibly important in a time when women did not have an option to work and have their own income. While it’s really good for the guy to continue this tradition in modern relationships, it’s not a hard and fast rule.
Why it’s outdated: Times have changed. Men and women in relationships often have their own income now. It’s still recommended that men take the responsibility for payment on the first few dates, but don’t call time of death on the relationship if the woman pays every now and then, or if the couple splits the check. Younger people with less disposable income may find it easier to go Dutch (split the bill) or take turns paying for dates. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who pays on a date.
5. The “Don’t Look for a Serious Relationship” Rule
What it is: While on a first or second date, it is commonly accepted that you shouldn’t talk about serious issues, such as religion or politics. You also shouldn’t reveal that you are looking for a serious relationship that leads into marriage or children because this could scare the other person away.
Why it’s outdated: Why do people date? Very few people make the effort to go on actual dates if they are not looking for long-term companionship. The first few dates are an opportunity to gauge compatibility with each other, so it may actually be prudent to talk about your goals while in this early stage. You certainly don’t need to blurt out, “TELL ME NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT KIDS,” on a first date. However, you should not be afraid of revealing that you are looking for a long-term partner or a future family.