Between Tinder, Hinge, eHarmony, and Facebook, for dating it’s easy to get lost in defining what dating is. It seems as though the very idea of what a date is has been replaced by a text of hanging out, hooking up, or chilling. Not long ago a date consisted of a phone call inviting you for dinner, whereas now a phone call is unheard of and dates the caller. If you are in the dating world and frustrated with the new rule or lack of rules and behaviors dictating the “dates” you’ve gone on, you may be relieved to know you are not alone. Maybe it’s time to bring back some of the old rules to dating that made it fun, more engaging, and more about getting to know a person rather than merely hanging out, hooking up or chilling? Below are a few of the dating practices we need to bring back.
- Calling and asking for a date. If you want to go out with someone, call them and ask them out. Be direct and tell them you like them and want to get to know them better. Stop being vague or minimizing that it’s a date. Being able to state your intention is a sign of respect and maturity.
- Dress nice for the date. Your appearance does speak volumes for who you are. Respect your date and respect yourself. You don’t dress the same for a sporting event as you do for dinner. Know the difference.
- Keep your phone in your pants or purse. There is nothing as disrespectful as talking on the phone or texting when you are with a date. If you cannot put your electronics away for an evening, then you don’t have time for a relationship. Confusing the two usually ends without a second date.
- Write it on a note pad instead of Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. Dating is intimate and it’s vulnerable. Getting a handwritten note about your feelings is much more valued than posting it where the world can see. It’s a lot easier to face as well if the date didn’t go well and the world gets to read about it.
- Sex is not part of the date. There is much confusion about how many dates justify sex, and what is expected in regards to sex and dating. Sex happens when two people equally want that. It should never be assumed as a dating ritual or something that has to happen after a specific number of dates.
- Being honest about when it’s time to move the dating to a more serious commitment. Instead of posting on Facebook that you are committed, talk to your date about it face-to-face. If the two of you are going to move into the commitment phase of dating, then both of you should turn off your online dating profiles and begin having more talks about prioritizing your relationship.
The dating world has become more and more complicated as we’ve become more and more casual. Casual is good. However, in dating, casual can never replace respect and honesty. No app or social media platform can replace your presence and attention to your date. The old rule holds true, how you treat others says more about you than it ever will about them.