Dating And Relationship Rules You Should Never Follow
Rules were meant to be broken, and this applies especially to matters of love and dating. When it comes to getting what you want out of relationships, sitting around and calculating methodic ways to do so—and considering what everyone else tells you to do—not only makes life move far too slowly, but often ends up confusing your partner/boyfriend/date. In the pursuit of being authentic, please disregard these long outdated rules.
Use “I” instead of “You”
You’re told that, when expressing anger/sadness/disappointment to your partner, you should say, “I feel this way” rather than “You make me feel this way.” But men are onto this by now, and just feel like you’re patronizing them. Men can take the heat: just tell them, “You messed up. Here’s how you can fix it.” Your emotions can be intimidating to them. But talking about their actions and how they can fix things—that’s something they can understand.
Don’t go to bed angry
Anybody who says they never go to bed angry quickly wraps up their arguments with half-hearted conclusions, that actually fix nothing, and they end up fighting about the same thing the next night. Your arguments and issues don’t care that you need to go to sleep in 90 minutes. Some problems take hours or days to resolve—rushing the resolution for the sake of some shuteye rarely lends itself to well thought out, sustainable solutions.
Be an endless source of support to your partner
Of course you should be supporting your partner in his endeavors by being emotionally supportive, available for discussions, and physically present at things that matter to him. However, if you’re always sacrificing what you want/need to do in order to be a support to your partner, that’s not a balanced relationship. You need to work on your career/spend time with your friends/have alone time so that you can have the energy to be a real, energized support system to your partner. It’s okay to say no sometimes to attending an office party/conference/football game etc.
Always say what’s on your mind
We have a million thoughts run through our minds every day. But the truth is, not all of these thoughts are in line with our long-term goals and desires. Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings to yourself, but be smart about those that you share verbally. For example, have you been thinking a lot about an ex recently? That’s okay. Do you want to get back with that ex? Do you want to break up with your current guy? No? Well then expressing those thoughts is not in service of your long time goals or desires. You’re having a weird bout of thinking about an ex. So what? Your partner does not need to know.
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry”
In an ideal world, anytime you slip up in your words, your partner completely understands where you’re coming from, what you meant to say, and all the inner workings of your brain that led you to the mishap. But your partner is not in your brain. And that doesn’t mean you’re not compatible, or that your partner doesn’t know you. People just can’t be expected to read your mind, when you’re being—well—a jerk. Even if you didn’t mean to do something wrong, even if you think your partner’s feelings are unreasonable, saying you’re sorry means simply that you care that your partner has been hurt. Apologies aren’t always about being reasonable—they’re about showing compassion.
Be with the man who’ll love you at your ugliest
We agree with this rule, but we don’t think you should push it. Some women go on first dates with no makeup on and bland clothes just to test the level of superficiality of their date. But the truth is physical attraction is the gateway to emotional attraction. Most people cannot take the interest to love you on the inside if they’re just not feeling what’s happening on the outside. And come on: is it really all that bad if a guy thinks you’re a brick house?
Don’t tell your partner about your exes
If you were with someone for a long time, your current partner can’t expect you to just forget they ever existed. And while rambling on about the good times is questionable and inappropriate, it can actually be educational for both you and your partner to talk about what went wrong in your last relationships. So long as you’re far enough away from them, and healed enough, to discuss them without anger, you could actually learn valuable lessons about how this new relationship can go better.
Wait X amount of time to have sex
Look: if having sex was going to make a guy no longer like you, then that’s all he ever wanted in the first place. Men aren’t idiots: if a guy can tell you’re an honest, interesting woman of substance, he’s not going to forget all that just because you sleep with him. If a guy likes you, he likes you. Men do not judge women for sleeping with them nearly as harshly as women judge themselves. I’m not saying jump into bed with every guy you have a good first date with. But don’t subscribe to odd and strict time frames like X amount of dates or 3 months.
Don’t date the last “type”
There is something to typecasting, but most apply that word to the wrong set of traits. It’s fine to look for a guy who is generous, thoughtful, ambitious and social because the last guy was none of those things. But don’t look for a guy who absolutely doesn’t work in finance, because the last guy did. There are all sorts of types of character traits underneath those superficial “types” your friends refer to. Give everyone who seems good a chance, regardless of their appearance/profession/hobbies and so on.
Wait X amount of time to call/text/hang out again
If a guy likes you, and then suddenly decides he doesn’t, all because you called him the day after a date, he never really liked you. If you and a guy have a good chemistry going and genuinely are excited to talk or see each other soon after having done so, go for it! Any guy who subscribes to the wait X amount of time rule is either afraid of commitment, or not that into you, and neither of those are good. A guy who really likes you and is ready to explore something won’t be afraid of a “premature” text or request to hang.
If you want to find love, stop looking for it
There is some truth to this in the sense that, no matter what, you should continue pursuing your career, partaking in your hobbies and leading an active, happy social life—these shouldn’t be put aside so you can start a 24/7 search for love. However, some people take this rule too far, and avoid anything that is blatantly in the search for love, like speed dating, online dating, blind dates, singles bars and so on. You should be open to meeting someone, and putting yourself in situations where that can happen.
Don’t date out of your league
We just don’t like the term “league” at all. Nobody is better or worse: people are just different. Some people perceive there is a league above their own, and that’s just because they consistently go after a type that is very different from themselves—a type that is not compatible with them—and the rejection begins to feel like rejection from some “league.” If you’re constantly trying to date super athletic/health fanatic guys, and yet you yourself would rather relax on the couch on a Saturday, and do enjoy a cocktail or two each night, as each of these men realize you’re not compatible and leave you, you’ll feel you weren’t good enough for them. But no, you just failed to accept your differences. Translation: know what works for you and not just what seems good.
Never date someone who’s been single less than X amount of time
You can detect when someone is an emotionally sound, whole and happy person. And some people are, even if they’re only a month out of a relationship. Not every breakup leaves a person devastated, incomplete, confused and weak. Some breakups are amicable. Some people do emotionally check out of relationships long before they end. Don’t write a guy off who you have amazing chemistry and compatibility with, all because he just broke up with his girlfriend a month ago.
Wait to introduce a guy to your friends
This is one of the least sensible rules around. You learn so much valuable information about a guy from seeing how he interacts A) In social settings and B) Around people who are important to you and contain character traits you enjoy. Inviting a new guy to a friend’s party doesn’t mean you want to marry him! But imagine if the two of you had a great few months together in private, and then you took him around your friends only to realize they bump heads horribly? Game over. Find out sooner rather than later how a guy melds with your world.