Dating Rules I Suck At.

Dating is really effing weird. There are all of these “rules” that we girls are supposed to follow, and we all know how great I am at following rules. So today, I figured we should talk about them. Who came up with these rules? Who was sitting around one day going, “You know, I don’t think dating is hard enough. Let’s make some rules. Yea, that ought to spice things up.” It’s madness I tell you, madness.

1) First of all, text. A lot. But don’t call. Calling is weird. Guys like to talk throughout the day — like, have texting conversations. You know, “Hey”, “Hey”, “How are you?”, “Good. How are you?”, “Good. How’s your day going?” etc. Except I’m not sure if they like doing this, or if they think girls like doing this, which is how it all started in the first place. Here’s why I suck at it: I hate texting. I think other girls like it, but I can’t stand it. If you have a quick question, then it’s fine. Then I actually prefer it. But if you want to have a conversation with me — Call me, like a grown up. Remember when texting wasn’t a ‘thing’ yet? And people actually had to call each other? Pretend it’s 1995. Memorize my phone number and dial it. Let’s TALK to each other, like they do in those old movies, instead of passing virtual notes back and forth like we’re in seventh grade study hall. Come on, it will be fun. Live a little.

2) Don’t be readily available. Apparently there’s this rule in dating where you’re not allowed to hang out with the guy you’re interested in any old time he invites you to do something. He might think you like him or something, and you don’t want to give him the wrong idea. Oh, wait… Just kidding, I think it has something to do with pretending to have a life, so he doesn’t think you’re just sitting around all day waiting for him to invite you somewhere. That would be weird. Here’s why I suck at it: I don’t get a lot of down time. I work a lot, so if the guy I like invites me out for some Italian food on a Friday night, I’m going to say yes. Because it’s tough to turn down Italian food with the guy I like. And I’m assuming there will also be wine involved. So, obviously I’m going to be there. Which brings me to my next point…

3) Don’t drink too much on a date. This is a good rule. And I’m not saying I suck at it, but I like wine. It’s handy to have around if you’re a) nervous, or b) on a bad date. Having a glass of wine will calm your nerves, or at least entertain you long enough to make Mr. Boring seem a little less, well, boring. On that note, two glasses of wine will probably have you drabbling on about your ex, or that time in college when you hitchhiked from a casino, or what you think your children’s names should be. I like Lauren for a girl, but what do you think?

4) The dude pays for everything. EVERYTHING. I’ve heard different takes on this one: the guy should pay for everything, each person should pay for their own, the two of them should just dine and dash, etc. (Just kidding about that last one. Although it does seem very Bonnie and Clyde.) My favorite version is to offer to pay for my meal. I think it seems fair, considering this is the 21stcentury and women work nowadays. Not to get all feminist and stuff, but really, why should I expect some guy I just met to pay for my entire meal + two glasses of $12.00 wine when I have my own money, and could pay for myself? We just met, we’re not dating yet. For all I know, we may never see each other again, but the guy’s still out an extra $40 bucks while I got a free meal? Not that I’m complaining, but it doesn’t seem very fair. Even if he does make an extra 30 cents an hour more than I do. (On that note, I should also mention that I have been on a few dates in my time, and have never had to pay for my own meal. We always do the awkward dance when the check comes where I reach for my purse and say, “Want to split it?” and he always say, “No way. It’s on me.” And then I say “thank you”, because — no matter what time period we’re in — it’s always polite to thank a gentleman if he buys you dinner.)

5) Don’t talk too much. I think this should be better expressed as, “Don’t say the wrong thing”, at least in my case. I mean, you shouldn’t talk too much either — no one wants to go on a date with someone who will just sit there going on and on about their parents, or their pets, or their friends, or their job, or what they’re binge watching on Netflix. But talking too much has never been my issue, I suck at this one because I am notorious for saying the wrong thing. Like when someone asks me what I’m looking for in a relationship, the right answer should not be, “A husband”. Even if it’s true. Yea, I want to get married. But no, I don’t think we should elope right after dinner. Except that’s not what it sounds like to the guy. All the guy heard was, “I’m going to use one of those apps that can morph our faces together to show you what our future children will look like.” Which brings me to my last point…

6) Don’t be too honest. This one gets me every time. This one is the one that keeps me in a perpetual state of single. Because I suck at lying. Not that you should sit around telling stories that you’re secretly the princess of Genovia or something, but if he asks you about your last relationship, don’t say “Well. My ex-boyfriend was kind of an asshole. And I don’t think I have feelings for him anymore, but sometimes I still drunk-text him.” The correct answer is, “My last relationship? Oh, we just didn’t work out. It was mutual. But he’s not important, let’s talk about you.”

Because that one, ladies, is the most important rule of all: when in doubt, just let him do the talking. I’m starting to learn that I can’t say anything stupid if I don’t say anything at all. And, really, who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?

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Originally published at maybeimfamous.wordpress.com on March 1, 2015.

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