No matter who you’re dating or where you are, there are certain unspoken dating rules that must be followed, or you’ll fail miserably at finding love.
Dating is hard. That’s just a well-known fact. Anyone who’s found dating a piece of cake either isn’t doing it right or completely mental because the truth is dating is one of the hardest things we do in life. Including following the spoken and unspoken dating rules.
You put yourself out there, subject yourself to judgment, rejection, and even risk losing self-esteem. All on the journey to find love.
Not to mention the fact the rules you have to follow—and nobody tells you what these rules even are!
Why we all have to follow dating rules
It’s frustrating there are so many rules put in place in the dating world. But no one is really in “charge” of them. Meaning nobody ever announced what these rules are, but everyone is expected to follow them.
They exist for a pretty good reason though. It keeps some of us from going crazy after a date and ensures we all follow the same guidelines when it comes to hooking up with someone new. So even though dating rules are a pain in the butt, they’re in place for a good reason.
Dating rules we all have to live with
Not all dating rules are always fun to listen to, though. Some of them leave you so frustrated it ruins dating altogether. This makes living with these rules pretty difficult. We always want to go around them when we REALLY shouldn’t.
If you’re not sure which rules I’m talking about, you’ll be reminded of them right away. These are the dating rules we all must live with but get super annoying from time to time. However, they are what keeps the dating world in order.
#1 Guys make the first move. USUALLY. This is a difficult rule to put down simply because of how drastically it’s changing. However, it’s still true in most places all over the world. Guys are expected to make the first move.
This can be REALLY frustrating if you’re dealing with a shy guy, or you’re not sure how someone feels about you. This rule has been around for a long time. Thankfully, it is slowly starting to change so we no longer have to live with it if we don’t want to. [Read: How to get a shy guy to like you and ask you out]
#2 Sex should only happen after three dates. This is a long-standing rule in place for a very good reason. I’m sure it was developed by girls just to be sure they didn’t seem like a floozy in the eyes of the guys they dated.
And that is a very good reason to have this rule. It’s also a great rule because after three dates you usually know a person well enough to decide if sex is something you’ll want to risk doing with them. Although some of us don’t like it and ignore it completely, it’s there for a great reason.
#3 You should wait a full day before texting them—unless they text first. I’m sure there was a lot of eye rolling at this one—and for good reason too! Although it’s a rule that’s been in place since texting became a primary form of communication, it’s still annoying.
BUT, it does have a purpose for some. Some get way too eager to spend every waking hour texting the person they like. Only to irritate the crap out of them and ruin their chances at a second date. Therefore, this rule is in place to make sure you don’t annoy your new love interest. [Read: Texting etiquette: 20 unwritten rules of savvy flirting]
#4 He pays, but she offers. How many of you agree that this rule is kind of going away as things between men and women become more equal? I personally think the idea that a man should always pay on the first date is a little ridiculous, but it is followed with the fact that women offer.
However, even if the girl offers to pay, no guy wants to look like a cheapskate and tell her she can pay for half. Therefore, this rule is still known for the guy paying for the date.
#5 You can’t add them on social media until at least the second date. This one is very important for several reasons no matter how ridiculous it may seem. The truth is most of us want to add them on social media right away.
#6 You can’t talk about your exes until at least the third date. For the sake of your budding romance, leave the talk about your exes until at least the third date when you’ve established that you like them and they like you. Otherwise you could spill a little too much information about WHY they’re your ex. It could ruin your new love.
#7 You never bring up “defining the relationship.” This is probably the most frustrating rule. Simply because it applies to both people, meaning that neither person is supposed to bring it up. Yet it has to come up somehow.
This is a rule simply because you never want to be the person to push the other into the relationship. However, it’s also really important to define the relationship in order to figure out how the other person feels. You understand now why this rule SUCKS? [Read: What are we? Getting your crush to label your relationship]
#8 You should never go on a date last minute. This is a long-standing rule mainly for women to follow. It pretty much states we shouldn’t accept a last minute date proposal out of respect for ourselves.
It’s thought if we go on a date at the very last minute, it shows a guy we’re desperate, lonely, and that we didn’t have anything better to do on a Friday night. All of which look bad in their eyes.
#9 Your friends hold a lot of power over your new love interest. I didn’t say these rules were fair, I just said they existed. Obviously, this is one of the less popular rules of dating. This rule states your friends have an opinion about who you’re dating.
This is a rule simply because when we like someone, we can’t really think straight. It also means we may be blinded by their good looks and unable to make an unbiased opinion on how well they would match us in a real relationship. Therefore, this rule is in place to avoid dating people who aren’t right for us. [Read: 13 signs your friends are unintentionally ruining your romance]
#10 You can’t ghost someone. Although MANY people have broken this rule over the years, it is still a rule. It should remain a rule because ceasing communication with someone without an explanation is rude, cowardly, and disrespectful. [Read: Like ghosting? Prepare yourself for these consequences]
Dating rules aren’t always something we want to follow, but most of us are far better off if we do follow them. They can save you from making a huge mistake and ruining a potentially great relationship!
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Bella is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog, p...