Times have changed. Lines between friendships, relationships, hook-ups, flings, and dates are getting increasingly blurry and as such, it is difficult to pay attention to any rule-book (if any) that offers an authoritative stance over the rules that govern one’s conduct whilst being ‘involved.’ Even so, there are still a few modern-day dating commandments that men must follow, regardless of how blurry the social boundaries and relationships get.
And whilst I am no God, I can still ordain these commandments to be binding, no matter the circumstance.
So, without further ado, here are the eleven modern day dating commandments for men that they must follow ‘religiously’ whilst they’re dating:
1. Thou shalt respect her, at ALL times
The way in which you regard women (and for that matter, all people) speaks volumes about your own character. So, the next time you wag your tongue about that waitress, your female colleague or much worse, your date, think again. Coz if you speak of your ex as a ‘crazy b**ch’ who dumped you, it will be logical to assume you wouldn’t do any better with the one sitting right across the table from you on your current date. So, do not put down a woman, much less disrespect her, and try to take advantage when she is inebriated. It only shows how broken your moral compass is. We like to see a man who knows what it is to be respectful of not just the women he is around, but of every person, no matter their station. So, take the hint. Do unto others, as thou would have them do unto you.
2. Thou shalt honor honesty, above all else
Being honest about who you are, your own standards and expectations is a must when it comes to dating. Projecting yourself as someone you aren’t to meet somebody else’s notion of ‘perfect’ is not only wrong, but demeaning to your own self. Do yourself a favor and put up all the ‘freak flags.’ If the other person gets scared and darts off in the opposite direction, it wasn’t ‘right’ anyway. So, do not be afraid of being ‘you,’ and cultivate this healthy mode of dating around yourself too. This culture of honesty, in the form of self-awareness and self-respect, alongside an honest communication of what you’re looking for is the best decision you’ll ever make. Who knows, there might be someone out there as quirky as you!
3. Thou shalt not judge based on superficial attributes
If you are the kind of person who is worrying about how you’d filter who sees your pics with this 5’1” girl you are dating, you’d better call it off. Coz if your baseline requirements are shallow enough to judge a person ‘undateable’ (enough to hide it from the world) based on their appearance and other superficial attributes, you are a lost cause. You’ll always be stuck in the dating rut. You’ll never find someone who meets all the criteria on that checklist. So, skip the superficiality and dig deeper. You’ll be surprised with the gamut of meaningful experiences hidden in there!
4. Thou shalt not bear false feelings
It is very important to be honest here. If you’re not into this person and are keeping them on hold until someone better comes along, it is time you snip the cord. And quick. Please do not profess false feelings as you may be damaging the entire emotional makeup of the person at the receiving end. Let her go. You aren’t doing any good to her and are doing worse to yourself. So, man up and do the ‘right’ thing – it will be for the best.
5. Thou shalt break up in person, regardless of circumstance
Yes, we’re in an age where a simple swipe on our phones can get us a date, but it is still rude and unthoughtful to break up over Whatsapp, Facebook or even a phone call. Whatever the time and effort invested in the relationship, have the cudgels to face the person and tell them ‘it isn’t working out.’ If you’d prefer a flimsy text over being upfront with someone you have shared good moments with, I am judging you!
6. Thou shalt not bring up the past
Bragging about your own conquests or probing your date’s past relationships is a strictly off-limits zone. It is one thing to laugh over a story of how this girl threw up whilst you were making out in college (when you’re comfortably well ahead in the dating process, that is) but a different ball-game altogether when you dig for minute details. Trust me, she is better off ignorant about your past and you’re only pushing her farther by delving into hers.
7. Thou shalt compliment her personality, rather than just her looks
What you acknowledge of your woman is something that shall set apart a frivolous, casual hook-up from an intimate and special experience that might blossom into a romance. So, do not look at her as a ‘woman’ who looks ‘hot’ in a summer dress and imagine her in a two-piece. Instead, treat her like an individual whose eyes sparkle when she speaks of the books she loves, the directors she admires, the opinion she ventures about a raging social issue. We aren’t asking you to not appreciate her beauty. What we are asking is to acknowledge and compliment the essence that underlies the beauty – the woman herself. In all her wholesomeness – her intelligence, her integrity, her values, her intellect – her persona.
8. Thou shalt embody chivalry
Yes, I know the debate is almost out on the topic, what with women raising the ‘equality flags’ and ladies killing the seeming antiquated notion themselves. Whatsoever the debate and whatever the supporters of each side may venture, I believe that the progress of society into a ‘utopia’ wherein men and women are inherently ‘equal’ and therefore, do not need such cursory tokens of ‘respectful and courteous behavior’ is far from realized. As such, chivalry is important and needs to be shown. No, I do not mean that one needs to open doors (I can do it myself, so can the other ladies and so can a billion other dudes out there). What I imply is that one needs to be mindful of one’s conduct around women. Whilst we’re fully capable of paying the tab, failing to even offer to pay or worse, itemizing the bill is a huge red flag. Leaving us stranded in the middle of nowhere to reach home on our own, especially in the wee hours, is a big no-no. Similarly, if we have ventured to reach home on our own (at an appropriate hour and when there is a safe conveyance mode available), not bothering to ask if we’ve reached safely makes you fall off the ‘date-list.’ So, remember that no matter how independent and empowered your date is, it does not give you reason to avail a discount on the courtesy you need to extend towards her. If she feels the chivalry is unnecessary, she will say so! Until then, embody it!
9. Thou shalt know to hold your drink
Drinking is almost a routine part of dates. But watch how many glasses/mugs you empty lest nursing your drink becomes an issue. You do not want your drunk avatar to take over, and avoiding guzzling shall help keep ‘that’ dude in check. By all means, go ahead, loosen up, lower your inhibitions, and dial down the nervousness with a glass or two of wine, but do not get completely wasted. There’s nothing worse than a woman being disgusted with your drunken antics.
10. Thou shalt not deem yourself entitled to sex, on any count whatsoever
Whatever your dating status, you are not entitled to sex. Whether it is the first date and you pay the entire bill or it is the fifth date and you’ve been ‘patient and composed’ for long, you are, by no means, entitled to receive any sexual favors if she does not feel ‘right’ about it. Respect her ‘no’ and take it to mean as such. Forking out a couple thousand bucks for the dinner does not buy you the ticket to get into her pants. If she is comfortable and gives you a green flag, go ahead. But if there is hesitation in her mind, do not cajole and manipulate her into waking up next to you – a regretful woman.
11. Thou shalt not commit adultery
This one is so obvious. I do not even know why it has to be spelt out. Please do not cheat. Nothing justifies adultery – NOTHING. No matter how unhappy you are in your current relationship or if you’re only sticking around for the kids or whatsoever else is on that ‘reason-list,’ nothing, I repeat, nothing justifies adultery. So, remember that you’d never be excused for committing this cardinal sin. Respect your commitment, at all times. And if you find that ‘your’ woman is not enough for you, please let her free. She is better off without someone who cannot drop the ‘other ladies’ whilst he has committed to being with her, and her alone.
That’s it for now! And remember – no bending/breaking these modern day dating commandments for men!
Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License