Dating etiquette is important but not everyone seems to be getting it right. There are certain dos and don’ts that you need to be aware of no matter who you are dating and for how long. Go back to the 18th century, and you’ll see that men and women courted each other at the ball dances or through letters. Now, we have social media and the number of dates that define how we interact with our dates. Your dating etiquette style could be the first-kiss-on-the-third-date kind or the kinds that can’t even make it through the first date.
Your dating life is a disaster and you don’t know why. You follow the ‘rules’ properly, but nothing seems to be going right for you. But maybe that’s where the problem lies. You’ve been dating according to some stringent rules instead of actually deciding by how you feel about someone or how well things went on the date. Dating is not about getting everything right; it’s about how you feel ‘right’ about someone.
Here are some signs that your wrong dating etiquette is ruining your love life.
1. Game time
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Every book about dating or anyone that you’re taking advice from will tell you this – ‘play hard to get.’ And of course, it’s fun to play these silly games, especially in the initial stages of your relationship. Not responding to texts right away, putting off a kiss, and just basically not being available when they want you. It’s fun for a while because you get to know how much they want you. But if you overdo it, chances are that it’ll backfire.
2. You’re too dependent
On everyone and everything. You look for dating tips from your best friend, your siblings, your colleagues, magazines, websites, and maybe even strangers (yes, there are those kinds too!). And while it’s completely normal to ask for advice from your friends once in a while, depending on too many tips at once will only confuse you all the more. You won’t have anyone to tell you what to do when you’re almost kissing your date. So, instead, just do what you feel is right to put an end to the madness.
3. That sense of regret
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No one likes regret. It’s a horrible feeling and definitely not the one you should have after a date. If you have this feeling a little too often, then it’s a sign that you’re going wrong somewhere with your dating skills. Maybe it’s because the kiss didn’t feel right, or maybe because they were being a sexist; whatever the reason, it’s time you sit and figure out what’s going wrong, or rather, what you’re doing wrong.
4. You’re not asking
To get to any stage in dating, you need to have a date in the first place. But you don’t because you just won’t ask anyone out. Maybe you’re a guy who is too shy to go up to that neighbor and just as her out for coffee because you think she’ll reject you. Or maybe you’re that girl who thinks it’s a guy’s job to ask you out. Well, it isn’t. When you like someone, just walk up to them and ask them out. There is nothing wrong with going after what you want. Granted, it might be difficult at first, but if you do it a few times, you’ll be a pro at asking people who you find interesting out on a date.
5. Who’s paying?
You feel bad when he/she pays? Then, tell them. Times are changing, and men are not the only ones that pay the bill. You could always split the bill or take the whole tab if that makes you feel comfortable. But decide on this before you head to the date because deciding this on the spot, or worse, arguing about it at the end of the dinner, is probably not your thing. Make your own rule and stick to it.
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There are so many rules that you follow, it gets you confused about what is happening. You start thinking too much, and that’s where the problem lies. If she doesn’t call you, you think it’s over and guilt yourself about what you did wrong. If he kisses you on the first date, you start to think; maybe you seemed a little desperate because you kissed him back. Don’t let this sabotage your dating life, because what works for one person may not work for another. You need to make your rules for dating, that suit you and your personality.
7. Too many dates
Do you feel bad about going on dates with multiple people? If yes, then maybe you shouldn’t. Not unless you’ve gotten into a monogamous relationship with someone. But if you haven’t, then stop feeling bad about seeing other people. This is how you’ll get to meet new people and find someone that you actually want to spend more time with and maybe even fall in love with.
8. It’s boring
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It’s almost the same thing on every first date that you go to – movie, coffee, a drink, or maybe dinner. But it bores you to death. You only do this because it’s almost traditional for a first date to be in one of these places. But if you don’t like it, just go elsewhere. Go watch a play; attend a different kind of movie, go play paint ball, or even try out the new nightclub that has popped up in your neighborhood. Just make sure that you like what you’re doing.
9. Holding back
We have a tendency to not talk much when it comes to dates, in case we end up scaring the other person away. In fact, we are all told to not over-share till you get to a more serious date. But that’s just a rule. Holding back from your date makes no sense if you WANT to talk about something; especially if you feel that connection with them. There’s no point in pretending to be someone you’re not.
10. Hooking up
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We all know what the traditional rules tell us – put off sex till you’re comfortable with the other person – probably till the fourth or the fifth date. Of course, if you don’t want to indulge in any sexual intimacy, it’s completely up to you. But if you’re taking sex off the table just because the rules don’t allow you, then you’re not being very smart. When you feel the electricity between the two of you, just go for it; with consent from your date, of course.
11. Giving up too soon
That guy didn’t call you back for a second date or she made a run for it in the middle of your date. It happens to the best of us, and it definitely does not feel good. But what you need to realize is that this isn’t the end of the world and that there are plenty of other people out there. It could also mean that you’re reading out of the wrong dating etiquette book. Improve your conversational skills and you’ll do just fine.
12. Dressing up
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People make a huge deal about your date outfits. The magazines will tell you to wear dresses and ties and what not. But what they don’t tell you is that if you’re not comfortable with those suggestions, you don’t have to wear it. You can dress up in what you feel like, as long as you don’t decide to just go in your PJs. You’ll feel more like yourself and your date will get to know the real you.
13. Too polite
Yes, when you’re on a date, being polite and mannered is of utmost importance. But politeness doesn’t include holding back on who you are. You want to finish a whole pizza? Then just eat it. You feel strongly about some political situation or just some movie? Talk about it. Let the other person get to know you, the real you, which isn’t possible if you hide behind the façade of politeness.
Suggested read: The complete guide on what NOT to do on a first date
14. Too fast
Don’t rush into things. I know it is very difficult to patiently wait for things to move to the next level, especially if you really like the other person; but don’t go too fast. When you rush into things, the entire feeling of anticipation goes for a toss. But anticipation is part of every relationship because it makes you relish the small joys that come along the way. Besides, you don’t want to come off as too desperate now, do you?
There you go. If these signs are familiar to you, then you probably need to do a check on your dating etiquette again. More than anything else, your aim should be to have a good time and find someone who can actually appreciate you. If the rules are helping you, then by all means, carry on. But if not, try going to a date without any set expectations or boundaries. It will definitely attract the right kind of people.
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