7 ‘Outdated’ Dating Rules We Should Bring Back

Old-timey dating rules get a bad rap for good reason. They tend to propagate silly, non-feminist notions about finding love: “Wait for him to ask you out. A lady never makes the first move.” “Follow the three-day rule: Don’t contact your date until three whole days have passed.”

But the truth is, not all of the advice that dating columnists foisted on singles back in the day was bad. Read a handful of these “rules” (clearly not the ones mentioned above), and you might just find a juicy little nugget of wisdom that can be applied to your dating life.

Below, we talk to four dating coaches about what old-school dating expectations are worth bringing back today.

1. Practice chivalry.

Let’s all commit to being more chivalrous and mannerly while dating: Open the door for each other, don’t talk over one another, text after the date to make sure the other person got home safely, always call when you say you will.

Given how lackadaisical people tend to be in the Tinder era, these small but impressive moves will set you apart from the masses.

“Don’t skimp on the chivalrous behaviors, which not only make a good impression but [make] someone feel special and wooed,” said Samantha Burns, dating coach and author of “Breaking Up & Bouncing Back.”

“Step up your courting game!” she said. “Chivalry never goes out of style. Also, as you grow comfortable with your partner, you can get lazy in love, so it’s important to start with your best foot forward and ideally try to maintain this courteous behavior over the course of your relationship.”

2. Ask someone out on a real date instead of suggesting something vague like “hanging out.”

Enough with the half-assed “Wanna hang out?” day-of requests. That’s how we get ourselves stuck in a Netflix-and-chill routine and in situationships.

Legitimize your intentions by asking the person out on an actual date. Yup, a full-on date, where you plan the night out in detail and ― depending on your comfort levels with each other ― maybe even offer to pick your date up, said Jenny Apple, a matchmaker in Los Angeles.

“Obviously it’s OK if they prefer to meet, but have a genuine game plan in advance and let them know you’ve thought things through,” she said. “Being a gentleman ― or woman― is making sure you treat everyone around you with care and consideration, and especially your date.”

3. Pick up the phone and call your date.

Americans send and receive five times as many texts as phone calls each day, according to a survey from International Smartphone Mobility. It’s easy to see why you’d prefer to text while dating: With texts, you have a better chance of avoiding awkward lulls in conversation and you can take your time to dash off something witty and writerly.

But texting isn’t quite the same as a full-on conversation. Calling offers you a chance to really connect with the person before you meet IRL.

“Not only can you connect better talking, but a voice and good conversation can be a turn-on,” said Kimberly Seltzer, a dating coach and host of the podcast “The Charisma Quotient.”

“A modern-day edit to this rule would be to text first and find out when someone’s available to talk,” she added. “That shows you have respect for the person’s schedule and you’ll avoid a frustrating game of phone tag.”

4. Let the mystery and sexual tension build up before you jump into bed.

OK, OK, hear us out on this one: While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with hot-and-heavy first-date sex, there’salso something to be said for letting the sexual tension build up — that small graze across their back on the walk to your car, the silly sexual innuendo, and hopefully, some fireworks during first-time sex.

“Sometimes when you jump into bed, you miss all the foreplay and romance that is an important part of the experience,” said Fay Goldman, the founder of New York City-based matchmaker group Meaningful Connections. “Play a little hard to get; it makes the person want you more, which is actually better if this is going to be a long-term relationship. You need some time to fantasize with your brain.”

5. Don’t introduce this person to your friends until you’re serious.

Don’t force your friends to endure another awkward hangout with a random person they’ll never meet again. Bring the person around only once you’re sure you want to continue dating them, which, according to Burns, means you’ve spent intentional time together learning about each other’s values, hobbies and goals, and have a sense of what you’re both looking for.

“After that point, it’s valuable to get your bestie’s feedback,” she said. “It’s important to have our friends vet our potential partners, since they can sometimes pick up on red flags when we’re blinded by love due to all of the dopamine and oxytocin that get us excited and attached to someone very quickly.”

Bottom line? Your friends care about you and are probably invested in your dating prospects, but don’t burn them out!

6. Dress up for the occasion.

When dressing, stay clear of yoga pants, cargo shorts or any other schlubby clothing items that suggest “IDGAF about this date.” There’s no need to go out and buy a whole new look, but a little sartorial effort goes a long way.

“Always dress to impress and make a memorable sexy first impression,” Selzer said. “Dressing up says to your date that you care and they’ll definitely take notice.”

7. Fill awkward silences with questions about your date — and definitely don’t spend the whole time talking about yourself.

You’d be surprised how many people spend the majority of their dates monopolizing the conversation and never really stopping to ask questions about the person across from them. To be a successful dater, you need to be a good conversationalist, which means that instead of sharing your entire life story, try to listen more than you speak.

“Ask your date meaningful, open-ended questions so that you can explore their core values, such as ‘What are your favorite ways to unwind?’ or ‘Tell me about your family,’” Burns said. “Listen with the intent to find out what matters most to your date, rather than being focused on your own response.”

She points out that this might require you to be more present and attuned during dinner, but believe us: The payoff ― a potential relationship with someone who becomes your favorite person ever ― is well worth the effort.

 

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Sun Stories: Kita – Chapter 12 – The Day Before Tomorrow – Part III

She comes out after a bit and is looking great.

“You look good. Just think in the next six hours you’ll get darker and darker.”

“I love it.”

She’s back hanging at the counter being my little protege’.

“Did you get your six page paper finished?”

“Yes! wrote it last night and submitted it this morning!”

“Good work. I knew you would. I like what you said about writing in general.”

“What?”

“You don’t want to do it, but once you just start writing you’re into it and you just get it done.”

“Yea.”

“I feel that way about my writing. I know plenty of good writers. Better than me. Better material. But they just don’t motivate themselves to do it. If you want to be a ballet dancer, you need to take a class everyday. If you want to be a painter, you need to paint everyday. I write everyday and it’s gotten easier because I practice everyday. I like your work ethic, Kita.”

“Yea. It’s just that I have to do it, so I dig in.”

“Midterms are the end of the week, right?”

“Yea. So I’m studying like mad for that. So exhausting.”

But I love that she’s carved out some time to have dinner with me tomorrow night.

“I can imagine.”

I tell her about some of the challenges we’ve experienced with some of the staff here at the salon.

“I’d love to work here.”

My mind soars.

“You’d be amazing here. I know your parents have you on an allowance and they want you to focus on your studies but you’d be perfect here. Oh my god. You’d be perfect. You’re like the poster child for this salon to show how it really works because you have such a great tan. Plus, you’ve got such enthusiasm for tanning.”

“Oh that would be incredible!”

“And the best part…”

“What?”

“FREE TANNING.”

I can almost see the dopamine drop in her pretty head.

“Ohhh… that would be Heaven.”

“I’m going to think about that. Just think. In the spring is our busiest season. We need two people on at night to handle the numbers. Can you imagine us running this place like a well oiled machine?”

“I would absolutely love that, Charles.”

I think about how I would absolutely LOVE that as well.

“You’d be perfect for this place. I’m going to think about that.”

“Giggles. I’m staying up here this summer, so that would be awesome.”

I tell her the story how in the last few weeks our beloved Summer (See: Summer – The Outlaw Returns) has asked me to take a couple of her shifts because she’s either had some family function, or, was hungover after a drunken fight with her boyfriend, or how her car’s transmission died while they were in NYC and couldn’t get back to Philly to work. On two of the occasions I had already made other plans. That stuck Achilles having to work from 10am to 8pm twice in the last month. He takes a very dim view to people calling out. Even to the point where when we talked about it he said she called out around 2 hours before her shift was to begin. Not cool. I don’t know what’s been going on with Summer lately. There seems to be a lot of chaos in her life, but it all seems self imposed.

Achilles is losing his patience.

“Start looking for somebody else, W.” (That’s what he calls me.)

 

“I know your parents have you on an allowance because they want you to focus on your studies but I know you’d love to work here, Kita. That could maybe come to fruition.”

She smiles and tells me that would be awesome. We’ll have to see how the whole Summer situation plays out.

I change the subject.

“Do you have any roommates?”

“I have 3 roommates. One is my friend, and we hang out a lot, the other two are nursing students and they have a different schedule than we do. We all have our own rooms and just share common area, kitchen and bathrooms. It’s a good setup because everybody’s chill and I’m usually studying.”

We chat some more and now she’s been here for over two hours much to my delight. She tells me she’s ecstatic about our dinner date tomorrow and can’t wait to meet me tomorrow at 5pm.

We part ways and she’s off to study.

I watch her pad down the steps like a cat.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow…

I’m not even thinking of Cherie.