• Dating Rules-Keys to Success or Outdated Customs?

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    ”Don’t pick up the phone when he calls.”

    ”Be fashionably late to your date, it’s best to keep him waiting.”

    ”Make sure you always look presentable, men love women who look attractive.”

    What? Isn’t this archaic advice? These are examples of dating rules women have sworn by for generations and are trying to instill in their modern daughters. Just as the male peacock displays its brilliant feathers to strut its stuff, these women believe that men should try to impress and woo the women to whom they are attracted. This allows the woman to gain control of the relationship and ultimately pick Mr. Right for her husband.

    I object! As you can imagine, some women today violently disagree with this idea. Who needs to sit around and wait for a man to flash his feathers? These women take the ball in their own court and actively pursue the man they want. Following the old rules automatically hands power over to men.

    So, who’s right? To make an honest judgment, you need to know the rules first.

    The first rule of dating is to make sure that you always look fabulous. You may meet that special someone in the grocery store or on the street. If you always look your best, it won’t matter when you meet him. And hey, if you plan to put your photo on a dating site, make sure it’s a well-lit flattering one, not a scrawny, smeary snapshot. Check out the photos of the guys. They know how to look good online.

    Appear confident. Men love a woman with confidence. Be sure to smile, keep your back straight, listen attentively, walk with your shoulders back and speak slowly. This will make you seem confident, even if you are quivering with nervousness inside.

    Avoid fidgeting with your hair or clothes; this signals insecurity. Also, keep your body in shape with regular exercise. You will feel better about yourself and he will be more attracted to you.

    Don’t offer the man too much information. Guys like girls they can’t figure out in one evening. Also, make sure your dates are short. Short dates will keep him longing for more. And let him pay-you are worth it.

    Arrive late (but just a little). Waiting will increase his appetite to see you. Try to be unavailable occasionally he tries to reach you. Don’t answer the phone; let him leave a message or two before you respond.

    No sex. Don’t rush sexual intimacy. Early sex is one sure-fire way to ruin a relationship. Make him prove his love for you before you get intimate. There is much truth to the saying: why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

    No mother talk. Avoid mentioning your desire to be a mom and have lots of children and don’t criticize his mom (or yours). Both can cause him to become defensive and run like the wind.

    Be a lady. Even if you can recite the alphabet in one belch, avoid boasting about this on your first date. Even if he is crude with his friends, he will find vulgarity unappealing in the woman he is dating.

    Know when to give up. Do not make excuses if he does not call after the first date. He is not interested. Move on. Do not create a fantasy romance about him. If he were going to ask you out he would have done so by now.

    Critics of these common rules believe what they teach is confining and old-fashioned. And, with so many different men out there, who’s to say that every man will like the rules? Some believe that chivalry is not only silly, but offensive. Modern women can open their own doors and pay their own way at the restaurant.

    Where does this leave the men? How will he know if he should get the door or not? Should he risk being labeled a ”cheapskate” to avoid offending a modern woman by paying for her meal? Should he even make an effort to ask a girl out first? Won’t she approach him if she is interested? Yes, men are definitely confused.

    Make it easy on the men. Gracefully lag behind. Give them the opportunity to show their manners first. If he’s not planning to open the door or pick up the whole check, you’ll know soon enough and you can compensate.

    So in the end, who has more control, the woman being pursued or the one doing the pursuing?

    A woman who is subtly following the rules has more control than a woman who is not. I don’t religiously follow every rule, but more often than not, I use them.

    But of course, rules are meant to be broken. Sometimes it’s just right for me to pick up the check, but I would never make this a habit.

    Men enjoy catching a slightly out-of-reach woman. They are intrigued and willing to put forth the extra effort to gain her attention and respect. Even guys who were typical players will ignore easy targets for a woman who is slightly more difficult to win.

    The old rulebook is full of common sense. Men find confidence attractive, and a woman’s self-esteem is increased when she is pursued. Don’t be offended, it’s true. It feels good to have a man try to win your affection with fanfare and flowers.

    Even if you disagree with the rules, try them out on a few dates. It will be a fun experiment and may help you win the love of your life.

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