The world of dating is constantly evolving. It’s challenging, complicated and downright confusing. Some rules for dating are outdated but we’ve dug up five dating rules that still stand despite the new dating challenges of texting, Tinder & Bumble apps, and dating advice from reality TV and the Bachelorette. Every year Match.com conducts a singles in America study. In 2016, they interviewed 5,500 singles. We’ve considered some of their research in our top five rules for modern dating.
Don’t ignore red flags and trust your gut.
31% of men and women agree that 15 minutes is all it takes for them to decide if they are interested or not. This tells us that a lot of people rely on their gut feeling and first impressions. Men seem to be more patient with developing connection as they are 80% more likely than a woman to go out on a second date before feeling chemistry. But if someone’s behavior is odd or suspicious and it seems like more than just a case of nerves – it’s probably wise to address the issue or consider perhaps it’s not a good idea to continue dating them.
Avoid game playing.
Most people have an innate fear of rejection and while playing games by pretending you aren’t interested can give you a false sense of safety, it will likely create the impression that you are distant. If you are interested let the other person know. If you’re not, 52% of singles agreed it’s best to politely tell a date if you’re not interested. Be honest, don’t play games.
Leave your old baggage at home.
If you are still recovering from a recent break up, take the time to heal before moving into a new relationship. A rebound relationship may provide a nice distraction and keep you from having to deal with the full depth of your emotional pain. Most people jump into new relationships out of fear of being alone. It can seem easier and a lot more fun to jump back into dating than dealing with a broken heart. However, often times when we move on too quickly, we expect our new partner to make up for the mistakes of our previous relationship. This situation is a set up for disappointment and more hurt. It’s crucial to allow yourself the time to grieve, reflect on your responsibility for why the relationship went wrong, and what you want in a new relationship.
Don’t move too fast.
Eighty percent (80%) of singles think it’s best not to have sex on a first date. Most relationship experts agree that being intimate too early in the relationship can be confusing or cloud your judgment. When we are involved in something exciting our brain releases the chemical oxytocin (also known as the “love drug”) that leads to euphoria. This feeling of euphoria can give us the idea that we are falling in love. Make sure there are things about your potential partner you really value. To avoid just getting caught up in the moment, take time to consider what you like about them and why that’s important. Give yourself permission to take it slow—emotionally and physically.
Don’t obsess or worry over details.
Ever find yourself wondering what that text meant? 80% of singles prefer talking on the phone. Have you caught yourself wondering how long it will take your date to call? Or if you should call them? Consider these facts: 48% of women like to follow up in the first 24 hours after a date and men prefer to follow up within 3 days. Men will wait 11.25 days without contact before giving up on the relationship while a woman will usually move on after 7 days. Bottom line: Have confidence in yourself and try not to sweat the details. 86% seek a partner who is self-assured so even if you feel like you blundered some aspects of your date remaining confident will not only help you feel better about the situation but it is also more attractive to a potential mate.
Here are some other interesting dos and don’ts we dug up from the match.com studies:
- The biggest texting turn-off? Misspellings and incorrect grammar
- Daters don’t want to receive a second text until after they’ve responded to the first
- The biggest social media turn-offs? Posting about emotional drama and having too many selfies
- 72% of singles agreed checking your phone too much is the worst first date mistake
- Men are most turned on by women posting pictures of their body online while women are most turned off by men posting pictures of their body. 55% of singles are turned on by funny photos and 54% are attracted to travel/landscape photos
Dating and new relationships can be an exciting and overwhelming time. If you are struggling with dating and relationships or are finding yourself repeating old patterns in a new relationship, contact us, we’d love to help you improve your relationships and answer any questions you might about couples therapy or individual counseling.