I was re-watching “Think Like a Man Too” on Netflix which got me thinking about all the dating guidelines given to us by Steve Harvey. Being the horrible dater that I am, I have absorbed the bulk of his advice by osmosis. I know all the rules of the dating game. Every. Single. One of Them. I can recite them backwards, but for the life of me I cannot get my brain to recall these rules at the precise moment that they’re needed. During those moments, I’ve wished that a mini Patti Stanger would have appeared on my shoulder to offer some guidance.
I put together a typical dating scenario where technically everything should have gone right. All the initial rules of attraction were followed, but in the real world there is no telling how it will go:
So, you’ve prepped all week for your date and the day has finally come. While listening to your motivational tapes, you go through your date prep check list to make sure you’re all ready to go. Your hair is long and flowing per the help of extensions ‘cuz y’know, men looove to run their fingers through long hair. You’re wearing a red dress because they dig vivid colours on a woman. Your one hour long natural-looking makeup process has got you looking like you woke up like this and your bedroom eyes are courtesy of those fake lashes. Finally, your spanx got you nice and tight, although not eating all day probably had more to do with it. Don’t you love being a woman?
You’re feeling good about the night ahead and you’re reciting that night’s mantra hoping all will go smoothly: “He shall see my fabulousness. He shall fall in love with the foxy fox that I am.” You’ve written the mantra on a business card that is now tucked into your bosom and if all else fails, you can stare at it during your date. You’re at the restaurant enjoying each other’s company and he asks you those two dreaded first date questions: What happened to the last guy? (I guess you didn’t see those missing person flyers, huh?) And, “Why is such a pretty girl like you still single?” You’ve gone mute because your brain seems to no longer be functioning (great timing) and your silence is his cue to repeat the question. You’re thinking What-Would-Patti-Stanger-Do but your lack of brain function is disrupting your thought process. So, you sit there with a permanent smile on your face looking like the joker while holding your fourth glass of alcohol – two drinks minimum she says? Yet, still no mini sized Patti Stanger comes to your rescue. You’re feeling good (most likely from that buzz) so you scramble to remember the perfect answers that you had been coached to give. They did not go a little something like this:
“I mean I don’t know, I am great right?” Oh dear lord. “My last boyfriend just didn’t see it, but he like told me how great I was when he dumped me. I mean that was nice of him, but like I knew he had already started seeing someone else. I had climbed up his fire escape a couple of days before and there were two glasses of wine on his dinner table, one had lipstick on it that did not match any colours that I own. But everyone does this right? Spy on their boyfriends. I’m sure it’s my constitutional right to check on him.” You suddenly have an out-of-body experience and you can see yourself babbling like a fool while your date looks horrified that he is conversing with a psycho. You pull yourself together, thank him for dinner and head straight to the mall to get a refund for your mantra tapes.
That wasn’t so bad. A myriad of dating rules were broken: no talking about your ex on the first date. Check. Do not divulge personal information that may make inference to your lack of mental, emotional or psychological stability and check again. It is true however, that certain rules were meant to be broken and this scenario shows how at times they are difficult to follow. Some people feel like rules are overrated; that there’s no need to play all these games, just follow your heart and go where it leads you.
My guy friend and I were discussing dating rules when he began to tell me that he found the 90 day rule women follow before giving up the cookie quite juvenile. He says that it really doesn’t matter if she gives it up after three months because he doesn’t consider any woman his girlfriend officially until he’s reached month six. His reasoning is that the first two months you meet the representative and it’s during the following four months that you really get to know the person, the walls come crumbling down. So should 180 be the new 90 day rule? If it takes approximately six months to evaluate whether we are girlfriend material should they get the cookie so soon? Is a rule even needed? I understand a woman’s fear of giving it up too quickly only to have the man pull a disappearing act. I tend to agree with relationship experts who state that it’s best to be monogamous or to have developed a bond prior to heading to the sack (or let’s wait until marriage, any takers?). Our brain can mistake lust for love and trust me when I say that this is not something you want to deal with. But go ahead, do what you like because there are so many stories in the New York Times wedding announcements section that read: “I just knew she was the one after we slept together on our first date and now here we are – married.” You can abide by any rule or no rule at all for that matter, but make sure that it is what you want to do. If you are following a rule, keep it to yourself. Don’t go blatantly advertising that there are 21 days left until you can test out his bad boy because I promise you he will be very good to you and he will stick around until day 21. Don’t make it some goal you need to attain either, let it simply be the result of a connection. When it’s a goal, you’re rewarding him for being patient – thank you for putting up with me for the past 90 days, here’s a cookie.
These rules that we tend to follow are not ingrained in stone, yet certain guidelines just feel right. I’ve broken every rule in the book, but the times I’ve listened to my gut and a touch of my heart, even when an “essential” rule had been broken, I’ve never regretted doing so.
What rules do you believe to be dated or incredibly silly? List below!