Rules are made to be broken

The six dating ‘mistakes’ it’s good to make
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Do break three-day rule
It is hard to pin-point where the idea that three days is the ‘right’ time to wait between meeting someone and contacting them again actually started. But it is easy to assume that it started in a time where mobile phones and constant internet access didn’t exist. Because, yes, when contacting someone meant sending a letter or wandering to the nearest phone box, three days made practical sense. But now, when the majority of us are glued to our mobiles 24/7, it seems a bit out of date. We’re not saying you have to contact someone, or reply to a text message, within a few seconds. What we are saying is that waiting for 72 hours doesn’t look aloof, it looks archaic, rude, and, to be honest, a bit weird.

Don’t ask that text question
You’re sitting with your friends, dissecting how to reply to your latest interest’s latest text. ‘You have to ask a question at the end,’ they all nod in unison. ‘Otherwise they won’t text back’. Now, we can see the logic in this – a question does normally lead to an answer – but we can also see an element of creepiness. Surely if you have to trap someone into talking to you, something probably isn’t quite right? Perhaps it is better to leave off the question mark, and see if the object of your affections wants to respond of their own free will. If they don’t, you have your answer.

Do meet their friends early
Many people believe that introducing a date to your friends/meeting their friends too early on appears much too keen. But conversely, it can also appear just the right level of normal. If you insist on only meeting up one-on-one for endless months, there’s a double risk that a-  you might seem possessive, and b – you might start to see them with blinkered vision. Bringing in some friends at an early stage can therefore show that you are happy to share them; it can let your friends see any glaring faults that you’ve overlooked and it can make arranging your social diary a lot easier. What’s not to love?

Do admit to your love of slippers/ Cliff Richard/ Homes Under the Hammer
The first few dates, there is always this pressure to wow the person across the dinner table with your innate style. You want to show them you know all the latest music, hang out at all the hippest bars and know endless Scandanavian noir trivia. But remember, that is probably what every person they have recently been on a date has thought too. Of course, ‘cool’ does have its time and place – but on a date, trying to meet your perfect match is not it. Admit to your crush on Jeremy Paxman, tell tales of how much you actually hate skinny jeans, and revel in your shocking 1990’s chart hits iPod playlist. Showing the real you and watching their reaction is the only way to discover if your date is the real thing.

Don’t refuse a date on Friday night
We’ve all done it. We’ve all told someone we liked that we couldn’t meet on a prime weekend night because ‘I’m way too busy’. Vaguely translated, that means ‘I’m having a takeaway pizza with my flatmate and waiting for you to text’. But for some reason, we feel we have to prove how constantly popular and in demand we are, and we feel that admitting to not having plans at a weekend shows that we’re not worth dating. This is nonsense. Everyone has busy lives these days, and sometimes those lives are busier than others. There is nothing wrong with saying you happen to be free one Friday night, because chances are, you won’t be free the next Friday night. That, if you really need it, is your chance to prove how sociable you are, so don’t risk missing out when you don’t have to.

Do talk about your ex
This rule is possibly the most quoted dating ‘rule’ of all. The constant fear that if you mention anything about your ex-partner to a new partner, you are basically saying you are still in love with them and haven’t moved on. In some cases, this might be true – say, cases like being overly angry, or overly nostalgic. But if you just happen to mention them in a ‘we once did this/went on holiday here’ way, it’s not proving anything other than the fact you a life before you met your date. And when you think about it, it would be pretty strange if you hadn’t, yes? Not mentioning anything about your past for fear of seeming pre-occupied with a former flame doesn’t just cut them out of the conversation, it cuts half of you out of the conversation too.

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