Getting back into The Dating ‘GAME’

Don’t follow your old Dating Rules says Manj Weerasekera, The Fresh Start Guy

If you’ve been out of the ‘dating game’ for a long time (possibly even decades) then the chances are the ‘rules’ you used to follow won’t make sense any more.

Dating is no longer about the old, stuffy regulations invented by people who dated in a world that no longer resembles ours. Dating is about fun, mutual respect and finding that person who has the same values as you.

Of course, so-called dating rules exist for a reason. As with all things social, there are basic guidelines to follow if you want to put your best foot forward. Being thoughtful, respectful and trustworthy – is essential. It’s a common courtesy.

However in today’s world, the arcane set of rules most of us learned sometime in our youth can actually prevent us from developing healthy, long-lasting relationships.

As an intelligent, rational person, we question our beliefs, behaviours, and patterns much of the time. So when was the last time you questioned the dating rules you live by?

So let’s take a look at which rules to break, which to follow, and how to know the difference.

Be a rule breaker when…

1) Technology Demands It

Can you imagine waiting three days to return your date’s call in the age of cell phones, texting, messaging, dating apps and social media? Hopefully not. For better or worse, dating has taken a turn for the technological, and the old rules simply don’t account for that.

The Internet and dating have become powerfully linked, and, when used appropriately, that’s a good thing because it gives us seemingly infinite ways of meeting and connecting with potential partners. When the new normal is for all of us to be online all of the time, waiting too long to return your date’s messages can be devastating to a budding relationship.

Please remember: Allow some space. Nobody wants to feel like they are being assaulted with dozens of messages all hours of the day!

2) Your Moral Code Permits It

“Don’t date more than one person at the same time. Don’t stay over after the first date. Don’t move in together after a short period of time.” If your values or sense of ethics permits it, toss these don’ts straight out of the window! Some people have a strong moral compass through their culture or religion, and this traditional dating etiquette absolutely has a place in the world of modern dating. However, if you or your date do not have beliefs that prevent you from taking a certain course of action, there’s nothing stopping you. In fact, moving too slowly may actually hurt a relationship if your partner expects things to speed up quickly.

Please remember: No matter what your sense of values, honesty, respect and kindness are non-negotiable.

3) Society Requires It

We often see movies, watch television dramas or read stories and articles where a man takes a woman on several elaborate dates over a short space of time to woo her. Or he has to overcome some immense challenge to win her love! Most people do not want too much drama in their lives, especially if we’re looking for lasting love the second or third time around. So what else have you been exposed to through the media or via your friends’ exploits that you may wish to ignore and simply find your own way?

Please remember: You do not need to spend a lot of money to make a positive impact on a date. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity.

4) Tradition Points To It

Maybe it was the era you and your peer group were brought up in, or simply one of your strong beliefs? A belief that men should be the ones that initiate contact when dating. Maybe that view extends to believing that a woman ‘like that’ has a loose set of morals? Now there’s a ‘rule’ that needs to be shattered immediately. We need to remember that this is the 21st century!

Please remember: Being open to meeting that special person in any circumstance is a powerful mindset to own.

5) The Past Dictates It

You may have had the best or worst of times with a certain type of partner in the past. You may think you need to find the same type again or indeed, the exact opposite. You may believe that you prefer men/women who look a certain way. Whatever it is, be careful with what your past may be trying to dictate to you. This is basically one of your own dating rules and you have the power to change it to whatever you wish.

Please remember: The past doesn’t need to equal the future, so you do not need to live your present based on what’s happened before.

6) Your Intuition Knows It

Have you ever doubted whether you should pick up the bill or split it with your date? Or perhaps you had a sense that they would take offense if you were too traditionally chivalrous, and you weren’t sure? These nagging doubts are your intuition telling you to think twice about following dating rules just because you always have. Every person you date is an individual with a different awareness of dating rules and customary dating behaviour, so there’s no one-size-fits all set of rules. They may just want the opportunity to pay for dinner or a drink. Paying attention to the situation at hand will often make you more aware of your date’s needs. When you get a persistent sense that a rule you’re following just isn’t right, break it!

Please remember: If you’re not sure about what to do, have an open discussion about it. Better to discuss an issue frankly than to let it develop into a full-fledged problem.
Use your good sense when it comes to dating, and you’ll find that the only rules that really matter are the same ones that make you a good person: honesty, thoughtfulness, respect, and kindness.

About the Author

Manj Weerasekera is an expert in personal communication and a Life Skills Mentor to high net worth individuals (including some honoured by Her Majesty the Queen).

Manj has a world-class skills set that includes Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Psychology, Performance Mindset Conditioning and the Psychology of Attention. He has worked with the House of Lords, co-produced a series of BBC audio books, and is author of ‘The Divorced Man’s Guide to Finding Mrs. Right: The 5 Deadly Mistakes Divorced Men Make & How to Avoid Them’ and ‘The Merlin Approach™ ’.

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