5 Non-Negotiable Dating Rules


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Not a day goes by when I don’t get emails or messages full of dating “mishaps,” to put it lightly. These real-world examples have inspired me to try to guide the flow of the dating river.

I am not usually the type to invoke “rules,” or even use the term, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the points below should be set in stone.

Many of you will find this to be common sense – and you are the good ones. But believe me when I say that it very much needs to be said for a surprising amount of our male counterparts. Without further adieu…



No means no.

This is perhaps the most recognized term when discussing dating and relationships, and there is a reason for it. Women understand that physical attraction and intimacy is important in relationships, and they desire it as well. But even more important than attraction, is comfort. You could look like [insert aesthetically pleasing man of choice], but if she finds you creepy or too pushy, you’ll be watching her walk away.

Respect her human right to make her own decisions with her own body – if she wants to become intimate with you, she will. If not, don’t push it and make her uncomfortable.


Be genuine in your courting.

Whether you are giving your new love interest compliments or planning a night out together, I have heard too many stories about men who turn on the charm just for the purpose of enjoying a woman’s company for a single night, with no intention to contact her again after.

It’s important to be earnest in your intentions. I know I’m asking you to give up your selfish intentions for the sake of someone else’s emotional well-being here, but it’s easier than you think.


Yes, you should pay for the date. No, that doesn’t mean she owes you anything.

I don’t know about you, but when I offer to take a woman on a date it’s because I wanted to spend time with her and see if she would be potential girlfriend material. 

What I did not do, is do things for the sake of a reward. Just because you offered, you asked, and you paid, does not mean that she now has to give you something in return. If she wants to reciprocate or let the night continue further, that will be her choice and she will make her intentions known.



If you say you’re going to call – call.

Especially these days, it takes a level of trust and security for a woman to give out her phone number. It’s more personal than a social media connection or “just add me on Facebook.” She can block you on Facebook if you’re annoying, but it’s more of a hassle if you won’t leave her alone via phone.

For that reason (and others), if you do actually get a woman’s number, she saw something in you that made her want to trust you and potentially see you again.

If you tell her you’re going to call, be true to your word and actually do it.


Stop seeing women as “conquests.”

Whether it be dehumanizing language in some social groups that refer to women as “targets,” or the simple fact that many men will see spending a night with a woman as a goal to achieve, we as a society are helping to perpetuate these harmful ideas.

It’s ridiculous to even have to use words to state the fact that “women are people, too” in 2014, or in any year. It makes me cringe to write it and it probably makes you cringe to read it. But that girl you’re lying to so you can get her into bed is someone’s daughter, sister, cousin, mother, who knows – and she has a unique story, experiences, talents and skills, just like you do.

We cannot, as a society, build stronger relationships if we do not appreciate every human nuance of the people we are building them with. More men need to stand with women and change these perceptions.



All men, myself included, can work to become better in our relationships. We can work to live happier, more fulfilling lives – which will in turn positively impact the lives of those around us. We need to start somewhere, small changes in perceptions or habits, different ways of seeing scenarios we may not have put much thought into before.

We owe it to ourselves and to each other to follow these “rules.” Small adjustments are the first step to changing the world for the better – are you ready?

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  1. rlcarterrn on June 8, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    The last one is the most important. Thanks for your consistent voice of reason on these matters! However, I do think it’s more than ok for a woman to pay for a date occasionally, especially in an established long-term relationship. I think it promotes equality & that’s a good thing. If a man asked me out, then I would definitely expect him to pay for that first date since he initiated it, but if I asked a man out (which I wouldn’t be opposed to doing) then I’d be ok with paying for that since I initiated it. It’s irrelevant now since I’m married, but I don’t like the idea of women feeling like men are obligated to pay for everything for them anymore than the idea that some men think women are obligated to do something w/ them BECAUSE they paid for the date. My husband & I have taken turns paying for dates for years now, even before we were married. Since we both work & have more or less equivalent salaries, it just makes sense.

  2. Tina on June 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Whenever my ex used to pay for things, I’d always feel so awkward. He made me feel as if I was a freeloader and that I owed him something. :/

  3. Ashley on June 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I’m glad you mentioned the one about paying and not expected to be owed anything. I see that kind of attitude a lot and it begs me.

  4. blnagac on June 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    that insert aesthetically pleasing man of choice line made me smile.

  5. Daniel Pittman on June 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I’ve been reading your articles for the better part of six months and I always agree with every word. I try and impart the same time of good advice on the off chance I get asked for it, but I’m single and I’m a bartender and a working musician so my credibility isn’t exactly ‘polished’ because I’m not in a fulfilled relationship at this point.

    That being said, I was homeschooled for 12 years and I’m a momma’s boy, so the paradox offers unique perspective from both sides. I know what I believe my definitions of a gentleman and chivalry are, but more often than not I find myself in an environment where I foolishly hope to see my values reflected when the anomaly is that myself and my values are even in that environment in the first place!! Lol I think we all need to be honest with ourselves about the type of significant other we want and realize that we’re much better off finding a productive and functional ADULT at the gym or in church (two places I don’t frequent) where people are seeking self-improvement ass opposed to in a bar or at a concert, though our interests may lie there.

    This may seem like I didn’t have a strong point, but hopefully the thinking out loud may hit home with someone. Keep up the good work!!

  6. Munene Mbogoh on August 6, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Reblogged this on Almost Anything.

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