10 New Guidelines Of Modern Dating


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I use the word ‘guidelines’ for a reason. People often talk about dating ‘rules’ as if there is one set of standards that should govern every interaction with every couple who has began to get to know each other. Obviously, with endless combinations of personalities and circumstances, there are no realistic rules that can be applied to every situation across the board.

However, there can be suggested guidelines, or reference points to think about when it comes to making the best of your dating and relationships.

As society has evolved, so have the acceptable dating norms. Here are some suggestions for how we can effectively navigate today’s dating scene.


When people show you who they are, believe them.

An old famous quote, yes – but this statement doubles as an important guideline to keep in mind when getting to know someone new. Often times we get excited about the prospect of somebody that was interested in us, even to the point where we begin to overlook red flags or see them for who we want them to be, rather than who they really are. If you are getting the feeling that someone isn’t interested, might have tendencies that don’t fit with your personality, or seem to put in much less effort than you – take it at face value and move on.

Take responsibility for your own past.

Do you ever notice that everyone seems to have an ex girlfriend or boyfriend who was ‘crazy’ or ‘a jerk’? Somehow, nobody is ever at fault for previous issues in relationships or breakups. If everyone is innocent, then where are these problems possibly coming from?

The only way that we can grow as individuals and bring greater happiness to our next relationship and partner, is to recognize our own shortcomings, be honest with ourselves, and work on them. Obviously, sometimes it is the other person’s fault, and sometimes relationships just end because two people don’t fit well with each other. But being honest about the reasons is the first step to not repeating our past.

Don’t lead people on.

I have repeatedly heard complaints from people [usually women] about how they are getting a great vibe from someone they are seeing [usually men] and after a date, or two, or three – there is complete silence. The solution is simple: Be up front and honest about what you want from the beginning and much heartache will be avoided.


Appreciate what lies beneath the surface.

In our fast paced, image focused, quasi-materialistic society, our attention typically finds itself on someone’s outward appearance. While of course physical attraction is of great importance when it comes to building a relationship, it is not what is going to hold two people together over an extended period of time.

In the long run, there are many different things more important than beauty, but we will have no chance at building strong relationships if we don’t realize that.

Stop trying to change yourself to be with someone.

We all know that social media page(s) serve as the highlight reel of our lives. People are more concerned with how they are going to be perceived by people they’ve never met, than they are about the actual life that is passing them by while they are distracted by nothingness. We are so often trying to be who we think someone else wants us to be, that we forget who we actually are.

Stay strong, stay positive, and most of all – stay true to yourself. There will be someone who comes into your life and appreciates you for you.

Act on what you want to do rather than what you think you ‘should do.’

You are a mature [hopefully] freethinking adult who is capable of rational thought processes. If you feel a mutually strong connection with someone and want to act on it physically, then do it. Don’t worry about how many dates you are ‘supposed to’ wait or what someone else might think. If you want to call or text someone the day after a date instead of waiting for the stupid 3 days to pass, then do it. Eventually we all realize that life is far too short to play games. Do what makes you happy.

Let numbers remain numbers.

People say things like ’30 is the new 40′ and whatever else they need to feel in order to move up the imaginary timeline of life. If you are not married by 25, 30, or 35, it really doesn’t matter and there is no reason to feel guilty about it. What will actually make you feel worse is if you rush into things before you are ready because you think you are trying to beat a deadline for life’s accomplishments.

Go at your own pace, you will find much more happiness and fulfillment that way.


Give respect in order to get it.

With viral social activism rampant these days shining light on issues such as street harassment and cat calling, much bigger conversations are stemming from them. Conversations regarding how women don’t feel safe walking down the street alone, or how they need to bring men to bars with them or use the fake excuse that they have a boyfriend in order to get a guy to leave them alone [because a simple ‘no’ is not enough when it should be].

The real light shone here, though, is how people disrespect each other and then get aggravated when they don’t get what they want. Human beings really aren’t that bad – if you treat them with respect and kindness, the vast majority of them will give you the same in return. And if they don’t, why would you want someone like that in your life anyway?

If you don’t want to get caught, don’t do anything to get caught for.

In the age of social media, there is a lot that becomes public which wouldn’t have been even just a short 10 or 15 years ago. For this reason, operate under the assumption that whatever you do or say online could possibly come back to bite you. This isn’t a scare tactic, it is simply the reality that your inappropriate comments on photos or forward messages to someone else while you are in a relationship are immortal on the interwebs and could easily telegraph your infidelity.

Communicate openly and value each other over the peanut gallery.

These days, people always seem to have negative things to say about each other – especially those who seem happy. Rumors start and spread faster than ever because of social media and gossip seems to be the flavor of choice for much of today’s generation. Open and honest communication inside of a relationship will act as a soundproof room to all of the outside noises the world can throw at us.

Do not make assumptions, do not snoop around, do not believe unsubstantiated claims – there are only two people involved in your relationship, and those are the two who matter most.

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  1. sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    you are a joke in boston. “award winning” LOL “dating expert” LMAO get over yourself. shave your beard you are not dan bilzerian. grow up, get a real job and move out of your parents house your such a loser

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      Hey Sarah, thanks for your comment! This blog actually did win an award and I have never called myself a dating expert, so I am a little confused by your comment, but anyway…

      If being a professional writer and a public speaker is some sort of a fake job then I wouldn’t want to have a ‘real’ one, whatever that means to you. I had plenty of real jobs and it didn’t really suit me, but thanks for the suggestion!

      Also, is every guy with a beard Dan Bilzerian?

      I just had a lease end in Quincy, actually, and am looking at a new place in Woburn now – so again thanks for your comments but they are a bit misinformed.

      Thanks again for taking the time to visit my site and helping my rankings!

      – James

      • Kim on November 26, 2014 at 4:35 pm

        How does Sarah know you have a beard?

    • Diana on December 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm


  2. Christine on November 26, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    Whoa Sarah, is it really necessary to write nasty things here? Your comment isn’t even related to this article at all.

  3. sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    You have some random bullshit “award” given by a random site. Writing a blog doesn’t make you a professional writer. Its a HOBBY.
    Once you have won a real literary award that is recognized by the writing world, then go ahead and call yourself “award winning”. You are misleading and fake.

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Which award would be acceptable to you to win in order to call it “award winning”? I am genuinely curious because this award was voted on by the public and I beat out quite a few other bloggers, so I found it to be valid. But I’ll take that into consideration.

      Actually I make quite a bit more from this blog than I was making working at a job full time, and I get flown around the country for speaking engagements as well. So if that still makes it a hobby, it’s a pretty good one I’d say. 🙂

      – James

    • xtalrose on November 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Sarah!

      Our site isn’t random and our awards aren’t “bullshit.” We’re a heavily trafficked website AND a national/international (Hey there Australia) distributed print publication. AKA you can find us in real stores like Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million 🙂 You should totally check us out it seems like you could use the self-love!

      We’re very supportive of James and consider him to be a valuable member of our community. We greatly admire him for his ability to generate income off of his site and speaking engagements, that’s tough to accomplish and most would kill to be able to do that. You must have your dream career, lucky you!

      • Ruby on November 27, 2014 at 1:46 am

        Don’t forget Indonesia! 😀

  4. sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Well the obvious one is the Nobel Prize, but I am not a literary professional so I can’t list a bunch off the top of my head. You are not fit to call yourself “award winning”. If you really get flown out for speaking engagements its because you have duped institutions into thinking you are a credible professional. You have no educational background, no experience, and are unfit to speak to the masses. have a blog about your opinions, sure. but don’t market yourself like you are some relationship professional because YOU ARE NOT.

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Well if you could let me know where it is that I call myself a dating or relationship expert, that would be a good place to start…because I’ve never done that before. In fact, I have specifically said I am not an expert in quite a few articles.

      I don’t contact institutions to fly me out, they contact me and make the offer. Then, people love the talks and I fly back home again. So I don’t really know where the duping fits into that equation but if everyone is happy then it seems to be working out just fine.

      What educational background is required to run a personal opinion blog, exactly? Because that’s all I am doing here – nothing more and nothing less.

      And a Nobel Prize would be great! That’s on my bucket list but not sure I will ever be good enough to accomplish it.

      • rlcarterrn on November 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        James, may I just say that I am continually amazed at how well you handle the ridiculously rude comments that some misinformed people feel necessary to add on here? The way you handle such negativity is proof of how genuine you really are. Please don’t let such negativity every get you down. Keep up the good fight!

  5. shells on November 26, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Excuse me Sarah…I am also a professional blogger in LA for one of the best news stations and yes it is a real job and not a hobby…AND JAMES does not market himself as a relationship expert ….I interviewed him and wrote a piece on him and got wonderful feedback….Stop spreading hate and negativity sooooo unattractive!!

  6. sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Offering “private consulting” and “public speaking” is marketing yourself as a professional that is trained to give others advice. You are a kid with a blog of opinions. Nothing more. Don’t ever think you are anything but that. Your ego needs a serious reality check.

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      Yeah I’m thinking of removing the private consulting actually because even though I get a lot of inquiries I don’t really feel comfortable talking about a lot of the topics, so you may have a point there! But no training or education is required to be a public speaker, simply a demand from the public, which does exist.

      It sounds like someone following their passions and becoming successful at it really irks you – I honestly hope you can find a path for yourself that makes you happy enough to find better things to do with your time than anonymously tear people down on the internet.

      I hope you have an amazing thanksgiving. 🙂

    • Sandra H on November 26, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Wow. I sense a career opening up for Sarah. New blog site for her. She could call it “insults are us”. Drop by and we will spew at you. Maybe she just got “released” from a relationship and is a little bitter. Or perhaps her latest literary attempt at the Nobel was squashed. She probably blasted Oprah before you today. In any case, what a vitriolic diatribe. I rarely respond to posted things but this rubbed me the wrong way everywhere today. Go do a good deed, cuddle with your cat, whatever it takes and change your mind set lady!!!

    • stdsle01 on November 26, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      Did you wake up and drink a cup of hate this morning. I mean sheesh, I don’t know who you are, but your continual blasting of someone is pretty crazy. If he is just nothing, then don’t worry about it. If you have an ax to grind, keep in mind he can just delete your comments. That’s what I would do on my non-award winning blog 😉

  7. sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Shells you work for a news station so yes your blog is considered a real job.

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      So making more than a full time income on your own is not considered a real job? What would you call it, a well paying hobby?

  8. sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Oh and one more thing, you are not a “media personality”. Leave that one for Kim Kardashian.

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      Oh geeze I don’t want to be compared with her haha. I figured someone who is a regular guest on talk shows, news stations and radio shows could go by “media personality.” If you have another suggestion though I would like to hear it, always open to new ideas. Thanks!

  9. sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Give me a break! What shows are you regularly on?

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      I have been featured on Fox News multiple times, was a guest on CafeMom’s MadLife in NYC, MacLean’s Magazine in Canada did a piece on me, as did Deseret News. Huffington Post, AskMen.com, GoodMenProject.com, GulfElite.com… I have been on Dr. Laura Berman’s radio show as well as a guest on multiple other radio shows and podcasts in different states. I didn’t say I was regularly on one show, but regularly appear in the media so I decided to put ‘media personality’ in my twitter bio. 🙂

      All of those things are media, after all.

      • sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm

        You’re not in magazines or newspapers. Your not in any high profile media outlet (a 20 second interview on Fox News does not count, sorry).

        I would call yourself, a blogger, because that is what you are. Deflate that ego kid.

      • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        I just gave you a whole list of media outlets that I am either featured on or write for…actually the Fox segment was nearly 5 minutes and the CafeMom talk show appearance was much longer than that…where did you get 20 seconds?

        I am a blogger, and a writer, and a public speaker. 🙂

  10. Brian Kieth Baker on November 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    you must of hit a nerve with sarah, James. I find your blogs very informative and helpful in my dating life.

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks Brian! Very glad to hear that. I do my best, and as I have said multiple times before, just a guy sharing his opinions with the world. 🙂

      • sarah on November 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        ^^^ that is the only thing accurate thing about yourself that you have written.

      • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        But I have said it multiple times before…the claims you make about what I have said about myself are inaccurate and you have provided no evidence to the contrary. I asked you where I call myself an expert and you keep condemning me for it without ever showing me where I said it. Soooo there’s that.

  11. Tee on November 26, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Ooo this is almost worthy of popcorn. 😀 Please do continue sarah… A little extra entertainment on James’ blogs today. Woo! *rolls eyes*

    James, don’t listen, I am picking it is someone you have dealt with, possibly one of those bloggers you mentioned earlier that you won out over, and looking at the tidily written but toxic personality coming through the diatribe there I am not at all surprised you beat them. Keep doing what you are doing babe. You make a difference. 🙂

  12. sejal on November 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    James, I read almost all your articles.. I have learned so much from them.. you might not be an expert (who is anyway?) But your opinions are very much valid and valued by many! I am very disturbed by some comments here… you don’t need to defend yourself against endless and pointless comments… please keep writing.. I look forward to your blogs!!

    • James Michael Sama on November 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks so much Sejal! Glad my opinions have made an impact in your life and I greatly appreciate your ongoing support. It is consistent readers like you that give me the ability to do this full time and keep providing you with the best content I can.

      Thanks again!

      – James

  13. Scott on November 26, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Where are you buying your images from? They all look like pro photos from other places, or swiped from other sites. I’d love to know where they are from, you can even link an affiliate link so I’d give you credit when I join…

  14. Alix Day on November 27, 2014 at 7:22 am

    It sounds to me like Sarah is extremely jealous, plain and simple. Perhaps if Sarah would like to read http://jamesmsama.com/2014/10/30/if-you-feel-offended-maybe-you-should-be/ and perhaps post a pic rather than hiding behind an anonymous persona.

  15. Dana Jones (@TheGreatDanaJ) on November 27, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I enjoyed reading this post. Excellent tips. Especially when it comes to people showing who they are. I wouldn’t continue to engage with negative anonymous comments like Sarah’s. There’s no face to them. Seems people like what you are saying and find it valuable regardless of your qualifications!

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