How many dating advice articles do you think are floating around online? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? More? I can tell you that this is the 477th article on this website, most of which are on the topic(s) of dating and relationships.
When you come across articles on this topic, you often find ‘rules’ or ‘guidelines’ of how people should act in all phases of a relationship. We are still worried about how long we should wait after a date to text or call him or her. We have arbitrary lengths of time being laid out for us by someone we have never met to tell us when to sleep with the person we are developing feelings for so we don’t send them the wrong message.
We are basically inundated with do’s and don’ts that are supposed to somehow be universal.
Obviously, with over 7 billion different personalities in the world all interacting with each other on a daily basis, there is no absolute when it comes to right or wrong.
While there of course are valuable lessons and principles to be learned, and we would all (myself included) be well served to continue educating ourselves and work to be better with whatever gender we are attracted to – the truth is there is only one rule you will ever need to know when making dating decisions:
There are no rules.
As a writer on the topic, I can do my best to use knowledge I have absorbed from personal experiences and endless conversations with men and women about their experiences as well, but the ultimate truth always remains – I don’t know how you or the person you are dating are feeling in your hearts and in your minds. Nobody does. No “dating expert,” no “dating coach,” no professional on the topic will ever be feeling your feelings.
For that reason, it is always important to keep in mind that there can be no definite rules when it comes to dating. What works for one couple would destroy the next. Even more so – what attracted your last girlfriend/boyfriend may send your new one running for the hills.
If you follow the ‘rules,’ you will eventually find yourself constantly worried about what you’re going to do, what you’re going to say, and when you’re going to say it. Should you text her? Call her? Is it okay since you just saw her last night? Did we sleep together too soon? It’s easy to drive yourself insane if you are trying to fit yourself into a box that somebody else built for you – without actually knowing you.
Call when you want to call. Text when you want to text. Kiss her in the middle of her sentence on the first date. Take a chance. Pay attention – if you are two consenting adults who have chemistry and are getting along great, then that is all you need to know.
Trying to conform to arbitrary rules is a great way to water down the sparking personality you are so proud of that probably got this person’s attention in the first place. Too much stress or over-thinking will never bring you positive results.
This, though, is why open communication is so important. What feels right to you may not feel right to the person you are dating, so in order to not overdo (or underdo) it, we need to put in the effort to let our teammate know what is best for us and makes us most comfortable – otherwise they may feel as though they are driving down a road with their headlights off, hoping for the best.
When you hear stories of great romance and relationships that have stood the test of time, do you ever hear about how he waited the standard three days to call? Do you hear about how they scoured the internet for the right advice to make sure they didn’t mess it up?
No – you hear about the overwhelming passion that came over them and drew two people together as if they were magnetized?
You hear about how they wanted to spend every waking moment with each other. You hear about how the world around them disappeared when their lips met. You hear about how their past disintegrated as they realized they had finally found the person they were looking for their whole lives.
You hear about how the mere presence of this person in their life inspired them to become the best possible version of themselves.
You never hear about the rules – because rules don’t make happy, healthy relationships. Being true to yourself does.
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