10 Dating Norms You Need To Stop Accepting


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Despite my best efforts to keep chivalry and romance alive, there are still many people out there who think these concepts and their relatives, are all dead. The good news is, ideas can never die, they can be revived and be immortal within any person willing to put them into action. As long as there is just one man willing to put forth extra effort for the woman in his life, chivalry will live on.

However, I do understand the rarity of simple courtesies. Unfortunately, many have been replaced with far less attractive and romantic alternatives. In this article, we will discuss some dating ‘norms’ that have found their way to common acceptance that need to go away immediately if we want a shot at bringing back real romance.



Having to keep working for their approval.

The minute you feel that you have to prove your worth to the person you’re with is the minute you’ll know to walk away. A man or woman should be with you because they value and appreciate who you are, not what you do or how well you sell yourself to them.


Continuously repeating the same mistakes.

A second chance means nothing if they haven’t learned from their first mistake. Someone who keeps promising to change or do things differently, but repeatedly doesn’t, is showing you a clear pattern that you need to recognize. If these are issues that are causing problems for you or your life, it may be time to walk away.



Some people think that second chances are acceptable. I, on the other hand, think that if someone discarded your feelings enough to cheat on you once, they’ll do it again. There is no excuse for it, and you deserve better.


Invasion of privacy.

In a healthy relationship, there is no need to hide anything. Texts, emails, facebook messages – whatever. But that doesn’t mean your partner has the right to snoop through them if you happen to leave your phone around or your computer open. Someone who does this is showing you a massive insecurity on their part and is likely projecting their own infidelities and issues onto you. This should not be ignored.

*Note – This is assuming you haven’t done anything that would make him/her suspicious or betrayed his/her trust.



“Hey, wanna hang out?” texts. (This is mostly for the guys since we are typically the ones who do the inviting).

This of course only goes for situations where you want something more than just a casual arrangement with someone. If this is a guy that you’re feeling out to see if he would be a good partner in the long term, then it’s important to recognize whether or not he is making a real investment in building a relationship.

If the maximum effort he puts in during the courting phase is inviting you over to watch a movie on a weekend, what reason do you have to believe he will pull his weight in a committed relationship?

If you keep agreeing to go and hang out with him, you have little to no chance of him changing his ways. Why would he?


Lack of long-term potential.

Relationships are an investment. They may not be a financial investment, but they are an even more valuable one: An investment of your time. Of course many of us will have flings and be in situations that are fun but we know will not last, but I think we all reach a point in our lives when it comes time to take things a little more seriously and make sure we are not wasting our time with the wrong people.

If you are the type to want to build a family someday but are staying with someone who you cannot realistically envision that future with, then it’s time to ask yourself why you are sticking around in the first place.



Were the bold italic letters really necessary? Yes. They were.

Too many people stay in relationships where there is abuse. This doesn’t *necessarily* mean there is physical abuse, but mental and/or emotional can be just as hurtful, in different ways.

It doesn’t matter how much you “love” someone or how much they’ve convinced you they love you in return, if they make you miserable more than they make you happy, you need to let them go.



Carrying the relationship.

Relationships are a partnership. A team. A two-way street. They’re supposed to enhance your life, not complicate it. If you are with someone who is complacent in life and love, puts no effort into you or the relationship, then it’s time to re-evaluate.

Keep in mind, it’s natural for people to get depressed and unmotivated at times. If this is someone you’ve been with for a long time, I’m certainly not saying kick him or her to the curb at the first sign of a slump. We all go through them – but what I’m referring to here is someone who is just apathetic and makes you feel like they don’t care.

You deserve someone who will wake up every morning and pledge to do and be the best they can for you.


Being unclear about intentions.

One of the most common complaints I hear (typically from women…ahem, guys…) is related to the lack of direction that many ‘relationships’ these days have. Either complete lack of communication about intentions, or just downright lying about what he or she may/may not want in the long term, in order to get what they want in the short term.

If you are looking for a serious relationship, you deserve to be with someone who has made it clear to you that they are on the same page.


General lack of effort in courtship.

If we want to keep chivalry and courtship alive, we need to set the standard in our lives that it’s the only thing we will accept. This comes from being able to openly communicate what we value and look for in a partner. It is not a “treat me this way or I’m out” type of attitude, but more of setting boundaries and expectations early on so if someone really wants to keep your attention, they will understand the level of effort they need to put in consistently in order to do so.

Planning a date rather than ‘just winging it,’ calling and asking a woman out rather than texting her, opening doors, pulling out chairs, some form of reciprocation from a woman rather than just assuming she is owed a man’s constant efforts just because she is a woman…

If we accept lackluster treatment early on during a relationship, there is no magic pill that will make our partner spark to life after we have committed to him or her. We need to set a bar for what we will and will not accept, and then nail that bar into place. The right person will rise up to meet it when all of the wrong ones will just complain about how high it is.



Do you justify their actions to your friends or family? Even worse – are you justifying their actions to yourself? Making excuses for the way someone is consistently falling short in a relationship really means that you’re aware of the problems, but aren’t willing to admit them. The first step towards happiness is being honest with yourself.

It is not your job to carry someone through life. It is their responsibility to continuously improve both as an individual, and as part of a team. There are plenty of men and women out there who want the best for themselves, their life, and their significant other – if this is the type of person you want, and you’re not with them, it might be time to start asking yourself why.


Click here to get my new e-book, The Modern Man’s Guide To Chivalry And Courtship!



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  1. Esme on January 19, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Hey James, wanna come speak at my work in the DTES? (jk) but seriously, men and women need good healthy examples of relationships and how to be safe with one another when they are also not in a relationship. I really enjoyed your article, you’re an inspiration to men and women. And because of the work I do, seeing women beaten and abused, I just want to tell them about men like you- you exist, you’re here, and you’re holding your community responsible by voicing this. Thank you! 🙂

    • Stina on January 19, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      Wow I wish you could start offering workshops for men here in S. Florida! There is an overwhelming epidemic of lazy men with no concept of chivalry or proper courtship. For the few that get it… they become dating rock stars and can have any lady they want. It’s like finding a rare Pegasus (male version of Unicorn) 😉

      • Esme on January 19, 2015 at 11:10 pm

        Stina, agreed. I find there is this culture that has overtaken Vancouver with dating books like “The Game” and oh so much more…. it’s degrading to both the player and victim.

  2. Lindsay Weir on January 20, 2015 at 1:46 am

    Love this

  3. tiffanylamb on January 20, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note® II, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  4. Lyndeeloo on January 20, 2015 at 4:33 pm


    I’m dating a wonderful man who treats me very well. He’s romantic and traditional. What are some ways a woman can reciprocate in a dating relationship?


  5. Want Love? Break These Ten Common Dating Habits - on January 21, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    […] This article originally appeared on James Michael Sama’s Blog. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.   Photo credit: Leo Hidalgo/flickr  Like […]

  6. Alin on January 22, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Good evening,

    I just find your blog and read 3 articles. It was like finding an old (and almost dead) treasure, buried in the present boor and aggression. Your mother should be a queen since you treat women like princesses.
    Best wishes.

    • James Michael Sama on January 23, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Alin, what an amazing compliment! Thanks so much for reading my articles and very glad you enjoy them. There will be plenty more to come!

      – James

  7. Antoine Borg on January 23, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Truth be told, both genders make these mistakes but perhaps men are more guilty of some than others (as you rightly point out here.

    Personally, I’ve gone back to an ex once before and lived to regret it (http://yinology.org/old-habits/). It didn’t work the first time and it didn’t work the second time for the same reasons.

    Wise words James – thanks!

  8. San Adalberto on February 12, 2015 at 10:16 am

    “*Note – This is assuming you haven’t done anything that would make him/her suspicious” There is never ANY reason to invade someone’s privacy. If you don’t trust them, leave them. Don’t ever justify intruding into someone’s privacy by saying, “They’re acting suspicious.” Just go. At the point you are prepared to invade someone’s privacy, the relationship is over. Either you’re not worthy of them, or they’re betraying you. Either way, it’s done.

  9. Darie on July 20, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Once again James, you hit the proverbial nail on the head! Well actually 10 nails. I have come across few chivalrous men since 1999, when I put my husband in the ground. My sons were 4-12 when he passed away.

    Since then I have raised four (I believe😁)chivalrous men; now ages 21-28. How you ask? By teaching them to respect EVERY person, by the unlimited grace of God, and a little vodka,,,😁 Plus by reminding them to simply be honest. Not only with themselves, but their love prospects.

    Oh, and this happened even without the experience of seeing true love modeled by a husband to his wife. So all you single ladies know this; you can raise kind, loving men too. Just takes a ton of consistent love and lessons!

    I must share my famous 5 word motto I taught my boys concerning, love, virtue, and sex. “Just keep it in your pants” and you won’t get into difficult situations! They laugh about it to this day but have never been cheaters or womanizers.

    Of course I’m not a naive, frigid idiot! I also added “if you must, please use protection!” I believe promiscuous men are just as hurt by meaningless sex as women. Hence, the superfluous amount of said womanizers with a total inability to connect with the “right” woman when/if she comes along. (Gee, guess I’ve had some experience with said men.) Very sad indeed.😔

    Have a great Monday James. Keep up the great work!😘

  10. […] Licensed material used with permission by James Michael Sama […]

  11. […] Licensed material used with permission by James Michael Sama […]

  12. Venistine on April 12, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Reblogged this on Venistine Blog.

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