While I was giving an enrichment on relationship to some young people, some young men approached me and we started talking about the old-fashioned rules on dating that my generation followed. One of them blurted out that dating today has become very complicated. It is also becoming very difficult to get a date.
Times have really changed. With the advancement of technology, accessibility of mobile gadget and availability of social networking sites, the traditional rules have been skewed. Back in my days, there was clearer and more defined rules and codes of conduct that everyone knew and followed.
I agree with that young man that dating today is indeed very complicated. It is difficult to get a date because instead of meeting to know each other, both of you already know each other’s personal information because it can be searched in the Internet with a swipe of a mobile gadget. When you meet up, there is not much that you can talk about. You have pre-empted what would have been a beautiful and meaningful conversation. The thrill of knowing each other is gone.
You cannot also be sure that the personal information you get from the internet or social networking sites is genuine and true. It is very easy to create an account, fake personal information and post pictures that do not belong supposedly to the owner of the account. Meeting the person face-to-face is the only way you can know the person for who and what he is.
I realized that the old-fashioned rules still apply but with some revisions based on how young people today behave during dates.
1. No social media before the date. It cannot be denied that we are all hooked to our mobile gadgets, following and searching for people. When we are interested in a person, it is easy to Google his or her personal information. When you avoid social media before a date, it will allow you to talk with your date so you can know the person better. You can base your assessment of the person from your conversation and not from personal information found in the internet that may be spruced up.
2. Do not bring your cellphone on a date. You do not want to be disturbed. Besides, it is disrespectful to read a text message or answer a call in front of your date. The only exemption to this rule is a doctor who is on call for 24 hours. You want your date to be private and personal. You don’t need to post your date on Instagram. Keep it private so that if it does not work, you don’t have a lot of explaining to do with your friends and family.
3. Drink moderately. You must have a sober mind if you want to know your date better. You must focus on your date and in what you are doing. Besides, you don’t want to embarrass yourself, if you throw up. You don’t need a drink to be confident during your date.
4. Never get in bed with your date on the first date. This is the oldest rule on dating, and it is the most important rule. Many times people regret sleeping with someone he or she barely knows. They wake up the next morning only to realize that this is not the right person he or she would like to build a long-lasting relationship with. Allow your dating environment to grow before deciding if it is worth sleeping with your date. As an advice to men, show you are interested in the girl, but be respectful. Do not place the girl in a situation where she has to compromise her values. It is best to wait until you both know that the time is ripe and you are ready for commitment and responsibility.
5. Be yourself. Of course anyone will be very nervous on the first date. Dates are often nerve-wrecking. But it is always good to let your date make his or her opinion of who you really are from what he or she see in you. Be relaxed and enjoy your date as friends. Forget about giving good impressions so you can be acceptable. Sooner or later, your date will see through you and discover the real you. So, it’s better to let your date know who you really are, rather than be dumped later on when he or she discovers that you were only pretending to be who you are not.
6. Invite your date at least two days in advance. It is the traditional rule of thumb that the girl be given two days advance invitation. She should know the exact time she will be picked up. You must tell her where you are going so she can dress properly. If it is a surprise date, at least give a hint on how she must dress. It would be very embarrassing for the girl to wear jeans and shirt and you are taking her on a formal dinner at a first-class restaurant. In like manner she would be out of place wearing a formal gown to a beach resort.
7. Plan out your date. You cannot just pick her up and tell here to decide where she would like to go. Know where you are going to take her and what you plan to do. She must know and agree to the kind of date you are taking her. You cannot just presume that she would go along with your idea of a date. If she is not an adventurous type of girl you cannot bring her to a mountain climbing date. Planning your date so that you will have an enjoyable time together leaves a great impression and you are showing her that you care. Of course, you have to be prepared to pay for the date. But you can always agree to split the bill, if the girl also wants to pay.
8. Be prepared that even before you shake hands, your date has already Googled everything she can find about you. If there is something in your past that she brings up, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Be honest. This is the “getting to know each other” stage and if you are not hiding anything, she will be impressed with your honesty. If there are things in the past that need explanation, be open and frank about it. She will understand.
9. Watch out for Red Flags. Do not ignore obvious signs of incompatibility, offensive behavior or misplaced value system. Do not force yourself to stay in a situation where you are uncomfortable with your date. When your date calls for a follow up date, you can always politely turn him or her down. There are other dates that will be perfect for you if you just wait. Be patient. Believe that the right person is somewhere out there, and soon your paths will meet.
10. Don’t be afraid of long distance relationships. Technology has made our world a smaller place. There are many social media networking that makes communication easier, faster and accessible. There is Skype, Facebook Messenger, Hangout, and many more. Have you ever come across “Hitwe Review: What you Need to Know about the New Dating Platform” You should try to read that review. Who knows you will find someone who you would like to build a long-term relationship with in this dating platform. Do not limit yourself to popular social media networks.
These rules apply to all Generation Yers, as well as to those who still cling on to the traditional way of dating. With clearer and more defined guidelines and codes of conduct we can improve our dating life and avoid dating disasters. And more importantly you will find a long-lasting love relationship.