Ditch Dating Rules?

bb08b85f-2dd0-49f8-9f3b-a17dcc7966e7The path from courtship to marriage was clear, years ago. Women waited for men to ask them out, allowed men to pay for every date, and breathlessly anticipated a marriage proposal.

Then, the rules of courtship were clearly defined. Many of today’s so-called “time-tested secrets” for meeting and attracting Mr. Right come from that era, an age in which men were MEN, and women were WOMEN, and gender roles kept them an arms-length apart.

Today, women have more freedom than at any other time in human history. They work in whatever job they want, live wherever they want, and date whomever they want! Why, then, would they willingly step back under the yoke of courtship Do’s and Don’ts designed in a culture that’s long past and good riddance?

In the often-confusing modern dating world, rules make you feel safe. Do’s and Don’ts can keep you from making mistakes. Dating “rules” (like ending a phone call first, or not accepting a weekend date after Wednesday) can prevent you from getting rejected.

Ever wondered where the ‘rule’ came from that said a women shouldn’t sleep with a man on the first date? Or the one where you shouldn’t call him first, or be aloof when he calls you. Or that equality should go out the window and the man should pick up the cost of the entire date instead of going dutch.

Well, you may have heard it from your mother, or seen it depicted on a black and white movie, but they were actually written down in a bestselling 1995 guide called ‘The Rules – Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr Right’.

A study carried out at the University of Iowa said that casual sex or sex on the first date would not necessarily hamper the relationship. In a society which no longer views sex as a sacred act that happens between a married couple or a women’s duty to her husband(!), casual sex can often lead to something more meaningful and lasting. Anthony Paik, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Sociology said:

“People now view hooking up as a predictable, normal part of life and don’t let it contaminate or poison the beginning of a relationship.”

If people still adhere to these types of stringent measures, then they are denying themselves of listening to their inner voice and experiencing life. Another modern trend is co-habiting without the marriage certificate. Number 22 in the rule book says ‘Don’t live with a man (or leave your things in his apartment). Far from being a mistake, is it not better to see if the relationship fits and if living together is viable before getting married? On that tack, do you even need to consider marriage?  Other rules which are hopefully seen as old fashioned, is the notion that a women should not approach a man first, she must wait for him to come to her.

2 thoughts on “Ditch Dating Rules?”

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