- Gender and Relationships
No Sex on the First Date and Other Relationship Rules for Women Who Are Dating
The Rules of Dating and Deal Breakers
There are rules for almost everything we do in life. If you're driving, there's a speed limit. For a job, there's a dress code. In writing, there's grammar and punctuation (among other things). Likewise with dating.
However, unlike in other areas, the rules of dating aren't applicable across the board. Sad to say, the rules are different for men and women. With that in mind, we'll try to address some of the major rules of dating for women.
The Cardinal Rule of Dating for Women: No Sex on the First Date
Some rules have exceptions - little arguments you can make as to why they won't apply; hypotheticals in which their application would be impractical; etc. There's no such wiggle room here: if you really like the guy, do not, under any circumstances, have sex on the first date! Trust me - it is a dealbreaker. (And if you need some hints on what constitutes such, feel free to visit Ultimate Dealbreakers.) Don't even think of it as a rule; consider it one of the 10 Commandments of Dating: Thou shalt not giveth up thy goods when thou first dateth a man...
Simply put, sex on a first date just confuses a guy. He has to think that either he's so awesome that this woman just fell into his arms, or - rightly or wrongly - that maybe she's just a little slutty. Probably 999 times out of 1000, he will decide the latter, and you will have doomed any chance of a lasting relationship with him before it even begins.
In essence, just hold it together for that one night - reserve the sexy lingerie until at least Date #2 - and you'll exponentially increase your chances of allowing something meaningful to develop.
Sex on the First Date Poll
Is it a mistake for a woman to have sex on the first date if she wants a romantic relationship with the guy?
Don't Be Late
There are a ton of things in life that you don't want to be late for: your first day of work. Your grandmother's funeral. Your last set of finals before graduating from college. You want to be on time for these events because they are important to you.
On the flip side of that equation, when you're always late for a date or rendezvous with a guy, it sends the opposite message. It tells him that he's not important. When you're constantly tardy, you're letting a guy know that you had better things to do than be with him. This is the real reason why it drives men bananas when women are always late. It's not just that guys like to arrive on time for things like movies. It's the non-verbal message that the woman is sending, saying that the guy isn't relevant. Thus from tardiness springs another important rule of dating.
In short, it's okay to be late every now and then, but if the guy's important to you, try to be on time. If you can't be on time, then give him the courtesy of a phone call - and buy a new watch if you have to!
Don't Order Anything You Don't Plan to Eat
This is another one that drives guys bonkers: when you take a girl out to a nice restaurant and she orders something to eat and then barely touches it. (It's especially maddening if it's an expensive dish.) This is a clear violation of another one of the 10 Commandments of Dating: A woman shalt eat that which she dost order.
Basically, if it's early in the relationship, the guy doesn't yet know whether you're wasting his time or not (just like you don't know if he's wasting yours). However, there's not really a way around this; you have to invest the time to figure out if you and the other person are compatible, so that's a sunk cost. Ergo, the time expended pursuing a relationship that doesn't work out isn't such a big deal because it's expected to a certain extent. However, wasting the guy's time and money (e.g., ordering food that you don't eat) is a capital crime. This will almost certainly be strike one against you.
Bottom line on this rule of dating: if you order it, eat it (or take it home in a doggy bag).
Other No-No's to Avoid When Dating
Needless to say, we've only touched on a few of the things to avoid when dating. Clearly there are a lot more - far more than we could reasonably list here. Still there are a few others that are fairly basic:
Don't spend a lot of time talking about your ex: This will give the impression that you're lugging around baggage. If you say a bunch of good things about your ex, it may look as though you're still hung up on him. if you say a bunch of bad things, you'll come off as being bitter. Basically, try not to talk about it unless the guy asks.
Put away the electronics: Maybe you can leave your phone on (in case of emergencies), but beyond that put the devices away. No texting, no tweeting, no emailing, etc. Much like being late, keeping your face buried in your iPhone (or Droid or what have you) sends the message to the guy that everything happening everywhere else is more important than where you are at present - which is with him.
Of course, there are lots of other things that will fall into the category of dealbreakers (or "ultimate" dealbreakers, as the book above suggests), so don't think these are all the issues you should be aware of.
Things You Can Do To Impress a Guy
Just so that this hub isn't solely about the things that can go wrong, I thought it might be worthwhile to point of some things that a woman can do if she likes a guy and wants to impress him on a date.
Pick up the tab: Surprise the guy by paying - even if it's the first date (and even if he asked you). This will send a message to the guy that you think he's special. But more importantly, it will make him feel that you're special - unique, in fact. Believe me, this will leave a powerful impression on him that will last for some time to come. Best of all, you probably only have to do it once. I have a friend who has been married for 14 years who dated dozens of women in his prime (about 20 years ago). He can barely recall the names of many them, but to this day he distinctly remembers every woman who ever picked up the tab at any point while they were dating, because it always impressed him.
Don't be afraid to make a nice gesture: A long time ago, I took a date to dinner and afterwards we were just walking around and talking while waiting for some festival to begin (I forget what). While we were watching some street performer eat fire (or swallow swords or something along those lines) my date excused herself for a moment. When she came back, she gave me a rose that she had bought from a guy selling flowers to young couples like ourselves. Like most guys, I'm not very big into flowers, but I was greatly impressed by the thought and sentiment behind the gesture. In short, I was impressed and saw that girl in a new light.
In short, a woman can easily impress a guy early on with simple things like those noted above. It's not really about the woman spending money on the guy; it's more about her acknowledging that the date - and by extension, the relationship - isn't simply about her; it's about the guy, too, and men appreciate women who recognize that.
Summary of Dating Rules for Women
As already noted, this only covers a few of the basic dating rules for women. Still, adhering to them can help smooth the path to a long-term, meaningful relationship.