Dating “Rules” That Are Okay To Break

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Despite the fact that we are all different people looking for different things in relationships, there are a lot of rules out there when it comes to dating. Between magazines, your friends, and even relationship experts, you’ve probably heard that you’re not supposed to do a ton of things when trying to find the right person. But it’s actually good to break some of these rules, especially the more outdated, sexist ones. It’s 2018, y’all. Women can do anything they want.

Even though there are some rules that are pretty good to follow — like trusting your gut when you have a bad feeling about someone on the first date, or always letting someone know where you are when you’re meeting up with someone from Tinder — there are even more rules that are practically begging to be broken. In dating, there’s no one right way to meet and fall in love with someone, so it makes way more sense to do what feels right for you.

Ready to break some rules? Here are a few good places to start.

The guy should always pay.

If you’re a gal in a hetero relationship, you’ve probably heard that the guy needs to pay for all of your dates. Why? Well, there’s actually no reason this rule needs to exist — chivalry isn’t dead, but the idea that a woman needs to be taken care of by a man is, especially if you’re killing it in your chosen career field. Besides, some of us are straight up uncomfortable with the idea of someone paying our way, and if you fall into that category, that’s totally okay. If you want to treat, you should, because everybody loves a free dinner.

And don’t ask him out, either.

Again, one of the most sexist dating rules ever says that the girl should never ask out the guy, but that’s not true. No matter who you’re into, if you like them, you should ask them out. If someone is genuinely interested in you, they’ll probably be glad you asked — and even if they’re not, when is it not flattering to be (respectfully) asked on a date? You’re in control of your love life, and although getting rejected really sucks, if you want to go out with someone, you shouldn’t wait for them to make the first move just because they’re “supposed” to.

Never send the first call or text.

Whether you’ve been on a date with a person or you’re just hoping they’re interested, there’s a surprising amount of politics that go on surrounding who should call or text who first. Most women have been told that they shouldn’t reach out first in the beginning of a relationship for fear of seeming clingy/too into it, and some experts agree that it’s the best path to take. But honestly, it isn’t necessarily going to do you any good to sit around waiting for your iPhone to buzz.

In fact, in this Huffington Post article, one guy said it might even make him feel like someone wasn’t into him if he didn’t hear from them, so why risk it? See a meme that reminds you of something you talked about the last time you were together? Wanna ask if they’re free next weekend for a movie you’ve been dying to see? Go ahead. Send that text. Double text if you want. Life is too short to wait around.

Never bring up anything too serious too soon.

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There’s a lot to be said about playing the field and keeping things light, but the older you get, the more you’ll want to cut down on the BS when you’re dating and find out right away if you’re compatible with someone — and yes, that is totally okay. You don’t need to worry about spooking people; be who you are and share what you want to share when it feels right to you. It’s not bad to find out if they want kids or where they might want to live early in the relationship. If he wants a big family and you don’t want kids at all, that’s something you need to know ASAP.

Don’t believe us? Even experts say that it’s never too soon to talk about what’s important to you in your future and your relationship. Do you really want someone in your life who doesn’t want the same things as you in the future or can’t handle your past? Probably not.

“Anyone who is scared away by your revelations is someone you want to send packing,” Dr. Wendy Lyon told Women’s Day. Preach, girl.

Turn down dates if they ask you out for the next day.

This rule has been around forever, and it comes in many versions. Some say you shouldn’t accept a date for the next night, for the next three nights, even for next weekend, mostly to give the illusion that you’re not too available. But even in the beginning of a relationship, you shouldn’t want to create any illusions — just be yourself, and if you’re free and want to go, go! Turning down a date could signal that you’re not interested, and that will make the person asking you out move on to someone who is.

Don’t have sex on the first date.

Yet another rule that involves a lot of people projecting their personal beliefs onto you, but when it comes to sex, kissing, or anything physical, there’s only one person who gets to make the rules: you. If it feels right for you and your partner, go for it. If it doesn’t, wait.

“You can enjoy sex on the first meeting if you are open, comfortable, and a consenting party to it,” clinical sex expert Jeanson Benoit told EliteSingles. “However, if you’re doubtful about the concept of sex so early on or uncomfortable with the other person, there’s no need to rush into anything sexual. My advice is always to go with the flow as long as it’s within your personal boundaries. I don’t believe in hard and fast rules about when the right time to engage in sex is because everyone’s different.”

These rules are definitely made to be broken, and who knows — you might find the person you spend the rest of your life with by doing things your own way. Good luck out there!