Modern dating is a rough world to navigate. There's dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Happn that make finding a new date easy as a swipe left or right, there's tons of awkward first dates to find one person you feel comfortable with, and casual hookups that keep us guessing what everyone really wants anymore.
It's really hard to know what the people you're dating are really looking for, a relationship? Friends with benefits? A hookup buddy? While it's totally okay to want whatever you want in the modern dating world, there are some rules you should follow to make sure it all goes smoothly.
In the following pages you'll find rules for flirting with someone new, what to do on the first date, how to casually hookup withe someone, having "the talk" with the person you're seeing, and being in a relationship with someone new.
For Flirting With Someone New, Click "NEXT"
Flirting Rules For Girls
Never reveal any information that you acquired from Facebook stalking them.
This one really isn't just a rule for girls, it definitely goes both ways. We all stalk people on social media, there's no use in denying it anymore. But when you're starting to flirt with a new love interest, avoid bringing up their 2007 trip to the Bahamas with their family because you saw it on their Facebook profile from 10 years ago.
Don't freak out if you see the guy you're flirting with flirting with someone else.
A lot of girls, myself included, can admit that in the past they've started flirting with someone new and then were shocked when we saw them flirting with someone else. Try not to take it personally, it's just flirting! Try not to be too possessive over them and know that he's free to flirt with as many people as he likes and so are you.
Don't text them multiple times in a row if they don't text you back after the first one.
This is a big rule that a lot of people preach when dating someone new. If they don't answer your first text it's probably acceptable if you send another one, either to add more information or just to check in again. If they don't answer that one definitely don't send them multiple messages until they answer, that's just pushing it.
It's okay to tease them a little bit, but just don't be mean.
Everyone likes to be teased at least a little bit by the person they like. It's our subtle way of showing we're interested but playful at the same time. The trick is not to push your playful teasing into the mean side of teasing. Don't tell them stuff about them that you don't like or that is annoying, that's just mean territory.
Flirting Rules For Guys
Get close to her and touch her subtly, but don't go overboard.
It's always a good way to show a girl you're interested by subtly touching her or getting close. Lean in when she speaks to you, touch her knee if she says something funny or arm. But don't get too close, you are just flirting after all. She'll think you're a little creepy if you can't keep your hands off her the entire time you're talking.
Don't flirt with their friends to make them jealous, that never, EVER works.
I have no idea why some people think this is a good idea when you're flirting with someone new. People are generally insecure when flirting, so if you go and flirt with their best friend, it only makes this insecurity worse. It also makes a girl think you're not actually interested in her, which is clearly the opposite of what you want.
Be honest, don't pretend to be something you're not.
If you don't like that TV show she's talking about, don't pretend like you do just to find something in common with her. The same goes for girls as well. This rule can also apply to what you're looking to accomplish with this relationship. Do you just want a hookup? Friends with benefits? A real relationship? If she asks you, don't lie and tell her what she wants to hear, be honest!
Compliment her, but don't be creepy about it.
Try to avoid complimenting her body as much as possible. If you can't think of an intellectual way to give her a nice compliment, tell her she has nice eyes. Girls love to hear that and we won't think you're being creepy. But you can always tell her she has a nice laugh or that you like being around her. Whatever feels right.
For The First Date With Someone New, Click "NEXT"
First Date Rules For Girls
Wear comfortable clothes that you also feel good in.
There's no reason that you have to wear a super tight dress or short skirt that you can't even breathe or walk in on the first date. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in that makes you feel cute! If that means just plain old jeans and a t-shirt, then go for it.
Don't show up late to your date because you think it's more fashionable and mysterious.
Don't keep your date waiting for you! Some people think that showing up 30 minutes late is 'fashionably late' and that their date will think they're mysterious, but this really isn't true. No one likes waiting on people so if you agreed on a time, make sure you either show up at that time or no more than 5 minutes late.
Don't obsess about how you look the whole time.
If you spent time doing your makeup and putting on your favourite outfit, you already know you look good. Don't spend your whole date thinking about how your lipstick is holding up or if your hair has gotten frizzy. It will show that you're distracted and they'll think you're not enjoying yourself.
Offer to split the bill, always.
Guys are taught that they should always pay for the date, but we all know how outdated this tradition is. Women are just as able to pay for their own dinner or drink as the man is, so if he reaches for the bill, offer to split with him. If he insists then say thank you and offer to get the next one.
First Date Rules For Guys
Try not to drink too much on your first date with someone new.
This is a rule that applies to both men and women on first dates. If you know your limit I don't have to tell you how many drinks you should have to stay relatively sober. But generally two or three drinks max is a good place to stay on a date. You can obviously drink however much you want, I don't want to be a nagging parent here, but your date might be a little turned off if you're slurring your words by the end of the evening.
Have a solid plan for your date and if you're feeling fun, keep it as a surprise.
Always have a plan for what you want to do on your date. But you don't always have to tell her exactly what it is, you can keep it a surprise for some extra excitement and mystery but always tell her what to wear. If you're planning a walk on the boardwalk after dinner, tell her she should wear comfortable shoes. If you're going to a fancy dinner, tell her she shouldn't be afraid to dress up!
Keep the conversation flowing, but don't just talk about yourself the whole time.
There's a balance in conversation when you're on a date. Girls almost automatically will ask tons of questions about you during a first date because we really do want to know about you. But we also want you to redirect the conversation back to us sometimes. There's one thing we definitely don't like is when a guy only talks about himself the entire date.
Don't wait too long to plan a second date if the date went well.
If you're date went well, and you can definitely tell when it did, don't wait too long to plan a second one. If you both talked about something you love doing on the date, make a plan on the first date to go do that a few days later. If you didn't get that far on your first date, text her the next day to plan another date. Just don't wait too long or she'll think you're not interested.
Also, don't feel like you have to adhere to the 'three day rule' to wait until you can text her about a second date, do it whenever you feel like it!
For Hooking Up With Someone New, Click "NEXT"
Hooking Up Rules For Girls
If you're looking for something more than just a hookup, make sure that's what they want as well before you jump into bed with them.
The dating world for women can be a difficult world to navigate because of the 'hookup culture' that we live in today. There's so many questions that we have to think of like 'do they just want to sleep with me?' or 'is this actually going to go anywhere?' So if you're not sure what the other person wants from this relationship, it's always best to ask before you sleep with them.
Always use protection!
This isn't just a rule for girls, it's a rule for literally everyone deciding to hook up with someone new. Always use protection! Even if someone says they're clean and it's safe to not use protection, don't listen to them and use it anyways. You don't want to end up with and STI or pregnant from a casual hookup.
Sleep with someone whenever you feel comfortable.
If you want to hook up with someone on the first date, second date or 20th date it's totally up to you. There's that '3 date rule' that a lot of people talk about where you can only sleep with someone after 3 dates but you don't have to put those kinds of restrictions on yourself if you don't want to. If you like them and feel comfortable sleeping with them on the first date, no one should judge you for that. But if you only feel comfortable after 5 dates that's okay too!
Don't have high expectations.
If you're hooking up with someone for the first time, don't expect it to be mind-blowingly amazing. You don't know each others bodies at all, so it's going to be new and probably won't be as great as you thought it would be in your head. If you continue to hook up with them though it can only get better from there.
Hooking Up Rules For Guys
Be honest about your intentions.
I cannot stress this point enough! If you're only looking for a casual hookup or friends with benefits you've got to be honest about it. If she asks you what you want from her, tell her. Don't lie just to get her into bed because that's only going to end with someone getting hurt and that's not fun at all. By now, we all know better than that.
Don't rush her out of your place afterwards.
Okay, so you hooked up and you don't want her to stay over for a night of cuddling and breakfast in the morning. That's okay if it's just casual but don't rush her out of your apartment by calling her a cab while she's in the washroom.
Always bring the protection that you can control yourself.
Women can control the pregnancy side of hooking up if they're on some form of birth control, so you should take control of the part that you can help with. By that I mean always provide the condom to protect against STIs. It's the least you can do.
Make sure you're communicating even if it's just casual.
If you've agreed ahead of time that you're not looking for someone serious and it's just a casual thing, make sure you're continuing to communicate after that. If you start having feelings talk to them about it and they can feel comfortable doing the same to you. Also remember you're friends as well so get to know them and enjoy spending time with them.
For Having "The Talk" With Someone New, Click "NEXT"
Having "The Talk" Rules For Girls
Don't feel like you have to have the talk if you're happy with the way things are.
If you've been hooking up and hanging out for 3 months now and you're having a really good time you don't automatically have to talk about where the relationship is going. Being happy where you are with that person is totally find and there's no reason to rush into something if you're already content. All of these rules can be used by guys as well if the roles are reversed. It doesn't have to be the girl asking for more from a relationship!
Talk about what's been happening before talking about the future.
Instead of jumping right into what you want from the person in the future, talk about how you've been feeling in the last few weeks. Tell them you feel like you two have been getting closer and ask if they feel the same way. Or tell them you've been feeling like your relationship has been more than just hooking up lately. Then you can talk about what you want from them going forward.
Don't start the conversation off with a 'we need to talk' text.
Nobody likes the phrase 'we need to talk'. It sends panic through our bones, literally. Even if you don't mean it as a serious thing, it still makes people automatically panic so try to avoid that phrase like the plague. Just ask him to hang out later that day or to hang out in a quiet place where you feel comfortable having a serious conversation.
Try and have this kind of conversation in person.
These kinds of conversations are never good over the phone, or over text. You have to see the person face to face to really know how they're feeling and their initial reaction to the subject. I know that it seems easier to have difficult over the phone because you're nervous but it won't go as well for either of you if you do it this way.
Having "The Talk" Rules For Guys
Feel free to joke around during the conversation, it doesn't have to be serious the whole time.
Even though the subject of the conversation can be serious, there's no reason the entire conversation has to be. Joke about how you've taken your online dating profile down. This can be a light way to broach the subject and see if they're on the same page as you are.
This conversation shouldn't be about your future, it should be about the present.
There's no reason to talk about your future, moving in together and marriage, that's moving way to fast. All you need to discuss right now is whether you both want to commit to only seeing each other and whether you're both ready for a real relationship. Leave the talk about your kids names for another time.
Allow both sides to be heard and discussed.
It's called "The Talk" for a reason, both sides have to be heard and the points each bring up discussed. If she starts the talk, she wants to hear your opinion and thoughts, so don't be afraid to tell her, even if you don't think it's what she wants to hear. Same goes for her, let her respond to your opinions and really talk it out.
It's okay if you need time to think and process before giving her a solid answer.
If she tells you she wants more and you're not sure whether you want the same thing it's okay to tell her you need time to think about it. Sure, it will give her some anxiety to wait to hear your response, but it's better that you take your time and think it over than if you hastily respond before you're sure.
For Being In A Relationship With Someone New, Click "NEXT"
Being In A Relationship Rules For Girls
Don't go overboard with the PDA, keep it in check.
There's nothing worse than being in public and sitting next to a couple on the subway that's literally going at it. We get it you love each other but that's not something most people want to see on their commute home. Keep it to holding hands, hugging and light kissing. The rest you can do in the privacy of your own home.
Don't cut your friends off just because you have a new, exciting relationship.
Girls tend to do this a lot when they find themselves in a new romantic relationship. They get caught up in the excitement and the romance and end up ditching their friends to spend more time with their S/O. This is okay a couple times, but after a while your friends won't want to put up with being pushed to the side and they'll leave.
But if your relationship goes south, and I'm not saying it will, but if it does you're going to need your friends to help pick up the pieces. And you'll eventually realize you need more in your life than just your relationship to make you happy.
Don't suffocate each other, spending time apart is really important as well.
Since the relationship is so new, your first instinct will to be spending all your time together. That's natural, but it's also good to resist this. You don't want to suffocate your partner by spending every single day at their place like you moved in. Do your own thing and have them miss you a little bit.
Get to know your S/Os friends and get close to them.
Now that you're official you're going to be invited to hang out with your guy's friend group. This doesn't mean you have to become best friends with them overnight, but make an effort to get to know them better when you can. That way he won't feel like he has to choose you or them all the time, you can all hang out together!
Being In A Relationship Rules For Guys
Don't give up any hobbies or passions you had before the relationship started.
If you always played hockey on Friday nights, don't give that up because she likes to party every Friday and wants you to come. It's good that you keep up with your hobbies that you had before the relationship. If you give them up you could end up resenting the person or unhappy in general.
Listen to their problems, but don't offer your opinions on how to solve them.
Sometimes your partner just needs to vent about their rough day and all they really need from you is to be there to listen to them. They don't need you to tell them how to fix their own problems, they know what they need to do. But if they don't they'll specifically ask you.
Spend time getting to know her friends.
Chances are your girl's girlfriends are very important to her. Since girls have a habit of giving up their friends for relationships, encourage this not to happen by spending time getting to know your friends. If you make an effort to get to know her squad, she'll enjoy bringing you out with her group and she won't have to choose between you or them at all.
Don't talk about your romantic lives to your friends anymore.
If you were spilling all the dirty details of your sex lives with your buddies while things were just casual, now is definitely the time to stop. Keep that stuff just between the two of you from now on, your friends don't need to know anything.