Relationships are hard work. Are you making your new relationship even harder to manage by "playing the game" or avoiding certain topics because they make you uncomfortable? Dating newsflash of the week: If you’re serious about finding a relationship, avoidance hinders your chances of turning dates one, two and three into a serious relationship. Here are a few truths to the dating myths out there:
Myth #1: Wait for three days to call. Whoever made up this three day call rule or abides by this call rule needs some serious dating advice. If you want to communicate with the person you were flirting with the day before, pick up the phone. If you had a two hour conversation with someone at a party two nights prior, then pick up the phone and ask her/him out. We don't believe that waiting a certain period of time shows any sign of interest (really, how would it?). If you're interested in someone, call her/him. Sure, texting is "easier," but it's a cop out. (And is texting really easier than pressing "call" on your phone?) Waiting to see if (s)he will call you first is just stupid. You want a date? Initiate contact.
Myth #2: The “man” pays for the date. Old fashioned much? Understand dating in the modern world, people! So let’s say a friend/Grindr/matchmaker set you up for a first date (or second) for Friday night dinner. You have a blast, as you do with someone you really like. The meal is delicious and wine or tea is paired perfectly, conversation is effortless, chemistry is there. When the dinner check arrives, why is it all of a sudden awkward? Modern etiquette suggests that the person who asked the other out is responsible for covering the check. In the situation where you are set up by your matchmaker or a close friend, split it. It is always polite to offer to pay regardless of the situation. Show you are mannered and don't assume your date is paying.
Note: If you are going on a date with someone that is more financially successful than you, also don't assume (s)he is paying. It’s not only inconsiderate, but downright rude. (Unless this is an overtly sugar daddy/momma scenario...) Assuming the other person is paying gives off a cheap vibe – which no one likes. (See my last blog post: “First date no-no's.")
Myth #3: No one wants to have the "are we exclusive" talk. Having this conversation can be difficult for most. If you are truly interested in a relationship and genuinely like someone, don’t sleep with her/him until you decide to be exclusive. If you are sure that you are the only person (s)he is seeing, and you two are spending five nights a week together, then the conversation should be easy. If you are casually seeing one another, then this conversation can be more challenging.
To ease "the chat," be open and upfront with her/him in the beginning of your relationship, in that you are looking for a relationship. No, you won't scare her/him away by saying this (as long as you don't say "I want a serious relationship and I want it with you" right off the bat). To be "exclusive", make sure that you are both invested in the relationship emotionally. If you are debating having the "exclusive" talk, then you probably have some doubts regarding the outcome of the chat.
Myth #4: We are going to have sex on date #3 (or 2 or 4 or 7), otherwise, (s)he isn't into me. This is certainly a tough territory when it comes to managing a new relationship. If you didn’t “give in” on your first date/meeting, how do you handle when it’s time to get down and dirty? Sex has different meanings to many people. If you are seeking a relationship, don’t build/start a relationship based on sex. It won't last! You have to be attracted to the person not only physically, but emotionally as well. If you both are really invested in building a relationship, then it is worth waiting to have sex until it really “feels right” (we can wait at least after a few dates, people).
Consider making sure you’re both at the same stage in your life, and possibly enjoying a future together. No need to jump in the sack the first night. We all know that once you have sex, you will be stuck in the bedroom, especially in the first stages of the relationship, so no need to rush it. Wait for the right time and place for to make the first of many lasting memories together. Side note: Casual sex seldom leads to exclusivity.
Myth #5: (S)he didn’t kiss me on our first date – (s)he isn't interested in me. Come on now, mature single people… is a kiss really the "make it or break it" factor? From years of experience in coaching singles, I know that some people don't even believe in kissing on the first date. Kissing is one of the most intimate things two people do together. (How many times have you not dated someone because (s)he is a “bad kisser”?) Many times, at the close of a first date, the two of you are standing outside a restaurant and saying goodbye. This might not be exactly where you want to have your first kiss. Don't be upset or read into it. Some people DON'T like PDA. Make sure to have an intimate second (or third, fourth) date where you know you will not have to worry about any onlookers.
For more tips, follow @MixologyLA and @MegNovinskie on Twitter. Happy dating!