Is there really a right way to play the dating game? I’ve been at it for three years now, and I’ve found the four commandments that work just right for me…
This post was sponsored by matchmehappy, but all words, experiences and imagery are my own!
Ah, the dating-sphere. A big wide world of finding men at the swipe of a finger, anxiety-inducing blue ticks to indicate your message has been read, and that nervous-poo feeling you get right before a date. Don’t pretend you don’t get it, ladies.
And whilst navigating your way through the curated profiles, painstaking date preparations and ignored messages you hope were simply lost in the abyss of cyberspace, you’ll find yourself saturated with endless advice from everyone in your life. Those in relationships and those who are living their best single life. Parents. Siblings. Friends. The girls you meet in the bar toilets who end up delighting you with a mini therapy session. And, naturally, each and every person has something different to say, leaving you with a list of dos and don’ts that really seem quite impossible to abide by…
Play it cool; you don’t wanna seem too keen. But show interest too… you don’t want them thinking you’re not bothered.
Don’t go sleeping with a guy too quickly; they’ll lose respect for you. Don’t leave it too long to do the deed though, because they don’t like that either.
It’s good to get out and play the field. But maybe not too much – you don’t wanna get a name for yourself.
Remember you’re a strong independent woman who doesn’t need a man… but sack him off if he won’t get the bill.
Don’t reply too quickly all of the time because you might scare him off. But don’t play games either.
It’s enough to frazzle anyone’s brain and have them frantically deleting every single dating app from their phone, right?
I’ve been single for a whopping three years now, playing the dating game for almost as long, too. Name a free dating site, and I’ve probably been a member. Catfishing, ghosting, gaslighting, heartbreakers, love-makers – I’ve been through it all. And the biggest lesson I’ve learned along the way? There is no right way to date. Yep. You do you, hun.
I think I’ve just about mastered what works for me. And I’ve summed it up in four dating commandments. Take ’em or leave ’em…
Thou shalt be honest and up front (and shalt definitely never ghost someone)
I’ve been lied to, led on and ghosted by many men. Technology has made it way too easy to cut contact with someone without ever having to explain why. And whether you’ve been dating someone for months or simply hung out a couple of times, it flippin’ hurts. (Add some extra salt to that wound if you’ve slept with them.)
Ugh-that-felt-a-bit-awks-for-a-minute-there is not the most devastating feeling in life you can encounter – there are definitely plenty worse – and so I always try my best to suck it up and be honest with a guy if I’m not feeling it. I like to think, that way, I am simply a fun-filled slab in paving the way to him finding true love (or, at the very least, a good bonk).
Thou shalt always remember to keep thyself safe
We’ve all seen the horror stories that make their way around the news and the internet. People going on dates to never to return home. Meeting someone for a drink and being taken advantage of. Heading to meet a Tinder match only to find they’re not who they said they were. Dating someone who scams you further down the line.
If I find myself making plans to meet a guy, there are small measures I take to make sure I’m as safe as I can possibly be (don’t worry, I’m sure most of you aren’t murdering catfish rapists really). First dates are always reserved for public venues only. Friends will know where I’m going and who I’m with. There’ll be plans in place for getting home safely. If something changes, letting someone know by text doesn’t take two minutes. Safety first and all that.
(And if you want to feel extra secure, some dating sites like matchmehappy have implemented AI technology and a solid infrastructure to keep people safe!)
Thou shalt not stress about how soon thou has sex with someone
Planning and calculating when to have sex isn’t something that floats my boat. It’s 2020. Sex should be fun, spontaneous and happen whenever two (or more, if you’re having a particularly wild night) consenting adults both fancy doing it. I’ve been shamed by friends for sleeping with guys on a first date (it’s only ever happened twice, and I don’t regret either occasion), but if a guy judges me for doing so, then he has double standards anyway, and who wants that, right?
Whether I’ve known someone five minutes or five years, if the energy is there, it’s there. Ya feel?
Thou shalt date multiple people
Confession time; I have a terrible habit of getting invested WAY too quickly. One good date with a guy and I find myself swearing off dating apps, stalking his social media, and wondering what my friends will think of him when we inevitably fall in love, get together, and I introduce him to them. Hah. If only, eh?
Because what actually happens is I’ll meet someone I like, see them a few times, we’ll canoodle, things will escalate… Cue the ghosting. Or the changed vibes. Or maybe even the polite text to say they’re not feeling it. And with each of those scenarios comes a disappointing sting. So now, until things get serious with someone, I do myself favour and keep my options open. Play the field. Have some fun. Y’know.
What are go-to rules when dating?
What would your commandments be?