Life is full of unspoken rules. Don't pass gas in an enclosed space. Don't call past 10:30. Don't use the silverware to pick at your teeth. And on, and on.
These rules pale in comparison to the unspoken rules about dating. I had a conversation with my mom the other day about this. It was one of the few times my mother and I have talked about dating and I didn't feel my eyes rolling back into my head. She said, in effect, "I don't know why you make dating so complicated." And, she's largely right. We have made dating too complicated. It seems like you have to have a degree in dating to feel comfortable. Which is unfortunate, because I don't really see why it matters to be "good" at dating. For many people, dating is a means to an end (i.e., marriage) but for others, it's mostly about having fun and getting out to meet new people. In either case, the rules seem to get in the way more than anything.
You know the rules that I'm talking about? I'm talking about things like this:
They say you shouldn't call too far in advance to plan a date, because then it's just weird. But, they also say that you shouldn't call with too little notice, because it seems, well, rude. So, what's a guy to do? If it's the day before, should I not call because it's too short of notice? Or, if I have these concert tickets I can buy, but it's 2 or 3 weeks in advance, can I still ask a person out without having to feel like I have to do things with them in the intervening time?
See what I mean about complicated? And, the "call or not call" is a pretty simple one. I haven't even started in on all the rest. Do you pick up the girl at her house? Or, is it okay to meet somewhere? After how many dates do you try for a doorstep kiss? What does the doorstep "hug" mean? When a date is on a weekend, does it have to go until midnight?
All these questions can be paralyzing. I think, instead, we should aim for stress free dating. If you're not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.
I went on a great date last week, and I broke probably half of the rules that I had read in my attempt brush up on first-date-iquette. So there you go... It's more about chemistry than anything, anyway.
The biggest tragedy of the whole situation, I think, is that people might sit home because of all the stupid rules. I mean, who really cares?