16 Dating Rules to Break in 2016

Following the standard dating procedures won’t force someone to like you, but breaking them will certainly help filter out those who don’t.
Following the standard dating procedures won’t force someone to like you, but breaking them will certainly help filter out those who don’t.
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

Let’s be honest, most of these dating rules are just excuses we’ve told ourselves over the years to avoid the fact that someone we liked simply didn’t like us back. At the end of the day, if you’re into someone, the "rules" don’t really matter. Following the standard dating procedures won’t force someone to like you, but breaking them will certainly help filter out those who don’t. If you, like me, find your old biological clock ticking away more loudly than ever, my advice is this: Spend this new year breaking all the rules that never took you anywhere except back into the questionably stained, black bed sheets of the fuckboy you keep running into at Friday’s happy hour.

Here are 16 millennial dating rules we've convinced ourselves actually matter, and 16 reasons why breaking them in 2016 is a fantastic idea. 

16. Wait to text back
While it's true everyone wants what they can’t have, you can’t run away forever. It’s also no fun having to wait two hours to reply with that hilarious quip you came up with on the spot. If you’re quick-witted, you deserve to show that off to anyone willing to text you in the first place. So text with wild abandon, because no one actually believes you’re busy. Half of us idiots “unknowingly” leave our read receipts on anyway, so it’s usually fairly obvious when we're ignoring someone on purpose.

15. Wait to sleep over
If you’re into someone, you want to sleep with them. You know it, they know it, the bartender and the waiter know it. All of your cats know it too. So sleep at their place by the third date, because if you wait too long, they will likely start to wonder if you’re trying to hide something — down there.

14. Be mysterious
We’re often told to avoid oversharing, but if you’re on a date with someone who looks exactly like you ex, just tell them! They’ve probably already lurked your Facebook and Instagram, so they know it’s true anyway. You may as well clear the air. In fact, bringing up the topic gives you the opportunity to rattle off a reason why they are better than your ex in a certain way, and everyone loves hearing that kind of trivia! Be an open book and cut to the chase, because what's the point in slowly introducing them to all the reasons you’re an alcoholic with low standards?

13. Be politically correct
From the time we go on our first play-date until we die, we're reminded constantly we must be kind to others if we're to be liked in return. I'm calling bullshit. If it bothers you that your partner enters every room beer belly first, you should let them know. In the long run, they will be grateful you helped push them toward a healthier lifestyle. You helped make them better! How is that not kind? I argue that the "be kind" rule should be replaced with "be honest." 

Text with wild abandon, because no one actually believes you’re busy.
Text with wild abandon, because no one actually believes you’re busy.
Photo by George Martinez

12. Do not sleep with their friends
Go ahead, be a homie hopper. If things start to fade out, just get with one of their friends. Most people say this is a deal-breaker, but the sense of jealousy and competition it evokes can also fuel great makeup sex. I had a friend sleep with three out of four roommates in a single house. The fourth guy went crazy wondering what he did wrong to get left out and chased her for months, buying her drinks and doing her favors. Smart woman if you ask me. 

11. Don’t get too drunk
Get wasted enough so that they have to take care of you. This will tell you if they are a good caretaker or not. Imagine how terrible co-parenting will be with someone if they can’t manage to clean your face after vomiting that last Fat Tuesday’s slush you downed just so you could get the cute pink-and-blue bottle.

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10. Don’t “ghost”
It’s definitely rude to ghost on someone, and it’s never the mature thing to do. But some people in this town are going to give you no choice, since the ratio of total weirdos to normal, dateable humans is exceptionally high in South Florida. When the red flags come out, it’s safest to just bounce without explanation. There will also be times when you simply have too many potential hotties vying for your attention at once. After choosing one (or two), what are you supposed to tell the others? “I’m going to table you for now, but wait right here for when my first pick doesn’t work out”? No. You’ll need to avoid any conversation that forces you to cut things off officially so that, if/when things don’t work out with your first pick, you can just shoot them a quick message a few months later saying, “Sorry, I was stuck in a tunnel."

9. Don’t casually hookup without exclusivity
This one is especially hard to follow in South Florida. There are hot bodies walking around everywhere, so why would anyone want to be exclusive? That’s like going to Tap 42 and forcing yourself to drink just one kind of craft beer just because it's the one you tried first. There are like, 100 options on that wall, and there’s a very small chance you picked the best one on the first try. You can’t give away that BF/GF title to just anyone, and if you also can’t hookup without having that commitment, then you better find your soulmate soon or brace yourself for the long dry-spell ahead.


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