Words by Tiffany Forbes Art by Chloe Papas
It’s 2019, Dua Lipa has set the new rules of dating – and we’re following it. Two of my best friends fell in love swiping right, and I just double texted my new razz.
Moral of the story? Times have changed, and so should we.
Social media presence and changing gender norms have not only revolutionised the dating world, but have left us navigating unfamiliar territory.
So it’s time to ditch all the ancient ‘dating rules’ – yes that includes waiting three days to text back, and not double texting – because it just shouldn’t be that complicated.
If you want to make it out of the modern dating scene alive (hopefully with a bae or even three – no judgement here), there’s a new set of rules on the block.
Rule #1 MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
I don’t care if you’re a boy or a girl or something in between. If I hear “the man has to make the first move” ever again I might just scream. If you’re interested in someone, regardless of gender, it’s time to take control. Message them, initiate the interaction because life’s too short to wait around.
Rule #2 MIND GAMES ARE CANCELLED
I’ll admit I’m a serious hypocrite when it comes to this rule. If a boy takes an hour to message me back, I’d make it a statement not to reply straight away in fear of looking too ‘keen’. Looking back, what was the point? Waiting around and feigning interest for what? My pride?
Take the cue. Interest is sexy, confidence is sexy, and if they’re really worth your time then no duration between messages is going to change that.
Rule #3 PREPARE TO BE STALKED
By stalked, I’m talking the customary Facebook and Instagram squiz when you first start talking to someone. You’re definitely lying if you say you haven’t done this. To any of my past/future partners, there’s a fair chance I can recite your entire family tree and what you had for dinner in 2013 – but let’s not talk about that.
Simply be aware that in this digital age, your social media profiles play a significant role in people’s initial perceptions of you, so make sure they are something you’re proud of.
Rule #4 YOU CAN’T MAKE SOMEONE LIKE YOU
In saying that, social media makes it oh so easy to create an image of ourselves that may be a tad too curated. Don’t lose your own authenticity to tailor yourself to someone else’s preferences, and certainly don’t change to fit a certain mould. In a world where you can be anything you want to be, yourself is the greatest person you can be. Find someone who complements the real you.
Rule #5 PAYING IS A TWO WAY STREET
Okay so now you’ve scored the date, what’s the deal with paying in the 21st century?
I know this one depends on a number of various factors, so I decided to consult my single and coupled friends on their personal preferences:
“Personally, I think it’s the person who asks for the date in the first place. If the guy asks for a date, he is obliged to pay and vice versa.”
“I always find it a nice gesture when a guy offers to pay; it’s chivalrous in a way, but I always offer to split it because it’s the right thing to do.”
“I feel like this one matters more on a first date. The guy doesn’t have to pay, but I feel like he has to at least offer, especially if he was the one who asked you out.”
“I always offer to split the bill. It just seems normal to me that everything should be divided between the two of you.”
Rule #6 FOR FUCK’S SAKE PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY
I went on to ask their major first date deal breakers and we came to the general consensus that being preoccupied on your phone and continuously texting on a first date is just NOT COOL. Be present.
Rule #7 SEX IS “ACCEPTABLE” WHEN BOTH PARTIES ARE READY
If there’s one thing I strongly despise, it’s the word “acceptable.” Why we rely on societal constructs to decide whether something is right or wrong continues to baffle me. I say if you want to meet your match from Tinder and have saucy sex with them in the car, go for it. If you want to have casual sex with several partners on the regular, go for it. If you’re in a relationship and want to wait to have sex with your partner, wait for it. Consent from both parties is everything – it doesn’t matter whether that happens to be on the first or fifteenth date. Follow the chemistry, your own intuition and the safe sex practices you learnt in year nine science (because STDs and pregnancy scares are REAL).