Once upon a time, there was a set of first date rules that people more or less agreed upon. While the rules varied slightly, people were never shocked when they were enforced. Things like “don’t kiss goodnight on the first date” and “wait three days before you call” were the norm. But as technology advanced, these first date rules began to change.
With the advent of online dating, we began to date at the speed of light. And yet, many still felt beholden to the old first date rules. Well, it’s time we acknowledge that things have changed. Here are five new and improved first date tips for today’s modern daters.
1. The lead-up to a first date doesn’t have to be fancy.
A guy used to call a girl to confirm the date, pick her up at her house, and bring her flowers. Now, people just send a quick message or text to make sure the date is still on. A girl might not want a guy to pick her up, because if it’s a blind date, she might not want him to know where she lives. And flowers are certainly nice, but definitely not necessary or expected. Just keep it casual.
2. The actual date doesn’t have to be fancy, either.
Back in the day, a traditional first date was a nice dinner at a swanky restaurant. But these days, just about anything goes for a first date. Since so many more first dates are blind dates now, the actual dates themselves tend to be much more casual. Lean into that and don’t put too much pressure on planning the perfect first date; just let it happen naturally.
3. Both parties should offer to split the bill.
If the guy insists on paying, that’s cool. But it should be normal for both parties to offer to split the bill. It’s simply rude to expect someone to pay your way, regardless of your gender.
4. If you want to go for the goodnight kiss, give it a try.
People have debated what is and isn’t physically “okay” on the first date for decades. Kissing someone goodnight was once considered taboo, and sleeping with someone on the first date was downright scandalous. As long as it’s consensual, what you do at the end of your first date is your business.
5. After a first date, text the person whenever you want to.
I know this is going to alienate some people, but hear me out: the “three-day rule” is ancient history. Nowadays, three days might as well be three weeks. A lot can happen in three days—namely, your date can swipe on another match who isn’t waiting to text them. So if you’re into someone and want to go on a second date, just tell them. Patience is shorter and options are aplenty; in 2018, people don’t have time to have their time wasted.
And then, there’s maybe the biggest dating rule of all: There are no rules. Okay, that’s not entirely true. But the rules have changed. And so have the many ways we can apply them to our lives. What works for you with one person might not work the same with another. And that’s okay! As long as you know that the rules are flexible and you treat your date with respect, you can have fun figuring out your own set of rules together.