Sex in the limestone city: We need to follow our own rules

Why we can’t keep up with sociey’s dating advice

Image supplied by: Journal File Photo

Dating in the modern age can be difficult – there’s no denying it. 

I’ve both voiced complaints myself and heard numerous others from friends about how hard it is to actually have a relationship in our millennial era. In a generation that’s often overcome by social media, ever-changing societal norms and constant pressures to juggle multiple commitments at a time, maintaining a healthy relationship can seem near impossible.

That being said, I think it’s very possible that a lot of the time, we actually make it much harder than it needs to be by setting dating rules we think we need to abide by to properly approach a relationship. 

These rules can include things like waiting three days to call or text someone, waiting three dates to sleep with someone for the first time or waiting on ‘the universe’ to provide signs before initiating a relationship.

In whatever way we decide these rules, whether we take them from unrealistic romantic comedies or from advice from our friends, more often than not these rules actually hinder rather than help our dating experience. 

Waiting three days to call or text someone is one of the most cliché and commonly known rules out there. The conception of this rule came from wanting to keep your partner guessing on your levels of interest and to avoid looking too desperate right off the bat. The way I interpret this rule is that anyone following it is wasting a perfectly good opportunity to tell someone how great they are, and instead making them feel like they left a first impression unworthy of a follow up text or call. 

When I first met my current partner, he texted me that night to tell me he wanted to see me again. And call me crazy but this didn’t make me block his number for coming on too strong or desperately. Instead, it only solidified what I already thought — that he was a great person and clearly worth getting to know better.

As for the rule of waiting until the third date to sleep with someone for the first time, I don’t know who made it up but I’d like an explanation. I understand the underlying concept of guarding yourself against dates who may only be interested in sex and not a relationship. However, you can never really know what someone truly wants in a relationship and it can be unproductive to hold back and make assumptions.

If you’re both on the same page — wanting a physical as well as an emotional relationship — you may just be putting off the discovery of whether or not you have great sexual chemistry. My advice on this subject is that if you’re both feeling it, go for it, whether that’s 10 minutes or 10 months into dating. At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be living under a timeline unless you’re comfortable with it. 

The TV show of our generation, How I Met Your Mother, has many of the characters constantly looking for signs from the universe to make major life decisions, like deciding if the random person they just met in the bar is “the one”. Looking at it objectively, it seems illogical to think someone would hold off on making a decision based on an undependable universal sign but people do this all the time in real life. 

Oftentimes, we look for signs without even realizing we’re doing it. How many of us are guilty of believing in strange connections, such as both thinking pineapple belongs on a pizza, as being an indication of finding the one? Instead of these silly alliances, we should be looking at whether or not we share core values with a person that are necessary to make a relationship work. 

This also happens when people look to horoscopes to figure out their most compatible sign. It’s illogical to think there are people out there who will refuse to go out with someone great because they’re a Libra and not a Virgo. 

There’s an important quote from How I Met Your Mother where Ted realizes, “you can ask the universe for signs all you want, but ultimately, we only see what we want to see, when we’re ready to see it.” 

We can follow dating rules all we want but it’s only until we find the person that makes all these rules sound ridiculous that we can actually understand we’ve found someone worth being with. And at that point we make our own rules. 

—Barrie Cradshaw


Dating, Sex column

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