I’m not denying that some men are idiots when it comes to romance–“some” being the operative word–though this article sure does help to clear up the cloud of dust that is the male species. But cracking the postgrad relationship code doesn’t boil down to the wrongs and rights of the dudes…yes, we sometimes (always) keep tally. While I’m no Sue Johanson, I can guarantee that this thing they call dating is nowhere near as complicated as Taylor Swift makes it seem. Though it’s not in our character to follow other people’s advice when it comes to relationships, the internet is always right.
Please, don’t take that advice–but I’d be flattered if you considered the following:
- Get off your phone: Keep it in your purse. No snapchats of your food. No selfies together. No texting. Just dating, sans technology.
- Order whatever you want: If he takes you to a nice Italian restaurant, commit carbocide. You have the rest of the week to get back on your diet, or whatever.
- Do not mention your ex: There are tons of girls who will dig their claws into almost any guy for security purposes. If a dude thinks you only want him so you can tote him on your arm like a Kate Spade pocket book, he’ll write you off pretty quickly. If you mention your ex, he also might think you’re still hung up on him, which you probably are if you’re talking about him, in which case you should not be seeking a companion. That’s what your girl friends are for.
- Cross your legs: I know that Julie Andrews told you that “princesses never cross their legs in public” (“Princess Diaries,” if I must) but this is the cardinal rule of female professionalism. Cross ’em.
- Have other hobbies: Dating someone new is super exciting and wanting to only talk about and hang out with him or her is natural. However, throughout this whole dating process, continue to involve yourself in activities that you love, the things that have shaped you into who you are. Read good books. Explore new hikes. Play the piano. Stay interesting and keep your mind occupied for the times when you’re super stressed because he hasn’t texted you all day.
- Get off the couch: It can be nerve-racking to step outside of your comfort zone, especially with a complete stranger who you’re either mildly or wildly attracted to, which is why resorting to couch potato-ing seems like a logical way to avoid first-date jitters. But actually, you’ll bond better and deeper if you go into the big, bad world and do something. That’s why they make the people on those stupid dating shows do ridiculous shit together, like skydiving. It makes them fall in love quicker because of the adrenaline rush. I’m not saying you should jump off a building hand-in-hand, but definitely don’t jump into couch cushions on date number one, or two, or three.
- Take note of his shoes: I’ve heard it said that a man’s shoes are the most telling thing about him. Personally, I’m all about the Clarks.
- Wear nice shoes: The same goes for girls. If your hair looks good and your shoes are nice, the rest of you doesn’t have to be 100 percent. But it will be anyway, duh.
- Text first: Whoever came up with the rule that men should be the only ones to initiate conversation is a grade-A bozo. Ladies, grow a pair. It’s okay to say “wassappp” if you want to talk to him. Odds are, he’ll be happy you did, so long as you don’t say, “wassappp.”
- Be on time, every time: None of this fashionably late nonsense. My soccer coach always used to say, “early is on time, on time is late, and late is inexcusable.” If you show up late, he’ll perceive it to mean that A) you don’t really care about your date, or B) you’re high maintenance.
- Act like a lady: I’m the greatest advocate for bro-ing out that there is. I wear backwards baseball caps and I crush burgers like it’s a gosh darn commandment. But come on, if you’re going to take 10 hours to prepare for this date, then try to act like the lovely lady that you are.
- No cursing: It’s not ladylike.
- Offer to split the bill: Simply because it’s a nice gesture.
- Don’t get angry if he takes you up on splitting the bill: Him paying for you does not quantify how much he likes you.
- Avoid telling your friends every last detail: It’s so tempting to screenshot the “I miss you” texts and come running with every fight, but you’ll find that if you keep some secrets between the two of you that it’s so much more gratifying in the end. After all, isn’t that what intimacy is?
- Do not mention Taylor Swift: Looks like I’ve already violated this rule twice in this article. Oops. I don’t care how amazing “Shake It Off” is, nor do I give a shit that “Red” was your sole means of getting over your college boyfriend. Leave the broad out of your love life.
- Marriage is not the ultimate goal: A wedding ring is pretty, but so is the journey to it. That was cliché. And it didn’t make sense. But you know what I mean. Just enjoy the ride and things will fall into place. I promise.