10 Dating Rules You Should Stick To If You Respect Yourself

Listen to any love guru or self-help book and you’ll hear the same old dating rules repeated time and time again. Some are better than others, but there are a few you seriously NEED to follow if you’re a woman with self-respect:

  1. Never go after someone who’s taken. You’d think that this one would be obvious, and hopefully it is, but there are some people out there who think nothing of chasing after someone who’s already in a relationship. It must be the whole ‘forbidden fruit’ thing that pulls them in, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less screwed up. Trying to steal someone else’s partner is never okay, even if that person seems into it. It’s disrespectful to you, the guy, and his girlfriend. Find someone who’s free and single and back off.
  2. Your time is finite; don’t waste it on pointless dates. You only have so many years on this planet. Whatever time you have, it’s finite — you’re not getting any of it back. That’s why you shouldn’t waste your time on the wrong guy, especially when you know from the start that he’s terrible for you. If you’re dating someone just so that you can say you’re not alone, it’s a mistake. If you ain’t interested in the dude, be fair to both of you and just call it quits.
  3. Don’t cancel plans with your friends for a new guy. Sure, when you’re dating a new guy, things can be pretty darn exciting and you’ll want to spend as much time with him as possible. Still, passing up on pre-made plans with your girls when he calls is not okay. You need to get your priorities in check. Women who respect themselves don’t bend over backward for a guy the minute he gets in touch. Instead, be real with him and reschedule.
  4. Never, ever assume he’ll pay for your meal. Calling yourself a modern woman and then going into a date with the assumption that your guy’s gonna pay for the meal doesn’t quite work. If you want a steady, equal relationship, you need to set this premise from the start. You can’t just see a date as a free meal ticket because doing so makes you a gold digger. You might not like the phrase, but you know it’s true.
  5. If he’s rude to you, walk away. If you respect yourself, you should never let anyone else disrespect you. The very minute that a guy’s rude to you, you need to stand up and walk away from him. You don’t need to sit there and set him straight — it’s not your job to ‘fix’ him. Removing yourself from the situation is a powerful move and will show him that you’re way stronger than he ever imagined.
  6. If he doesn’t seem interested in you, don’t chase him. No matter how you try to kid yourself, you know all too well when a guy just isn’t interested. He might not explicitly tell you to get lost, but his actions will. If a man’s ignoring your calls, being purposely distant, or putting in the minimum effort, you can be all but certain that he’s not after you. Stop chasing him. Begging him to be your guy is just plain embarrassing and you’re better than that. Respect yourself and move on.
  7. Never feel that you have to justify your beliefs. Everyone has a set of beliefs — religious, political, personal and otherwise — that govern them. These core set of values are things you should never be ashamed of. If a guy starts to question what you hold dear, don’t bother trying to justify yourself. Doing so adds fire to his argument and will only mean that the whole thing ends in tears. Sometimes, two people just aren’t compatible and that’s perfectly okay.
  8. Avoid oversharing on the first date. Do you get anxious when that all-important first date rolls around? For many of us, these pre-date nerves mean that we end up talking too much and ultimately oversharing. Telling some guy you’ve just met everything about you may feel fine at the time but it leaves you vulnerable. Right now, you don’t know whether things are going to work out with the dude, so spilling your innermost fears to him may not be the genius idea you think it is.
  9. Take the time to really get to know to your date. While you’re busy holding some of your cards firmly to your chest, there’s something else you ought to be focussing your attention on — him. Dates are all about getting to know one another. That means that you need to take the time and energy to really get to know your date on a serious level. When he tells you things about himself, don’t zone out; really listen to him. Only insecure women make dates all about them. Don’t be one of them.
  10. Don’t stay with someone if you don’t love them. If you’re with someone because you’re scared to be alone, stop. Staying in a loveless relationship is the most damaging thing you can do for yourself and your guy. Honestly, you need to set that man free. He doesn’t deserve to be in this situation any more than you do. If it’s fear that’s holding you back, remind yourself that your relationship doesn’t define you. You still have an identity whether you’re single or taken.
Charlotte is a freelance writer who's addicted to binge-watching TV, drinking far too much coffee, and writing articles.