The dating game has changed in a big way in the 21st century. While casual hookups have always been a thing, they’re practically the norm now. With our new hook-up culture, women are still projecting old school expectations on the men of this generation that, quite frankly, need to be tossed off the fire escape. Seriously, ladies; this is the same generation that has entire websites dedicated to discussing and sharing screenshots of our frequent receipt of penis pictures and unwarranted offers of sex. It’s time we update our old school rule book by axing these tired dating traditions.
- The man must initiate. Whether it’s waiting for him to ask you out or to text you first, there’s such a thing as confidence and it’s not sacrificed if you are the first one to reach out. This doesn’t mean go overboard and send eight texts in a row telling your life story in emojis. If you want to ask him out for a drink, do it. If you want to send a text to say Hi, do it. If you don’t get a reply or a yes, oh well! Move on and weed the game players out early, before any real feelings are invested.
- Real men open doors. You’re a millennial woman; you can open the doors yourself. It’s a bonus if a man does, just don’t assume he’s a loser if he doesn’t. His version of chivalry might be of the modern variety. Maybe he doesn’t open doors, but instead he offers you the last piece of pizza, or takes the selfie for the two of you to get your best facial angle.
- The ring should be three months’ salary. While some men do still follow tradition, it shouldn’t be expected. Women seem to have a strong sense of entitlement when it comes to getting engaged and are focused on what the ring looks like/how much it costs. Times are tough, yo! Let your man buy you what he can afford. In this generation, receiving someone’s commitment for the rest of their lives is hard enough, so don’t knock a guy down because you got 0.5 carats instead of 2. The fact that he loves you that much should be enough. Besides, even the biggest ring in the world isn’t worth a crappy marriage, so get your priorities in line.
- He should write you love letters. You’ll need to accept that the “good morning, babe” text message is the modern equivalent. As much as we wish that every man was the embodiment of The Notebook‘s Noah, who wrote Allie a letter by hand for every day of the year, it’s not reality. Some men even forget to sign their names on a Valentine’s Day card. Every man has a different love language and it’s time to come to grips that yours may not be the poetic worded kind.
- The first date should be thoughtful. Let’s face it: dates are happening more often and more frequently for everyone. While yes, you want to feel like you’re being courted by the new guy taking you out, you can’t always expect it’s going to be dinner and a movie. Especially when in some places, the movie alone for two people with popcorn and a soda is upwards of $50. If he suggests just a coffee or a drink, don’t assume he’s cheap. Understand that if you are the one he chooses to spend more of his time with, the dates will likely to progress into longer, more meaningful ones.
- No sex before commitment. It’s a nice idea in theory, but don’t forget that we’re labelled the “hook-up culture.” It’s perfectly cool if you want to hold off a bit until you actually know more about the guy, but don’t base your entire decision on the fact that you’re waiting for a label to be given to the relationship. Instead, just have fun and enjoy the moments as they come. If the moment feels like sex is right, then go for it. In the end, if the guy is going to be a disrespectful douche and think less of you for sacking up when you felt right, he wasn’t the guy for you anyway.