There are a lot of different dating guides out there and each has a different set of rules that they urge you to follow. However, if you ask your friends who are in relationships, you’ll find that many of these rules can and should be bent or broken sometimes. Of course, the dating guides will tell you that if you follow their rules to the letter, you’ll definitely find your ideal match.
Is it really as easy as following some simple dating rules? Of course it isn’t. All the same, many of these guides do give some good general advice, which, if you follow them for the most part will help you find someone who’s right for you. There are no guarantees in love and few in life in general, which is something you should always keep in mind.
The unpredictability of life is why most of these dating rules don’t quite work out in reality. I’m sure that the people who write these books are going to be furious at me for saying so, but there are very few people who can genuinely ascribe their success in love to the rules in these books. When it comes down to it, there is one piece of advice you’ll find in all of these books which is universally true: that you need to be in a good place emotionally and accept yourself before you’re ready to bring someone else into your life.
Your self-esteem has a lot to do with how well you’ll negotiate dating and relationships. If you’re needy and expect someone else to meet all of your emotional needs, you’ll have a hard time building a functional relationship. No amount of dating rules will change that and in fact, following the rules when you’re not ready for a relationship will probably just backfire on you.
Only once you’re ready to date should you really look at any other rules. Some of the basics like being yourself, having good hygiene and the like are all great, but these flow naturally from feeling good about yourself and being comfortable in your own skin.
There are also rules which are simply too complicated to follow in real life, since they restrict you from doing what may be exactly the right move. For example, some of the dating books will tell you exactly when you should call someone after a date. If you have a date and really like the person you’ve seen, you don’t have to wait X number of days to ask them out again. If the feeling is mutual, just pick up the phone!
Some books tell you what you should and shouldn’t talk about on a date. Of course there are some topics which you shouldn’t bring up. No one wants to hear about your ex, especially on a first date. You can acknowledge it if the topic comes up, but change the subject quickly, just as you would any other unpleasant subject that might arise. Don’t follow a script, you’ll sound unnatural or socially awkward; or at least, that’s how your date will probably perceive it.
It’s OK to read these dating guides and give their rules some thought though. We all need a little help from time to time, but it’s a mistake to think that you have to rigidly follow a set of dating rules. Think of them as general guidelines, not something written in stone. They could be a source of useful advice, but if a book is telling you to do something you’re not comfortable with, feel free to ignore it and be yourself.
Like life, dating is unpredictable and that’s a big part of the excitement. Don’t let yourself be governed by rules that someone else has thought up. Dating is supposed to be fun, so give yourself a little freedom to explore and enjoy what the world has to offer.