Everything That Happened When I Stopped Following All the Dating Rules

Here's the thing, I'm a very by the book kind of girl. I use crosswalks, read direction manuals and always make sure to follow the guidelines on every assignment. The same applies to my dating history, with me getting to know each guy slowly, not texting him too quickly and generally playing the game we all call dating nowadays.

Then this thing happened at the start of 2016, I was dumped on New Year's Day. On my way to see Sisters no less! (Great movie by the way.) After having the typical post breakup meltdown for a while I realized all my work in getting to know a guy left me where it always did, heartbroken, crying on the bathroom floor, wondering what I did wrong. And that's when I realized what exactly I'd been doing wrong, I'd been following this imaginary rule book as if my dating life was a game of Life. Except in this case the mess left afterwards didn't neatly fit into a box when it's all over.

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Once I was done mourning the end of my relationship and feeling comfortable on my own, I decided I wasn't going to waste any time trying to meet someone new. I did something completely new to me, I tried online dating for the first time in my life.


After a dozen boring conversations and one good date that went nowhere I was about to call it quits, plus the constant notifications at all hours of the night were not sitting well with me. Then an ordinary boy sent me a message, but unlike all the others our conversation was anything but ordinary.

One marathon date followed by a dinner date the next night led me to realize that maybe I have been doing it wrong all along. What if all those rules on how long we should wait to text and how available we should seem were made by people who are just like us? Single, at home, watching Locked Up Abroad with Papa Johns. It was during my Lyft ride home that I decided I was going to say screw it to all the rules that had led me to where I currently was, single after dating a guy who near the end showed no respect towards anyone, including me.

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To quote my HR manager, "I was a modern woman," and like hell I was going to start dating like one. So I text the boy I had dinner with immediately after it ended, thanking him for making me dinner and spending the evening with me. The next day we spoke about how the ridiculous facial expression I made tasting quinoa for the first time, and the next day we scheduled our third date.

The moment I stopped worrying about whether I would look too eager, too available, too clingy is the moment I was able to step back and just enjoy what was going on around me. I had my third date with a boy in the past 5 days and the more time I spent with him the less I care whether it's appropriate or not.

So here's the thing, sure I could have spaced out our dates and looked less available, but for what? So I could sit at home alone wondering if he was doing the same? My match may not be falling in love with me or even interested in seeing me exclusively, but by saying 'no thank you' to all the rules that come with dating, I've now discovered just how fun it can be to enjoy a date for what it is, a night with a stranger who may or may not lead you to smile as you walk your daily path to the train station. And isn't that what everyone secretly wants in the end, a reason to smile like an idiot on a Monday morning?


Okay spill, have you tried online dating? How did it work out in your situation?

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10 comments

  1. It took me a while to realize this, but - yes! Throw those rules out the window. A girl I know recently emailed me and said she met a guy and things were going well (they'd been on like 3 dates), but was it too soon to discuss 'what they were looking for?' Um, no? I'll tell a guy on date 1 that I'm looking for a serious relationship and if he runs because of that? Then that was not the guy for me (not to mention, me saying that doesn't mean I'm necessarily looking for that with HIM, sooo).

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    1. Ugh yes x10000. If a guy gets scared by just the mention of being serious, then I cant take him seriously. Plus, three dates is longer than I would have lasted before asking lol

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  2. Love this! Thanks for sharing. I struggle so much with being vulnerable on the blog, and just wrote my own dating post. I totally agree! I hate the games we play in the world. If you feel like texting someone do it. If they think it's too eager than they can move on and at least you can say you tried and were yourself.

    http://moosmusing.com

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    1. It's a bit odd at first but I just remind myself that 99% of the critical opinions people will have I'll never hear. And yes, I rather be authentic than pretend to not be bothered by things

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  3. I loved reading this! I've never been one to follow "dating rules" to a T. I always tried to talk to the guy as much as possible and never turn down a time to hang out when I was available. If he thinks I'm too clingy then he's not the one!

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    1. Better he know I'm clingy now (which I AM) than find out later. I don't think I've ever been good at the hard to get game

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  4. I've never done the internet dating thing and I've always thought I'd have to be pretty desperate before I try it. Now I'm kinda wondering where that desperate point begins...will it be 24? 30? 38? I keep seeing those obnoxious dating website ads on Facebook so maybe it's a sign!

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    1. I never thought I would use it when I was desperate, I was just always on the boat that I had no problem meeting guys in real life. It wasn't until I realized all the guys I was meeting were missing a key quality that I decided to give it a shot.

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  5. When Pai texted me that breezy February evening and asked what I was doing, there was NO. WAY. I was playing hard to get. I was playing "Come pick me up and takeme out because you're cute and I want to marry you!" in a much more subtle, damsel in distress kind of way. AKA save me from Grey's Anatomy binge watching/flaming hot cheetos binge eating self. Boom. Marriage. 3 years later. ;)

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    1. Hahahaha, that is so me. Greys Anatomy is the reason I have high expectations in relationship, up to assuming my deceased love will come back to keep me company lol

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