The Essential Guide to Dating
By Vanessa Palencia
The dating world has so many rules nowadays that it’s hard to decide which rules actually work. Social media, dating apps, and texting have blurred the dating lines, so I’m here to make it easier for you to understand the essential rules and boundaries of the dating world.
What to Do
Demonstrate your love. Everyone has a different love language, so find out your partner’s love language and speak to them that way. If they really appreciate acts of service, then help them out around the house. If they really appreciate quality time, then make sure you fit them into your schedule. Whatever it is, make sure you fulfill that love language because it helps keep you two connected and in sync with each other.
Communicate. I think everyone underestimates the power of communication, but I assure you that it’s crucial. Even for the little things. If something is bothering you and it takes up all your energy, then it’s worth mentioning. It doesn’t matter if what you’re upset about is the fact that your partner is drinking your goat’s milk. If it bothers you, tell them so that you can talk it out. If you don’t talk about it with your partner, then it will never get addressed and the negative feelings will consume you and affect your relationship.
Respect your partner. This is obvious, but sometimes it can be so easy to disrespect your partner. For example, some guys think that they’re complimenting their girl when they say how hot she looks in a bikini, but to some girls, it may come off as being treating like a sexual object. It really all depends on your situation and what your and your partner’s values are.
Keep your love life private. It can be so easy to talk to others about what’s going on in your relationship because you might be so excited about what’s happening, but divulging too much to others about your relationship can also be a bad thing. You can talk to your friend about how loved you felt when he took care of you while you were sick, or how she made you feel so happy when she started reading your favorite book. But talking about how horrible your partner is in bed is something that shouldn’t be a topic of conversation. It’s one thing to playfully banter about how frustrating your partner can be when they forget to make the bed, but something more personal is where you should draw the line. Once the negative domino falls, focusing on the negative traits of your partner can overshadow all the positive traits that made you fall in love with that person.
Develop trust. This means you need to be reliable and follow through with your promises. Without trust, it can be difficult to communicate and without communication you can bet that there will be numerous times where your relationship is tense.
What Not to Do
Don’t approach or make advances on someone who has a boyfriend or girlfriend. I don’t care if that person told you that they will be leaving or are ending their relationship. Until that relationship is officially over, you need to steer clear. I know that some of you may think that this is obvious, but you would be surprised how many people I’ve seen who couldn’t care less about whether someone was in a relationship. I should also mention that this rule also applies to flirting. You shouldn’t be flirting with anyone if you’re in a relationship as well. Flirting is not harmless (as some people believe) because it’s the building block in a relationship. It allows people to develop some sort of relationship with each other. If you are unsatisfied with your relationship, then try talking it out with your partner. If you have fallen out of love, then end the relationship. You can’t make your problems go away by redirecting your attention elsewhere.
Don’t put yourself out there if you aren’t ready to be in a relationship. Think of this concept as a hit-and-run. If someone hit your car and then drove away, that person is at fault, right? Same thing in a relationship. If you hit on somebody or lead them on and then run away when they start showing interest in you, that isn’t cool. You’re just allowing yourself to constantly break people’s hearts. If you thrive on that, then maybe you should reevaluate your sense of respectability and confidence.
Don’t take relationship advice from someone who doesn’t have what you want. In other words, be careful who you take your relationship advice from. It’s totally normal to want to talk to others (close friends, family) to bounce ideas off of, but if the person you’re talking to has a bad repertoire of relationships or is in a relationship that you’re not fond of, then you shouldn’t be asking for advice from that person.
Cheat. This is self-explanatory, but nowadays there are so many ways to cheat. It’s not always in the physical form.
- Don’t intrude on their privacy. This means no looking through their phone or going through their drawers when they’re not around. If you have a desire to do these things then the foundation of trust has not been built or is falling apart, so you need to work on building that trust first.
Of course, I’ve only addressed a few things. In the dating world, there are so many different scenarios and so many questions, but my advice to you is that you use your best judgement. Sometimes the best question you can ask yourself is, “if my partner was doing this to me, would I be okay with it?” If the answer is no, then don’t do it. But most importantly, communication is key no matter what stage your relationship is in.
Comment below if you guys would love to see a relationship advice column!