1. If you’re interested, ask a person out, regardless of who you think is “supposed” to do the asking. Yes, it’s scary. This is coming from a person who has gone skydiving, done public speaking and lived abroad with strangers. I still find asking guys out to be a little terrifying. But I’m not going to stop, because the alternative is worse. I’ve never regretted letting a guy know I was interested. I have regretted not making a move on a certain Air Force member I met in Tstan, though. If you’re afraid someone will be turned off by your forwardness ask yourself if you really want to date someone who would be turned off by that.
1a. If you’re interested, ask a person out, regardless of whether you think they’re “in your league” or not. It’s really not up to you to decide that. It’s actually kind of presumptuous and insulting to assume that you can judge for the other person who or what they deserve. Besides, you may be selling yourself short and jeopardizing an opportunity for happiness.
2. Only date someone if they have a similar worldview. If you’re a strict vegan your relationship with a meat-eating hunter isn’t going to work, no matter how cute they are. This isn’t to say you have to be on the same page for everything, but if there’s polar opposite thinking on the big stuff you’re passionate about, cease and desist.
3. Don’t date someone if there isn’t mutual respect. This should be a no-brainer, but, from what I’ve witnessed as a high school teacher, unfortunately, it often isn’t. Do they demean you? That’s different than playful teasing. Is this a person who would defend you if someone was talking smack about you or would they keep mum? Is this a person who would hold your hair while you were puking or would they disappear whenever you’re not your polished best? Do they listen to you and remember things you’ve said or do they keep forgetting you’re allergic to shellfish? Are they supportive when you face a drawback and also when you have a success or do they seem apathetic or jealous of your achievements?
4. It actually does matter what your family and friends think. If your family or friends are dysfunctional, as in they might be jealous or have other ulterior motives for keeping you apart, that’s different. But for the most part your fam and friends know you and love you well enough to discern if someone is a good fit or not. If Romeo and Juliet had listened to their parents, they’d still be alive today. Well, you know what I mean.
5. Know when to ignore rules and relationship advice. Every relationship is as individual as the people who comprise it. Some couples take separate vacations or sleep in separate rooms. Other couples wear matching outfits and call each other “lovedoodle” in public. Just because your best friend’s boyfriend tattooed her name on his butt doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your relationship because yours didn’t. Just because your brother feels the need to call his wife every night on your camping trip because he misses her, doesn’t mean he loves her more than you love yours because you can go a few days without talking. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your relationship with others’.
6. Most importantly, and this applies to all of life, not just dating, is never let someone tell you how to act based on what’s between your legs. How should you act? You should be honest, kind, compassionate, forgiving, prudent, and self-controlled. That’s true for everyone. If you’re a girl who likes to play sports or a boy who likes to sing and dance, that’s perfectly acceptable. The right people will not only accept that about you, they will like that about you.
That’s it. All the rules about waiting three days to call after a first date or how long you should wait to kiss or blah, blah, blah: those are all rubbish. Life will be better when we all stop thinking of dating as a game and instead focus on developing honest relationships (of all kinds) with people.