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Ten Rules of Dating

By Sophie Cosovich

As Jane Austen said, “It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single person in possession of wit and a few too many Taylor Swift albums must be in want of a boyfriend,” or something like that. However, in the 21st century courting constructs are out, and liking someone’s Instagram story has become synonymous with a proposal. This means that we hopeless romantics are having to fend for ourselves in a sea of likes, DMs, and “U up?” texts. The idea of finding Mr. Right is fading quicker than ever. But, fret not, I have created my very own 10 Rules of Dating. These 10 rules can’t guarantee that your perfect boyfriend will appear before you at midnight, but they promise to help you sort through all the Mr. Wrongs in record time. 

  1. Listen to your gut. I don’t mean to repeat a phrase you’ve likely heard a thousand times before, but it's true. You’ll know when you are with a good guy as easily as you’ll know when you are with a bad guy. Maybe you sense it in his smile or his words, but you’ll know. The hardest part of this rule exists in trust. You have to trust yourself to walk away when it’s bad or stay when it’s good. 

  1. If your friends/family don’t like him, he’s probably a bad guy. Okay, we have all been there before. We bring home a guy who we think is amazing, but everyone in our life seems to disagree. This plays out the same way every time. We yell at our friends and family, saying something along the lines of “he’s just misunderstood,” or even the deadly “you just don’t get him as I do,” but then a few weeks later we’re crying to those same friends, telling them how he’s such a bad guy and that we “never saw this coming.” So how do we avoid this? Listen to your friends from the get-go. When entering a new relationship, you’re wearing rose-colored glasses, looking past all the bad. Your friends aren’t though, and they can see right through him. 

  1. No message is a message. 14 hours on delivered does not mean that “he’s just busy.” Is he too busy? Has he not touched his phone since you texted him? NO! The answer is always no! If he really liked you, he would respond. If you are spending half a day waiting around for a man to answer a text, you are going to be waiting a lot longer for him to show up for you in a relationship.

  1. People are who they hang out with. Now, my friends and I aren't identical by any means, but we have similar interests and viewpoints. The same can be said for male friend groups. This means if you are hanging out with him and his friends, and they make some comment that you don’t like, and your guy doesn’t say anything, he probably agrees with them. Another variation of this exists in behavior. Are his friends ogling other people, or making creepy passes at them? He's likely done it too. 

  1. You’ll know if he likes you and be confused if he doesn’t. You know when that guy you're friends with starts to treat you a bit differently, and you can just tell that he has a crush on you? Well, it works the same way in romance. You can tell when a guy likes you. Meaning, if you really can’t tell if he likes you or not, it's probably because he isn’t interested. 

  1. If you aren’t official in three months, break it off. I can usually tell if I’ll like a person just by how they walk into a room. Now, this is a skill that I have perfected through my many years in the dating market, but for other singles who haven’t been dating for long, it can be hard. It might take a few conversations or even a few dates to uncover their true feelings, but if you have been seeing each other for three months, and you can’t tell if you really like him or even if it’s not official — end it now. You just spent a quarter of a year on a guy and either one or both of you can’t commit. Romance is not supposed to be that hard, so move on and move up! (You’ll get better at telling if a guy is worth your time the quicker you move on from the guys who aren’t.) 

  1. Reasons for getting into a relationship aren’t reasons to stay in one. A first date is more similar to a job interview than a social situation. On first dates, and the handful that follow if all goes well, you are showing off your best qualities and trying to entice a man into liking you, and he is doing the same exact thing. He is going to be playful and interesting because that is what pulls you in. But as the shine of a new relationship fades, his behavior might change. When this happens, you have to forget about the person you thought he might be and focus on who he is. You get into a relationship because he’s funny or kind, but you don’t stay in one because of that. You stay in a relationship because he is caring and supportive. If he isn’t the same person you thought he was, return him for a full refund! 

  1. A man will respect you, or he won’t, and nothing he says or does can replace that respect. It’s disappointing how often my friends will tell me that their boyfriend has been making fun of their music taste, hobbies or interests. Their boyfriends will usually fall back on the overused “I was just kidding. It’s not that serious,” when they confront them, but it is that serious. A man who respects you doesn’t have to like everything you do, but he will be able to appreciate it. A man who doesn’t respect you won’t be able to appreciate it, they will only know how to mock it. Once they mock it, there’s no going back for me. No matter how much he tells me he loves me or how many times he paints a glittering future — if you don’t respect my hobbies, you don’t respect me. 

  1. Don’t lower your standards for anyone. This is much easier said than done, but it is the most important rule on this list. Why stay at a two-star hotel when you could have the penthouse at the Ritz? Your standards need to be what you live by. You need to write them down and hold onto them. A 10 can walk out on you as easily as a 1, but the 10 will hurt you less and love you more. 

  2. Love sometimes isn’t enough. Just because I love you, doesn’t mean that I like you or want a relationship with you. Just because I’ve loved you doesn’t mean I always will. A guy has to give me more than just his love to keep me invested in a relationship. His respect, support, and wit are good starters for me. 

Dating is scary. Dating is hard. This isn’t new information. However, if you can follow any of these rules, you might find dating to be a little less intimidating. You might even be able to find a better guy. However, before you head out on your date, let me share my final rule: Never forget that you are the prize. Dating you is a gift and any guy would be lucky to be with you. Meaning that when Mr. Right comes your way, he won’t only be lucky to love you, but worthy too. 


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