The Secret Rules

Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Everyone has their own likes and dislikes of dating, behaviors they expect, behaviors that turn them on or turn them off. They’re secret rules, rules that it would never make sense to tell people but that in a lot of ways drive your early attraction to someone. These are mine*.

(1) The 24-Hour Rule
You need to respond within 24-hours to an invitation to do something. Not doing so implies you’re not interested and unsure how to say “no”, weighing your interest but not giving it much thought, or waiting to see whether something better comes along. If your response is any of the above you can always respond, referencing a potential, possibly made-up conflict and then get back to them a day or two after that with a confirmation. Don’t leave them hanging.

Conversely, you need to give someone at least 24-hours to return your phone call before calling again. If someone hasn’t called you back yet, don’t assume they are ignoring you, they could easily be busy at work, at previously made plans or in a terrible mood. Calling them too frequently implies that you have nothing else going on. Also, it’s stalking.

(2) The 72-Hour Rule

When you are beginning to communicate with someone and/or are in the early stages of dating, you need to be in contact at least once every 72-hours. Not being in contact tells me you’re too busy for a new relationship, not interested enough in the particular person to make time for them, or flat out not that interested. You aren’t going to put your life on hold for someone you just met, but if you like them you should want to be in touch with them at least every few days in some manner (phone, email, in person).

>> Exceptions to the time rules include: time-sensitive invitations, crazy work schedules, legitimately losing your telephone and being on vacation (which you may/may not have mentioned, depending on where you are in the dating process) <<

(3) The Grammar Rule

If you’re taking the time to send me a message, take the time to make it grammatically correct. “You” should always be spelled as such; “u” will get you nowhere. You’re not saving any time without those two additional letters, but you are seriously dropping my general estimation of your intelligence.

(4) The Date Rule

If you want to see me in person, ask me on a date. Date invitations include a suggested date/time and location/activity. Saying “we should get together” is not asking me out on a date. Sure, suggesting we do something may result in less rejection if I say no, but it’s telling me you don’t care enough about seeing me to think of something to do together first. And maybe that you're a coward.

For every good rule there's a great guy that broke it and was given an undisclosed number of chances to redeem himself, but ultimately the rules are there for a reason. Mostly for my sanity, but also for the safety and well-being of those wanting to date me.

* Please note that my rules are for me. You can have whatever rules you like.


Miss OverThinker said...

I agree with everyone of these rules..

Plentymorefishoutofwater said...

Brilliant post. I too go along completely with your rules...

The Angel and Demon Within said...

Love it!

Nicole said...

So, "cp" in a text doesn't cut it for you? :)

jo said...

i like your rules. i can't stand it when people (and that also goes for friends) who take more than 24 hours to reply. and the date rule is true. i've had guys who keep saying bout how oh we should get together to do something and when i agree in the affirmative, they don't proceed to actually ask me out or make plans. hate that.

Samantha said...

Absolutely agree! Hadn't thought about the 24-hour rule before... thanks for pointing that out!

Dater at Large said...

Thanks, all! I was anticipating negative comments about them :-)

Nicole, I obviously still can't decipher text speak. When I read your comment I completely misunderstood it... again! Thankfully a co-worker reminded me.