The Dating Guide? (Snicker)

So, I had a question yesterday in the comments. Here’s the short and sweet of it.

Spicy Little Pi apparently has an explosion of men in her life and wants to know what the REAL rules of dating are.

You wanna know? You really wanna know?

Fucked if I know, honey.

Here’s the thing. I wouldn’t know how to play games if the rule book dropped heavy as a rock on my head. I know one thing and one thing only — myself. I figure you can play as many games as you want, stick to as many rules as you want, but in the end, it’s either a fit or it’s not. And if it’s a fit, wouldn’t you rather it be a fit with you being yourself, instead of having to live up to an unrealistic ideal you set because you were trying to be something they’d like better?

I am not a serial dater. I don’t have it in me. I know what I like when I see it, and the rest of it I leave for others. I used to follow “rules” and not a one ever worked for me. Sometimes I ask guys out, sometimes I don’t. When I do, sometimes it works, sometimes it seems to be a deal breaker. There’s no one-size fits-all approach here. Trust your instincts, that’s all you can do.

The thing about “rules” is that it’s insulting from the outset. It implies everyone’s a cookie-cut-out and that one set way of doing things ought to apply to the masses. Bullshit. Maybe, just maybe, they work for the lowest common denominator. Maybe they work for people who like their news spoon-fed for ’em and who can’t dress themselves, but methinks not. You try to handle me with your rules and I’ll probably see through you like a clean window on a sunny day.

All I know that works is:

Don’t be clingy. Be patient. Don’t expect a call the next day, because most guys are stupid enough to believe it’s uncool. If they do call, and you’re happy about it, make sure they know they know you’re pleased to hear from ’em. Don’t gush. Be real. Be honest. Be open. Be yourself. Look good. Smell nice.* Make a lot of eye contact. Smile. Watch your body language and be sure you initiate touch (touching a hand or forearm or shoulder is a great thing). I still believe guys should pay on the first date, particularly if they do the asking. You can offer to split the check if you like. Don’t complain. Don’t be negative. Don’t talk about your problems. Don’t be bossy. Go with the flow — if things go sideways (meal takes too long, gig’s sold out), then get over it and have fun despite it.

And if you wanna kiss on the first date, I approve. Much more than that and you’re liable to not see or hear from him again, regardless of what he tells you. Like him? Hold off. I’ve had more than one promising venture go up in flames because of too much, too soon, because no matter what they tell you, guys don’t like girls who put out. Fuckin’ men are ideal candidates for the “careful what you wish for” adage. Some say wait until the 10th date. Noble thought, but jesus. That’s hard work!

Aside from that, I say fuck the rules. They’ve never worked for me, and anyone anywhere who tells you there’s a “right” way to date probably has a used car lot they’re trying to hawk off as well.

It comes down to you and them. Do you listen? Do you smile? Are you genuinely interested? Are you flattering them? Are you fun to be with? Hell, it’s basic charm school, that’s all.

Yeah, fuck the rules. Be charming. Be real. Be open. That’s all I try to do. And yes, I still fail, but then again, I fail with the ones I don’t like. Funny how that works. I’m serially single, mostly by choice. What the hell are you asking me for?! Ha.

I’ll likely try to tackle this with more thought another time, but I’m interested in what YOU think. Well? Are there real rules? Meanwhile, I got a dayjob beckoning me. Oh, boy.

*Best lesson ever on perfume came from my aunt, who bought me some expensive perfumes when I was 13. “Spray the air, and walk through it.” Cologne and perfume are teases to get the person closer to you — it’s not a fucking early warning system. Me, I’m allergic to too much of it, and I’d be repelled, not attracted, by anyone wearing much of it. And I ain’t alone.