By Talia Lakritz
Dating made easy. Well, as easy as it’ll ever get. The INSIDER Summary:
• Ditch “rules” about how long to wait before calling or texting and just be natural.
• Be direct and proactive. If you want something, ask for it.
• Stay true to yourself and focus on what you want.
Dating is complicated enough without tripping over tons of extraneous “rules” about how relationships are supposed to work. (Who made those rules, anyway?) Author and relationship expert Susan Winter shared the only guidelines you should follow in order to create the relationship you want.
Customize your relationship
Whether you want to stick to standard dating conventions or shake things up, Winter encourages an “à la carte” relationship model. “Take the pieces that you liked of the traditional, that feel right and good for you, keep the sweetness, [and] create a new model that’s flexible and grows,” she said. “It’s your creation.”
Forget the “rules” about when to call or text
Ditch those “rules” about how long to wait before calling or texting and don’t overthink it. If you had a good time, let your date know in a way that feels unstilted. “Whether it’s the ‘two-day rule’ or the ‘one-week rule’, that formula is guaranteed to backfire,” she said. “The unedited, natural approach is a far better choice.”
Don’t skimp on respect
It’s called “The Golden Rule” for a reason. Being a decent human being never goes out of style.”Today’s dating protocol is far more relaxed than in former generations, but that doesn’t mean it should be stripped of polite behavior, kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness,” she said.
Be direct and proactive
Do you want to be friends? Friends with benefits? Is there long-term potential here? If you want to know where your relationship is going, don’t wait around for the other person to say something. Share your expectations right off the bat to avoid awkward misunderstandings. “State what you’d like to experience in your initial conversations,” she said. “That way, your prospective partner knows the rules of engagement.”
Stay true to yourself
It seems like everyone has an opinion about who you should or shouldn’t be dating. Focus on what makes you happy, not what will placate everyone around you.”Do not listen to your peer group, to your friends, or to your society,” said Winter. “If they are not beating to your drum, go to your own drum … You do your thing, and you will find your match.”