7 Do’s and Don’t’s of Modern Day Dating Etiquette

With the arrival of new technology all the time, the rules for social interaction have changed. Are you up to speed with today's dating etiquette?

In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, eighteenth-century men and women courted each other by attending balls and writing letters. Today, men and women court each other by signing up for match.com and sending text messages. One of the main obstacles in Pride and Prejudice is that Mr. Darcy has too much pride to express any of his feelings to Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth faced this conflict without text messaging, television, and the computer to contend with. Just imagine if Mr. Darcy had tried expressing his feelings in a text message (and no, I'm not suggesting a modern-day update to this classic). The romanticism in a text message would have been lost, sending Elizabeth into the arms of (gasp!) Mr. Collins.

Nowadays, technology is aiding in the demise of many relationships before they even get started. Because the cell phone, computer, and other electronics are such a big part of people's lives, they become a big part of the dating scheme. People have become so dependent on technology that they don't know how to communicate with prospective dates other than through the cold touch of a keyboard. Because there is no formality with dating anymore, men and women are treating any outing with a potential significant other with the same casualness they would use on a friend.

While we may never be able to get back to the exact romanticism of yesteryear, we can at least try to make dating a little more special.

Here are 7 do's and don't's of modern-day dating:

Fist Pump

Do Not “High Five” or “Fist Pound” Someone on a Date

The film When Harry met Sally claimed that men and women can never really be friends because the “sex part always gets in the way.” This new “high five” technique with casual dating has made it so that the sex part will never really come into play at all. While it could be said that maybe a guy isn't all that interested if he gives a girl a high five at the end of the date, I have known for a fact of guys using this technique when they did hope to woo the girl. If a guy is out with a girl and wants to show her how he feels, a high five is not the way to go. Even if you aren't ready for a kiss, do not high five a girl. Simply say, “This has been great. Let's do it again,” and leave it at that.

A high five from a guy could result in a slap in a face from a girl, or worse, no second date to redeem yourself.

Do Not Breakup via a Text Message

If you've been going out with someone for at least a couple of dates, you owe them a phone call. The text message is the coldest form of communication because it says, “I'm too much of a coward to dial seven numbers and listen to your voice. I'd much rather send it in the form of broken sentences with ‘U' and ‘2' instead of actual words.” I've known of a broken engagement ending this way, as well as a month-long romance. Either way, not cool.

Alcohol is Not Progress; It's Just Alcohol

If someone says “I love you” while intoxicated, it's not necessarily something to take seriously. This same person who says “I love you” while intoxicated, might also urinate against the side of a building on a dare moments later.

Text Message love

Don't Express Feelings Over the Internet or Through a Text Message

How are men and women supposed to know each other's intentions when words are sprawled across a computer screen without any emotional impact? The Internet utilizes phrases like “lol” for “Laughing Out Loud,” but do they have a phrase for “This is actually a heartfelt message.”? Plus, how romantic is it to receive a first “I love you” through a text message? (If you couldn't tell by the tone of my font, I was being sarcastic).

An Unreturned Text Doesn't Necessarily Mean You're Unwanted

People have lives. They aren't sitting there, waiting for your text. If you are sitting around waiting for texts, maybe you should get a new hobby, exercise, something.

A Gift Card Can Go a Long Way. . .in Hell

Unless a significant other actually requests one, gift cards are not a romantic gift. Yes, they're an easy out when you can't think of what to buy, but anyone can purchase a gift card. Mostly, people receive them from relative strangers as a way to say “Thank You” or “Merry Christmas, Principal Williams.” If you'd give a gift card to your local Schwann Man, you might want to rethink giving one to a significant other, or at least someone you want to show how much you care about. On the other hand, if you're trying to get out of a relationship, I would highly recommend said purchase.

Don't Rush

In Jane Austen's time, everything was a production (after all, they had a lot of time on their hands). Letters took days to be sent. Balls were highly anticipated. In the novels, it takes people years before they even kiss one another. Take relish in the little things and savor everything that goes along the way (whether it be the pain, suffering, or glee of it all). Don't push things too much; let your story unfold on its own.

Megan McLachlan currently resides in the Pittsburgh area where she freelance writes, drinks coffee, and obsesses over popular culture. She was an English major, but doesn't think she wasted her life. Yet. Her blog is megoblog.com.