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.

  • MG

    Stating these rules as absolute truths (rather than the very subjective opinions that they are) will only make people insecure for no reason. I recently went on a date with a girl, we high-fived at one point, and ultimately there was interest in a second date. Please don’t generalize.

    • Andy

      Agreed. I’ve high 5’ed plenty of girls and never had an issue. If a girl wrote me off because I playfully high 5’ed her, we wouldn’t have gotten along anyway. There’s appropriate times to break up through text too. There’s no hard and fast rules about things..but I always see this high 5 thing in these kind of lists and it irks me. What kind of girls are these whose #1 dating pet peeve is being high 5’ed?

      • Energy Mud

        The alpha-male in me disagrees and would never consider high-fiving a girl on a date unless she bowled a strike or similar context.

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  • http://easyblog.com Darren

    @MG I think the point is that you shouldn’t do a high five if the situation isn’t asking for one. If the situation calls for a hug or a kiss goodnight a high five is definitely a poor substitute.

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  • http://www.themagicofmakingup-reviewed.com LJ

    Excellent site and article! It really struck a note with me about breaking up via a text message. I think breaking up should only be done face to face. It just seems to me that breaking up by phone or text messaging shows a gross lack of character.

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    Even it is online dating, the same rules applies when you are going out or dating online. The dating rules are all the same. Thanks!

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    wow, nice ideas to keep my lovers happy. Thanks i will definitely using these advices.

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    “I’m drunk and I love you” rofl that’s a great way to break up with a text 🙂

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    As with everything else, I believe the advice applies to a lot of general situations, although I have to disagree with the high-fiving part. Sometimes I do it just for fun. If a man is truly attractive, the girl isn’t going to say, “oh he high-fived me, I can’t take this any further anymore”.

    For the rest of the Dos and Don’ts, I’d say it’s almost basic social etiquette.

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  • http://www.guystyleguide.com/ Johnathan

    Can I also add to the list, “When on a date, don’t play with your smartphone”. Sure, we all have lives beyond the four walls we’re sitting in, but nothing says “I’m not all that interested in you or what you’re saying” quite like responding to a text message midway through your date!
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    Jonathan, That’s a great point. It KILLS me when people spend more time on their phone than with the person sitting in front of them. Thanks for the addition!
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  • Stillman

    I like this. This is basically, “don’t conduct the important parts of your relationship remotely.” I couldn’t agree more. When phones and computers get between people, misunderstanding is the inevitable consequence.

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    Cool stuff. I laughed when I see this – “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.”.

    I always felt awful when she doesn’t reply but I think it’s normal. =D
    .-= Dating Advice For Men´s last blog ..How to Pick Up Women =-.

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  • Clone#4

    Hey, the President fist pumped his wife on national television. And judging by her looks, he might have missed a few times and caught her in the face.

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  • Michael

    I have to do tips of do’s and don’ts for school and i dont see the point in this.

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  • shade

    I completely agree with the do not “High Five” or “Fist Pound” on a date. A man I have been seeing for a few years and I were out at a tavern for the first part of the evening where he proceeded to “High Five” a mutual female friend of ours. Later that evening after what I considered to be a very passionate revelation he gave me a “High Five.” I was completely distraught and although I did not, I thought a slap in the face would have been an appropriate response because that was more or less what he had given me.

  • Sam I AM

    This article lists only “don’ts” which tells me you have written this with mostly bad dates n mind, and with few (if any) good dates in mind. Which tells me that you are likely a bad dater (many bad dates, likely with different people each time… making the common element in those bad dates you…) which tells me not to take your advice and only ever text, high five, buy gift cards, get drunk to confess love, and rush things. Dating success, here I come.

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