Do’s and Dont’s of Dating

The do’s and don’ts of modern dating

By Amy Spencer

The do’s and don’ts of modern dating
We’re over a decade into a new century, and it’s obvious
that dating isn’t the same “dinner and a movie” game it used to be. We’re still
figuring out how to make the language of love translate over the Internet,
email, BlackBerries, and late-night Skype chats. What’s changed — and what
hasn’t? A range of today’s relationship experts share the new rules of the
dating game for modern singles below.DO talk to potential dates
over the phone first

“You can get critical information about a
person on the phone versus on email — his or her personality, the tone of voice,
how trustworthy this person sounds. People’s comments flow out of their mouths
more naturally when they’re speaking than on email, where you can think through
things before you send them. If you can’t have a good 15- or 20-minute
conversation on the phone, how on earth will you spend a two-hour date? If you
don’t like what you hear, you can bow out. Your time is yours, there’s nothing
wrong with that.”
– Rachel Begelman, online dating and relationship coach

DON’T short-change your

“With so much going on in our lives these days (and the
BlackBerry and cell phone going off in between), we get caught up in trying to
do too much… and the same goes with dating. If you’re trying to fit in two or
three dates a week, or coffee with one person and dinner with another, you’ll do
your head in — and that’s not fair to you or your date. So, slow down! Make it
your goal for each date that you’ll give the person a sincere chance instead of
judging him or her like you’re speed-dating.”
– Deborah Cooper, Ph.D.,
relationship counselor in Beverly Hills

DO be honest about you
what want upfront

“These days, the lines in the dating world are so
blurred, it’s hard to know where you are and where you’re going. But just know
that if you settle for something in the beginning of a relationship, you can’t
go back. For instance, if instead of going on a dinner and a movie date you move
into being friends with benefits, you’ve created a pattern that’s not likely to
change. And if your date is seeing three other people when you first start
dating, you’d better be OK with that three months later, because that’s the deal
you signed on for. So, decide what you want at the very start — and don’t settle
for less!”
– Maria Shaw, author of Soul Mates and Cell Mates and
founder of

DON’T over-text your

“If you sent a text message and he or she didn’t write back
right away, don’t think: ‘Oh, maybe he or she didn’t get my message.’ Maybe
.0001 of the time the message doesn’t go through, but the rest of the time, it’s
pretty reliable. This person got your message. One text or email is really
enough, or else you’ll look too needy.”
– Rachel Begelman

give your online profile a positive spin

“Honesty is great, but so
is being positive. Your profile shouldn’t sound harsh or complaining in its
tone. It’s possible to put a positive spin on truthful (but negative-sounding)
things. You can tweak the phrasing of even the most neutral detail (like a
dislike for working out) to make it sound positive by conveying the details of
your character. For example, I helped one man who did not like to work
out in order to cast a positive light on that trait by writing: ‘I much prefer
to walk along the ocean than to walk on a treadmill going nowhere.’”
– Andrea
Orr, author of Meeting, Mating, and Cheating

DON’T get
talked into spilling your intimate secrets

“If someone asks you,
‘So, how many people have you dated?’ or ‘So, what’s the craziest thing you’ve
ever done before?’ — resist the urge to answer! A person’s numbers count holds
so much judgment. The ‘right’ number is different for everybody, and whether
you’ve had a lot of partners or hardly any, it leads to all sorts of
assumptions: that you’re promiscuous, you’re a prude, etc. So if your date asks,
simply say: ‘I never kiss and tell.’ The other question can be handled the same
way. Those nitty-gritty details can always come later!”
– Dr. Yvonne K.
Fulbright, author of Touch Me There!

DO go out on group
dates to meet more people

“It’s not just for high-schoolers anymore.
More and more people are going out in groups for dinner or parties, and it’s a
great way to meet people in a less-pressured environment. But if you meet
someone you like, don’t wait until the end of the night to express it; he or she
might leave early. So don’t be shy… take the initiative! Seek the person out,
make contact, and don’t leave without that number.”
– Maria Shaw

DO use old-fashioned manners
“It may be a modern
world, but a woman ultimately wants a man with old-fashioned manners, and a man
ultimately wants to be that person for her. So men, pick a woman up for a date,
take her to dinner, open the door for her. Don’t assume she won’t let you. Then,
women: Let him open the door for you and tell him know how much you
appreciate him taking you out, because most of my male clients say they don’t
feel appreciated anymore. You can really win each other over with old-fashioned
– Deborah Cooper, Ph.D.

Amy Spencer is a freelance
writer who has written for
Glamour, Real Simple, New York magazine
Maxim, among other publications.

Article courtesy of Happen magazine,

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