The new rules of dating

The new rules of dating

Being single again and entering the world of dating can be daunting. There are no set ways to do the right thing, but here are some useful suggestions.


Of course everyone’s situation is different, but here are a few thoughts that can help you shape your own plans before re-entering the dating world.

Just remember: don’t feel you have to get as involved as someone else might in the same relationship. Ultimately there is one main rule: be yourself!

Who does the asking out?
Him. Or you? These days, it’s down to whoever gets the question in first. Some women still like to wait to be asked so they don’t seem to be “too forward”, but in this day and age, most women aren’t impressed by a guy whose ego is deflated simply by a girl asking him out!

Who foots the bill?
This dilemma is one of the hardest to negotiate and can be loaded with power issues. Suggest two options: whoever does the asking out does the paying and suggests a date to suit his or her pocket; or simply split the bill straight down the middle.

What’s the new ‘dinner and a movie’?
Your first meeting could well be an online chat, so your date doesn’t have to follow any specific formula as long as what you choose to do allows for conversation. Consider a group date: it takes the pressure off and it gives you an idea of what he’s like in his natural environment, around his friends.

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Should I tell him I’m dating other guys?
If you are the kind of person who sees the early stages of dating as something far less committed than a new one-to-one relationship, make sure he knows this. It’s fine to date other guys while you’re seeing him, so long as you’re both clear and both happy that on evenings when the other person is “busy”, “busy” might mean “having sushi with someone else”.

What about dating a colleague?
Many companies explicitly state in their HR rules that dating a co-worker is a no-no. But if no such rule exists, you’re under no obligation to inform your boss if you and a colleague go for dinner. If things get a little more serious, it might be a good idea to mention it to your manager. By bringing it up first (instead of being ‘caught out’ by someone from the office), you get to make your case and show that your out-of-office relationship won’t affect your work performance.

Should a break up be face to face?
Take cues from your relationship, however brief it was:

  • If you communicated mostly via email and text then an email ending things is acceptable.
  • If you’ve chatted on the phone, then give him a call.
  • If he’s part of your broader circle of friends and you’re still going to have to see him every now and then, it’s best to break things off in person.

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