I’m not a particularly religious person. I get dragged to temple twice a year and would definitely consider myself Jew(ish). As a result, I’m not usually one to opt for religious analogies. However, dating definitely has its own set of commandments that we should all adhere to in order to make life more pleasant for everyone involved. These include:
Thou shall not be too judgey
Snap judgements are the worst. You may have an idea in your head of what your ideal significant other will look like, only to find that the person you’re really looking for came in a slightly different package. Have a few non-negotiables in mind, but leave wiggle room for things like height, occupation, and taste in music.
Thou shall not ask “are you having luck on this site?”
One of my grand supreme pet peeves is when people ask “Are you having luck on this site?” Hello, if I was having luck, why would I still be Tindering my heart out? Treat dating like Fight Club. Just don’t talk about it.
Thou shall have some chill
Dudes who send you one message and then 20 minutes later say, “Did you get my last message?” and then the next day fire off, “Hi. I’d love to chat. Just wondering if you got my message.” Whoa. Pump the brakes. Maybe I’m not interested, but it could definitely also be that I’m busy and didn’t read it yet.
Thou shall actually plan dates
I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating: meeting up on a random Saturday isn’t a date. Dates are planned in advance and require some thought. Let’s all relearn this art.
Thou shall not take it personally
Dating is inherently personal. There are feelings involved. But in order to keep it from breaking your spirit, it’s important not to take it too personally. Sometimes people fall of the face of the planet and it has nothing to do with you. Things happen and you can’t let it destroy your self-confidence. There’s no accounting for poor taste.
Thou shall not rely too heavily on texting
Texting is a tool for building a relationship, but don’t use it as a crutch. Nothing can replace actual face-to-face conversation.
Thou shall end the message with a question
Nothing kills a conversation via an online dating site like a period. Make it easy for the other person to answer your message by asking a question at the end. Statements don’t prompt conversations.
Thou shall build in time for dating, but not build your life around it
If you want to meet someone, you have to make time for dating. But if you clear your entire schedule and dedicate your life to dating, you’re no longer a very interesting person to be on a date with. It’s a delicate balance.
Thou shall give people a chance
People are nervous on first dates. If you had a pretty good time but didn’t feel fireworks and see stars, give it another shot.
Thou shall trust your gut
At the same time, if something feels off, trust your gut. There’s probably a reason you’re getting an “ick” feeling.
Dating is both an art and a science, and some basic bylaws would be lovely in order to help single people keep their sanity. In the name of Beyonce, I pray. Amen.