The first stage of any blossoming relationship is always exciting – the butterflies, the non-stop texts and calls, dressing up to impress one another and of course, the first few crucial dates all couples go through.

It’s natural for anyone to feel nervous, only to prep themselves with all kinds of dating ‘rules’ offered by well-meaning friends and family. While things like being courteous, and punctual are golden rules that still apply, there are quite a number of outdated presumptions that just don’t work today.

During a time where the empowerment of women and gender equality are more prevalent than ever, the dating game, too has altered its course. Here are six dating rules that may be unheard of during our parents’ generation but are relevant now.

Photo: Charleston FYI

1) Girls can get the check, too 

Once upon a time, men were expected to foot the bill. Sure, it’s a nice gesture when he’s sincere about it, but it shouldn’t in any way be an obligation especially when both parties are capable of paying for their share. It shouldn’t come off as a complete shocker if the girl foots the bill or wants to pay for herself. We say it’s no biggie and we’re all for financially independent women.

2) It doesn’t have to be a dinner and movie date

When someone mentions ‘date’, the first thought that pops into mind is usually dinner, followed by a movie after. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is so overplayed and well, boring. Go to an art gallery or head outdoors for a hike. Do a road trip or cook at home together – the possibilities are endless!

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3) Playing hard to get isn’t cool anymore 

Back then, the ladies were encouraged to indulge in the chase and let the man work hard to make things happen. We’re not sure what it was supposed to achieve.. to test the guy’s persistence perhaps? Playing hard to get isn’t cool. It’s a jerk move. Open, mature communication and equal effort from the man and woman is the way to go.

4) It’s perfectly acceptable for a girl to make the first move

Sharing the same sentiment as the point above, there is nothing wrong or humiliating about it if the lady makes the first move. Is there a law that insists it is a woman’s job to wait around for a man? As a matter of fact, we know it takes a whole lot of courage to ask someone out, so if you feel like you can do it, you go, girl.

NewCo Shift

5) Ghosting or silent treatment is a big no-no

We can’t stress this enough – ignoring someone on purpose is incredibly immature and uncalled for. Even if you are not into your date, be a decent human being and let them down gently. Disappearing like Houdini won’t make it any better for them and certainly doesn’t earn you any brownie points either. You wouldn’t want that to be happening to you. It’s soul-crushing.

6) Don’t do it for the ‘Gram

It’s the age of Instagram, but there are certain things that do not need to be online. A relationship is between two people – not you and your 1,000 followers. Everyone loves the occasional couple selfie but when you air your dirty laundry online, it gives people room to talk about you and possibly makes the relationship worse. Learn to appreciate your relationship by keeping special moments private and definitely do not b*tch about your partner on social media.