Women with muff approached by man with flowerThere really are no hard and fast rules to dating anymore, unless one of the parties deems it so, which will happen when it gives them an advantage of sorts. Like, if a person isn’t that interested, they’ll call upon an antiquated thing like the “Three Day Rule” and use it to justify why they think you are a crazy person. Otherwise, it’s a g**damn circus out there. Here follow some indispensable tips for navigating the lay of the land:

  1. Whatever your instincts are of how you’re supposed to act toward or treat a person should almost never be obeyed. Just immediately do the opposite of what your gut tells you to do. Then they will fall for you. Are you really into her and want to talk to her all the time and maybe spend as much time getting to know each other as possible? Act aloof.
  2. A great pirate is not afraid to set sail on red seas.
  3. “Ghosting” is a thing that happens and is becoming accepted by the zeitgeist. It’s not really that inappropriate to ghost on someone after a first date, because you don’t need to bring unnecessarily-awkward conversations into your life. But anything beyond a second date deserves an explanation before you completely extricate yourself from a person’s life.
  4. You’ve got to learn not to be surprised — or to not to show surprise — at what you discover if and when the knickers come off, re: pubic hair. You never know what the grooming regimen is going to be like down there. And if you ask them about their chosen mode of maintenance, they will have some sort of reason that is usually deeper than “I was busy this week” or “I don’t really put much thought into the hair that grows on and around my genitals.”
  5. When in doubt, probably do not whip it out. Unless “it” is an American Express Black Card.
  6. Never assume that you are exclusive with another person unless it has been directly stated and agreed upon. With technology enabling such a vast dating pool, people may be seeing multiple suitors at any given time, and do not feel a need obligation to tell you that they are. You have got to prevent plausible deniability.
  7. Many people feel like they should be the exception to the guidelines re: exclusivity. Do not be surprised if a person finds out you are seeing multiples and is upset about it, but is totally fine with the fact that they are also seeing multiples, and feels that they are justified to do so.
  8. Speaking of a vast dating pool/technology, you must understand that most people — yourself included, probably — are much less likely to settle than they may have been even a decade or so ago. Using the Internet and apps and such, you can, if you spend enough time doing so, lay eyes on most of the single people around your age who are in your geographical region. So you have to bring your A-Game. Always.
  9. People date more often and more vastly than ever before, so the number of terrible dates you go on are going to increase the more often you date. You have to accept that, and you have to be sort of ruthless when it comes to dating. You must destroy your fear of rejection, because (unless you are a stunningly attractive man or woman who is not also self-absorbed/mean/stupid) you are going to face rejection, and probably many times. It’s important to take it at face value. You have to realize that people have different tastes, and that nobody is obligated in any way to “like like” you.
  10. You often will not know a person’s last name before a first date, and you might not know it afterward. That’s because knowing a last name is a bigger deal now than it ever was before. Because Google. People can and will stalk you once they know your last name. Divulge it with care.
  11. These days, you can be naked in far more intimate ways than if you are physically naked. I would much rather drop trou and unceremoniously show a woman my full-frontal self in all its girthy glory than to allow her to log onto my computer and read the things I write on it or the things I use it to look at.
  12. Though condoms take away from the fun feelings of sex things, you should wear one anyway. You will never regret it the next day. Don’t get caught up in ecstasy and put yourself in a position of panic later, when you discover that your dick is on the verge of falling off because of some sexually transmitted malady.
  13. Get the Gardasil vaccination before you turn 26.
  14. The person who asks for the date should be the one who pays, unless you go dutch.
  15. Sleepovers are never assured. If you are invited to spend the night and cuddle or whatever, that is a significant happening. ESPECIALLY if it’s a weeknight. People need their sleep so they can go to work and be productive the next morning.
  16. It’s not a walk of shame. It’s a stride of pride. Enjoy the random, the weird, the unorthodox hook-ups that serve as stepping stones to help you get where you ultimately want to romantically be.