Twins Karen and Kristy Ambrose, also known as The Ambrose Girls, share their top nine rules for millennial dating.
At dinner the other night with three men (translation: male species over 40), we got on the topic of how difficult dating is today. Traditional dating rules have been skewed by texting, Tinder, Facebook, and casual sex. "Back in the day," there were clearer dating "rules" per se, definitive codes of conduct that everyone seemed to know and follow. We have complicated our dating lives by creeping personal information with the swipe of an iPhone and including our friends' opinions on every detail. Inspired by some original rules, we've written nine dating rules to refresh everyone's memory on exactly how to date.
1. Avoid their social media before the date. This way, you base your opinion on who they are as a person and not the weird profile photo they had five years ago. One of us once canceled a date after discovering some awkward selfies on a Facebook page, which now seems silly.
2. Don't get drunk! We are not in college anymore, and we should feel confident enough in ourselves to go out with a perfect stranger and maintain a sober mind-set. If you're not mature enough to chat with the opposite sex without a buzz, then you should not be dating!
3. Do not sleep together on the first date. Yes, oldest rule in the book, but there really is something to it. How often have you regretted sleeping with someone too fast? Let the mature dating environment provide you the time to decide if your date is worth sleeping with. To the men out there, be a gentleman, and do not put the girl in that position. Show that you are interested, but be respectful on the first date.
4. Talk of exes, politics, and religion are BANNED. Unless any of these topics come up organically further into the relationship, just avoid it. Once on a date, a guy let it slip that he took his ex's virginity . . . Check please!
5. PHONES AWAY on the date. The only excuse for a phone being out is if you are a doctor and you happen to be on call. This is one meal that doesn't need to be broadcasted on your Instagram page, so leave that iPhone in the car.
6. Be honest and be yourself! Easier said than done. You're nervous, you don't know what to think about them, you can't pick what you want to order, you're already dreading the possibility of "the ass out hug," etc. We get it: dates are nerve-racking. But wouldn't you rather have your date form their opinion on who you actually are? You've both already decided to attend the date, which is more than half the battle. So sack up and be your fabulous 20-something self.
7. Use two days as a rule of thumb. If you're going to ask someone out at all, it needs to be at least two days in advance. Follow up the night before to tell them that you're excited to see him or her. Give your date an exact time to expect to be picked up, because you are picking them up. Be sure to tell your date where you plan to go, so they can pick out an outfit accordingly. If the date is a surprise at least give them a hint of how to dress.
8. PLAN the date. Do not call them the day of and say, "I don't care where we go . . . You can pick." This is the point where you step up, make reservations, and plan a fun date. If you choose to go to two locations — drinks at a trendy bar then dinner somewhere quieter — you will earn some major brownie points. Putting effort into planning a fun evening leaves a great impression and lets them know you care. Additionally, we feel like we shouldn't need to say this, but if you ask them out, you are absolutely paying for this date!
9. Be grateful! Say, "Thank you," at dinner, say, "Thank you," after dinner — hell, say, "Thank you," the next day, too, if you want. Remember, when someone takes you out on a date, they are putting themselves out there. As someone who is putting herself out there, empathize with this! They put time and effort into planning a night out for you, and maybe even paid for it. Regardless of if you like them or not, they should most definitely be thanked.
Let's use these rules to get all of us Generation Yers on the same page when it comes to what to expect while dating in today's world. We know dating completely sucks sometimes, but hopefully relying on some clear guidelines can help all of us grow from consistent dating disasters to long-lasting love stories.