The New Rules of Dating

March 27, 2015 3 min read

If you're in the dating game you need to know that the goalposts have moved. The good news is that it's to your advantage...if you know how to play by the new rules.

In sex, just like sports, it pays to play by the rules. But sometimes the rules just aren’t working. In football, o„fficials moved the restraining line from the 30-yard line to the 35, with the intention of increasing touchbacks. And in basketball, o„fficials dumped the no-dunk rule after fans complained that it made play less exciting. Well, now it’s time to dump some obsolete dating rules, too...if you want to win. Play by these new rules and you’ll score again and again.

OLD: Checking women out.
NEW: Women checking men out.

● Think your zipper’s undone? It’s not. Women are just busy ogling what’s on offer. “Most women would probably say they don’t stare at men’s bodies in the same way men do women, but they’re mistaken,” says sex therapist Ian Kerner, author of She Comes First. Using eye-tracking technology, scientists from the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction found that women are actually more likely to have wandering eyes than men. Women not only spent less time looking at a man’s face (when compared with men looking at women); they also moved more quickly onto his other body parts. 

Just don’t make the false assumption that you have a get-out-of-jail-free card to start doing the same. “Women like to be admired, not ogled,” says Pam Spurr, author of Steamy Sex: The Sex Doctor’s Guide To Keeping It Hot. “So take in her breasts or legs, but don’t dwell on them.” And make the most of your assets, too. “Wear well-fitting shirts, and don’t be shy about using your jeans to show off whatever nature gave you.”

OLD: Online dating.
NEW: Mobile dating.

● Online dating made it easy to cast a wide dating net. Trouble is, you’d end up hooking a lot of fish you had no appetite for. Mobile dating apps allow you to see who’s online and in the vicinity, improving your chances of landing a really good catch. It also means every night is “date night.” So the way it used to work—with time to plan what you’d wear, where you’d take her, and so on—has changed. 

Be ever ready. Keep a change of clothes at work, along with some deodorizing wipes and mouthwash, because who knows what’s in store. “Sometimes women, like men, drop their standards so they can get what they want sooner,” Kerner says. “So if a gorgeous woman is on the hunt for a date and you can respond quickly, you might strike it lucky with a woman who’s actually way out of your league.”

OLD: Talking Dirty.
NEW: Sexting.
● Talking dirty had one major advantage over sexting—you got to see her response. “Whisper in a woman’s ear that you’d love to see her naked and she’ll probably either sti‹ffen and move away slightly, or giggle and blush,” Kerner says. “The way she responds physically provides a wealth of clues. But with texting, you’ve got only her words to go on.” And even then she has more time to consider her response, giving her more control over the situation. That’s why you have to take extra care with the timing and content of your texts. And that includes—ahem—“self-portraits.”

Take the initiative but then let the lady lead the way. “Send a subtle but suggestive text to start with,” Kerner says. “And then let her set the filth level. Never go beyond the level she’s at; otherwise you risk turning her o‹ff.”

OLD: Dating One Woman At a Time.
NEW: Multi-Dating.
● Back in the day, there was only one type of steak on every menu: beef. Now you can try venison steak, tuna steak, even tofu steak... And it’s the same with dates. Online and mobile dating have expanded the menu. Now you can see as many women as you can fit into your schedule. Sounds great, doesn’t it? But read the small print: The same rules apply to women. She may be multi-dating you. 

Stay on track. “If you want to avoid getting a bad reputation, stick to one date a night, don’t contact other women while on a date, and make sure you make a note of who’s who so you don’t use the wrong name,” Kerner says. “And don’t flip out if you discover she’s been multi-dating you, too."


The words that come out of her mouth may not be the words she's thinking. Here's what she's really telling you when she says something else:

She says, "I'm not seeing anyone."

She means, I'm meeting lots of guys, I may even kiss or have sex with some of them, but I don't consider any of them to be my boyfriend.

She says, "I'm not looking for a relationship right now."

She means, I'm really not looking for a relationship right now.

She says, "I'll get this" (and pays).

She means, I'm a successful and confident woman. Can you deal with that?

She says, "Let's go to yours."

She means, You're sexy, but I probably won't return your calls after we've spend the night together.

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