A friend once told me that there are all sorts of rules to dating. At the time, I was 10, and girls were still synonymous with the word ‘eww.’
Years later, in high school, I started to pick up some of these rules. I also picked up on the fact that no one really knows what these rules are, where they came from, and why we try, in vain, to play by them. All it causes is a bunch of confused horny teenagers wandering around the halls, each feeling like a loser in his (or her) own rite because dating is ‘so hard.’
Then what happens? You send these hormonal pressure-cookers off to college and introduce them to alcohol. Lines blur. So do the rules. Now, all of a sudden, you kiss someone at a party and he/she is your new boyfriend or girlfriend. No calling. No dinner. No flowers. Just a drunken kiss in some red-lit fraternity basement after one too many cups of purple passion punch. Next thing you know, your roomies are complaining about her coming over too often. Seems like you’re trading one pain in the ass for another, but at least dating seems easy.
Then you graduate.
Oh, ok. Well, maybe not ‘graduate,’ per se. Let’s just say you’re done with school.
You get out into the real world, and as dumb as it seems, they’re playing by high school rules out here. For starters, if you get drunk and kiss someone, you’re either a date rapist or a slut. Especially if you don’t call the next day.
Speaking of stupid rules, let’s review.
The call. You meet. You talk. You exchange numbers. Then all hell breaks loose.
A. The guy.
B. The dude.
C. The boy.
D. The male.
E. All of the above.
So, right off the bat, the pressure’s on us. I ask defiantly — who made THIS rule up? These rules state that there’s something inherently wrong with the female making the call, regardless of how interested she is. DUMB! DUMB! DUMB! There are shy guys out there – Guys who get so nervous about calling a girl it makes them want to hurl. Guys who would be great dates, great boyfriends, great husbands…. if only a woman would make the first call. Moving along…
When to call?
A. 1 day after meeting.
B. 2 days after meeting.
C. 3 days after meeting unless you met at a party on a weekend night and said you were going to call sooner but can’t remember because you were drunk.
D. 4 days after meeting but not if it’s a full moon and her name starts with a letter of the alphabet, or your last name is the same as your parents.
E. Who the hell knows?
Every guy I talk to has his own timeline on this one. My question is, why have a timeline? If I meet you Saturday night, and I feel like talking to you Sunday afternoon, I’m not breaking out the slide rule and the multiplication chart on the back of my notebook. I’m gonna call. And women don’t help, because they too have timelines. If he calls the next day, he’s desperate. 2 days? Standard guy timeline. Exactly 3.21 days? Brad Pitt. Damned if I know how it works.
Plus, for all the trouble it takes to pick up the phone and dial, then you have to be witty. And then there’s the length of the call. I go by what dear old Dad always said: ‘If she talks to you on the phone for longer than 15 minutes, and you’re not her father, brother, or gynecologist, she’s interested.’ Now THAT’s a rule that makes sense.
Anyhow, some manage to squeak by this part and end up on dates. And after as little as two, the next set of rules rears its ugly head.
Making the move: So there you are — in the car. On the doorstep. Laying on the park bench. Whatever. It’s the end of the date, and she’s looking great, smelling great, and you had a good time. Common sense (well at least MOVIE common sense) dictates that a kiss is in order. But you don’t want to seem needy. Or pushy. Or desperate. Or sex-crazed. Or aggressive. You pour over the options in your head, trying to pull up the ‘first move rule.’ By the time you figure it out, she’s gone. The door is closed. You’re alone on the bench. And she’s already crying to her friends about how you don’t find her attractive because you didn’t even TRY to kiss her. Not to say she would have let you because the ‘I don’t want to be a slut’ rule comes into play. But the trick apparently is to try.
Are you freakin’ kidding me?
And my friends, as you all know, it only snowballs from here. The meeting of the friends rule. The weekend away together rule. The ‘where is this relationship going’ talk. The meeting of the parents rule. The ‘should I keep a toothbrush at your place’ rule. The ‘maybe we should get a place together’ talk. Blah blah blah married.
My head spins and spins out of control until a centering thought from my youth pulls me in. Slowly, things come back into focus.
I leave you with just ONE rule. If you like ’em, let ’em know. There aren’t many good ones left.
And that’s my rant (Drops Mic!)