I’ve always been a rule follower. The most daring moment of my high school career was the time I excused myself from class to use the restroom without a pass. How was I supposed to know you needed a pass to go to the bathroom? I didn’t go to high school—I was simply there to take the SATs— and we were on a break between sections so I just got up and left. (And was promptly reprimanded for “wandering about” with a pass.)
But aside from that brief flirtation with hall pass anarchism, I’ve usually done what I’m told. And if I’m not told to do anything, I make up my own rules.
Granted, sometimes I break my own rules, and I wrote about this very topic in my latest piece for Skirt! magazine, “Adventures of a (M)anthropologist.” I thought I’d pretty much exhausted the subject (or at the very least my personal code of conduct for successful, quasi-ethical serial dating) but thanks to a comment from fellow blogger Zak of Slow Down, Son, in response to Emilie of Miley Writes, I’ve since realized that I only gave the female perspective.
Granted, I’m not entirely privy to the male perspective but according to Zak, it goes something like this:
I had a rule of – when I was doing online dating – attempting to hold hands or kiss or something “clear” by the second or third date. I figured if it took longer, she wasn’t interested.
Just remember that guys are playing by a whole different set of rules, and while you may view that as he’s trying to get in my pants, we view it as she’s obviously NOT interested unless…
Hmmm… a whole different set of rules? Pray tell, men.
In the meantime, I do recall having once heard something along the lines of “Guys think that if a woman doesn’t sleep with him by a third date, she’s not interested.”
Is this true?
Suddenly the fact that Date #17 bought me flowers on our third date, then took me to dinner and treated me to a modern dance concert makes a lot more sense. He was hoping to get laid!
(Shock, gasp, horror.)
Now I know why he got all prickly when I inquired as to the provenance of the scented candle I discovered in his bedroom a few dates later; he’d bought the candle at the very same flower shop where he’d purchased my bouquet, on the very same night, with the very same intentions.
And, evil genius that I am, I cunningly thwarted his plans.
It would appear that we have yet another case in which men and women are clearly not on the same wavelength. (And while we’re on the subject, I’m starting to realize that I present—and inadvertently perpetuate— a very heteronormative view in the writing of this blog. I am sorry; I simply write what I know and what I know is heterosexual relationships. But now I’m curious… how do the “rules” play out with same-sex couples?)
Rules are such a funny thing, and they differ based on all sorts of factors. Maybe I should stop trying to figure them out… at least as far as Date #7 is concerned.
So are your rules for dating and relationships of the romantic variety as wacky as mine? Take a look at my piece in Skirt and let me know!
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PPS: I start teaching again tomorrow, my show opens Thursday and I have rehearsal every day between now and then. Expect copious amounts of typos and even more spelling mistakes than usual.