By Laura Snyder
In some ways, we've made progress. We know it's okay for a girl to make the first move; we know it's perfectly all right to split the check. But we're still holding on to some relationship regulations that just don't make sense.
Ready to bend - or bust - the rules a little? We recommend starting with these...
Dumb Dating Decree #1: Play Hard to Get
We've had it with folks advising daters to act as if they're interesting, busy and have a life (suggesting anyone who'd take that advice seriously isn't and doesn't). This waiting around for him or her to ask you out, or calculating the right amount of time to hold off calling after your first date, or turning down a perfectly good Saturday-night invitation just because it was issued on a Thursday night, is nonsense.
Dumb Dating Decree #2: Sex on the First Date? Horrors!
Hey, we should all be so lucky as to have dates where we hit it off so well and share so much palpable sexual tension that our second date is breakfast the next morning! Many a happy, stable relationship had an accelerated start. If it really makes you uncomfortable later, you can always back off. But don't assume that first-night nookie is a death sentence for your future relationship.
Dumb Dating Decree #3: Honesty Is Always the Best Policy
In the words of author Olin Miller, "a man who won't lie to a woman has very little consideration for her feelings." That doesn't give you the green light to lie about your marital status or your prison record, but if she asks what initially drew you to her and the honest truth is that you were drunk and had a bet going with your friends, it's okay to fib. A little.
Dumb Dating Decree #4: Stand Up to Your High Standards
Is every potential mate evaluated with your exhaustive mental checklist of specific requirements on age, occupation, income, looks and background? Still waiting for the right love to come along and finally make your life "perfect"? Kick those high expectations to the curb and invite real, beautifully flawed love in. The kind that makes your heart sing, even without a modeling contract or Harvard MBA.