Dating is a weird yet wonderful experience. But if you don’t know the rules of dating, how can you be sure that you’re heading for success?
The rules of dating are a little ‘love it or hate it.’ Few people actually sit on the fence on this one. Most either find dating thrilling and exciting or dread it and find the whole thing dramatic and confusing.
What’s your take on it?
Personally, I detest dating. That might sound a little harsh, but while I like the first meeting side of it, anything after that I just find to be completely confusing and full of mind games that I have no time to play. Play hard to get, don’t play hard to get, wait three days before replying, there are so many rumors on what you should do, it’s just downright mind-fuddling!
I often wish it was possible to meet someone, decide you like them, skip the confusing part and jump straight to the part where you know where you stand and everything is great. However, I totally appreciate that some people enjoy dating. In fact they actively go out there and participate. If that’s your take, good for you. You’re obviously more patient than I am!
Admittedly, dating can be fun if you’re not too emotionally invested. That’s probably where I’ve always gone wrong. However, there has to be rules of dating in some ways, otherwise everyone would offend everyone and cause chaos. But, what are they? And, how seriously do we need to take them?
What are your rules of dating?
It really comes down to common decency and being honest with one another. Far too many people assume the rules of dating means playing games and making the whole situation ten times more confusing than it really needs to be.
When you break dating down to its most basic level, surely it’s just getting to know someone and deciding whether you would like to take things further or not? The dating part isn’t supposed to be serious or committed, it’s meant to be fun and flirtatious. That’s the part I like. When it turns into game playing central, I’m out.
Perhaps that’s one of the biggest rules of dating, or at least it should be – no playing games.
Do you have your own personal rules of dating? Maybe you refuse to call first, maybe you wait an hour before replying to a text, maybe you never kiss on the first date, or you avoid being intimate for the first three or four dates. It’s personal on so many levels. Maybe everyone has their own set of dating rules they abide by to keep themselves sane!
The best rule to have is to not take it too seriously and to go into the date with an open mind. Don’t be clingy or assume that you’ve met ‘the one.’ Just have fun. That’s the best way to approach dating, don’t you agree?
Why do we even need rules for dating?
Why do we even need rules of dating in the first place? Surely something that’s meant to be fun should be rule-free?
Well, they’re not actual rules. They’re more like unspoken guidelines that ensure decency and respect for the other person. It’s about being a good person and not wasting the other person’s time for the sake of it.
When you don’t have these rules, or at least guidelines, how are you supposed to know whether the person you’re going on a date with is actually decent or not? It’s how we measure whether or not a date went well, or whether the person you’re loosely dating is actually worth the long-haul or not.
For instance, if you go on several dates with someone and they’re always on their phone, you’re probably going to deduce they’re not the most suitable candidate for further dates. However, if we didn’t have these unspoken rules of dating in place, you might overlook it and continue to waste your time.
Put simply, rules of dating might not be set in stone, but they give us a point of reference. In the confusing world of dating, that’s pretty important!
The 10 unspoken dating rules and dating etiquette everyone must follow
#1 Always be on time. Ah, this is a big one! If your date is always late, it’s disrespectful and not the best start. It’s normal to run late once and apologize for it. But if you’re dating someone and they’re always late or always coming up with excuses about the traffic and other creative explanations, it’s probably time to just put this one down to experience and move on. It’s not a cute quirk, it’s annoying.
#2 Put your phone away. Always be present in the moment. If you’re on a date and you’re on your phone constantly or you’re regularly checking it, you’re not paying attention to the person you’re with.
Flip this around and consider how you would feel if the moment your date sat down, they took their phone out and put it beside them, checking their social media notifications every five seconds. You’d be annoyed, right?
Again, it’s down to respect. If they don’t find your company more absorbing than their phone, it’s never going to work. One of the biggest rules of dating is to keep your phone in your pocket until the date is over.
#3 Don’t have an agenda. Don’t go into a date with a specific aim. Dating is supposed to be fun, and it’s not going to free and easy if you have a final aim. It just puts pressure on the whole thing and neither of you are going to enjoy yourselves.
Don’t go into a date expecting sex, and don’t go into a date expecting it to be the start of some grand love affair or the first step towards marriage. Just go into it hoping to have a great time and see where it goes from there.
#4 Give them a chance. How many times have you heard “never judge a book by its cover?” This is a prime example. If this person isn’t your normal “type,” forget that and just give them a chance. If you’ve heard something about this person and you’re not sure what to think about it, again, give them a chance.
Also remember that some people find dating very nerve-wracking. Overlook a few nerves and allow them feel comfortable enough to allow their true self to shine through. Just give them a chance!
#5 Go somewhere you can talk. The single worst place you can choose for a date is a noisy environment where you can’t hear yourselves think, let alone talk. That means nightclubs and loud bars are a huge no-no. If you’re going to see a band, make sure there is plenty of time before and after for chatting. Consider meeting up beforehand for drinks, so you can fit in a little pre-gig chatting.
One of the biggest rules of dating is that you actually have time to sit down and talk. That’s how you get to know one another!
#6 Don’t splash your date all over social media. Please don’t share with your followers that you’re about to go on a date and then update them afterwards. If you really want to share the deets, do so with your closest friends on your WhatsApp group, not all over Instagram and Facebook!
#7 If you don’t want what they want, tell them so. It’s vital that when you’re dating, you’re upfront and honest with whoever you’re seeing about what you want. This doesn’t mean sitting down on date one and telling them that you’re never going to get married or you’ve decided that having children just isn’t for you.
However, it does mean letting them know if you’re really not up for a relationship right now, or you’re only looking for flirty fun. Don’t waste someone’s time by making them think that you’re ready for a relationship when it’s not even on your radar.
#8 Don’t talk about exes. The worst thing you can do on a date is sit down and talk about your ex and why you split, or what was wrong with them. It’s even worse to sit down and talk about what was so right about your ex!
Basically, let it go. It’s in the past and that’s where it needs to stay. Your date doesn’t need to hear about it. It makes you look like you’re not over it, and you would no doubt hate it if they did the same. Out of all the rules of dating, please stick to this one!
#9 If you’re going to get physical, always be safe. If you decide to take things to an intimate level, always be safe. You’re not in a committed relationship. You’ve not been checked out and you might be seeing other people at the same time. That means the two of you are potentially putting the other one at risk. Just be safe, it’s not hard to do!
#10 Forget tradition but don’t be tight. Forget the “who should pay” deal and simply go with the flow. This is something which causes all manner of anxiety, but there’s really no need. There are no rules here – the guy doesn’t have to pay, the person who suggested the date doesn’t have to pay, you don’t have to go halves.
You just do whatever feels comfortable on the day. It’s nice to offer to go halves, but if you want to pay, go for it. If they want to pay and you’re fine with it, let them.
These rules of dating basically come down to dating etiquette. Perhaps that’s all these rules are – guidelines that we should probably think about following if we just want to be decent. And of course, have a really good date!
Why People Love to Hate The Psychological Facts About Relationships Everyone Should Know
These psychological facts about relationships might shock you, but they certainly explain a lot about how you feel when you fall in love.
The moment you set eyes on someone you like, everything changes. Not only do you start to feel things you may have never felt before, but you act in a way that may be a little out of character! It turns out that much of this is actually out of our hands. It’s down to our brains and the chemicals it releases. These psychological facts about relationships may open your eyes to how you feel and what you do when you form an attachment to someone.
They say that love is blind, but is it really? And, when you get butterflies, what is really going on? It’s interesting to learn about, and while it won’t take the mystery and fun out of being in a relationship and how it makes you feel, it will give you a greater sense of understanding!
The must-know psychological facts about relationships
#1 There are three stages to love. The first of our psychological facts about relationships explains the three stages of stranger to lover. First, you experience lust. This is a strong and sometimes overwhelming feeling which is often confused for love. Secondly, you form an attraction to that person, and you want to get to know them better. Finally, you form an attachment and fall deeply in love. Of course, for some, this attachment doesn’t last. However, it doesn’t make the love any less valuable and precious.
#2 Lust is actually a deep desire to have children! Whether you realize it or not, and whether you actually want children or not, lust is actually driven by the need to get it on and reproduce. It’s a deeply rooted reaction and probably quite outdated. But it goes back to the days of the cave people, when reproducing was vitally important for the survival of the human race!
#4 Attraction and obsession are pretty similar. You might think the word ‘obsession’ is a little strong, because we link it with stalkers and out of character behavior. However, it turns out that when you’re really attracted to someone, your brain shows the same patterns as when you’re obsessed with someone or something!
That goes a long way to explaining why when you first meet someone and you are attracted to them, you get butterflies, and everything seems super-exciting and fun.
#5 You’re not imagining it, attraction really does make you less hungry. Everyone has heard the saying that when you’re falling for someone, you can’t eat, you can’t sleep, and you can’t think about anything else for a long period of time. It turns out that the eating part at least is true! In the attraction stage, your brain releases norepinephrine and also dopamine. This combination can actually lower your appetite.
#6 Loving chocolate is a little like falling in love. You know how when you have one square of chocolate, it’s just not enough? Then, you go on to eat the whole bar? There is a reason behind that, and it’s one of the psychological facts about relationships too! It turns out that phenylethylamine, a hormone released by the brain when you fall in love is also one of the ingredients in chocolate. Explains a lot, right?
#7 Say NO to drugs, you can get the same high from falling in love. We all know that drugs are a huge no-no, but did you know that when you fall in love, it’s almost the same high feeling as eating cocaine? I told you these psychological facts about relationships might shock you! A recent study showed that the chemical brain patterns of someone who has taken cocaine are pretty similar to someone who experiences all the butterflies of falling in love.
#8 Your heart isn’t to blame, it’s your brain. We think that falling in love is all about the heart. But it’s actually not got a lot to do with it. Yes, it plays a part, but your brain does all the hormone releasing and controls the way you feel and act to a large degree. The whole heart thing is basically a marketing ploy. The shape of a heart is far prettier to put on packaging than the brain!
#9 Love really can make you do the weirdest things. We always joke that people in love are a little stupid, but there is actually some science behind it. When you fall in love, you leave your judgement skills at the door to a degree and it can cause you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. Your sense of rationality takes a hit, and instead, you’re focused on getting it on!
#10 Your heart beats in sync with your partner’s. When you’ve been together awhile, it’s entirely possible that your hearts beat in sync with one another. We’ve all heard about menstrual cycles being mirrored between friends who spend a lot of time together. It seems that lovers and heart beats work in the same way. Cute, right?
#11 Skip the painkillers and cuddle instead. Have a headache? Here’s a psychological fact about relationships that can fix that for you! A natural way to avoid the pain is to grab your loved one and have a good old cuddle! Oxytocin, the love hormone, is responsible for reducing pain. It’s also the hormone that’s all about bonding people together. When you cuddle your partner, oxytocin is released and the pain should start to dull and go away.
#12 Having a broken heart is actually a thing. Love doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with the heart, it’s more about the brain. But when a relationship doesn’t go according to plan and you break up, a broken heart is actually real. Of course, it’s not broken as in it’s not going to work anymore, but you will feel pain in that area and it can damage your heart too. This is known as Broken Heart Syndrome. When this happens, the release of hormones goes haywire and can actually work against you rather than for you. That’s when you may experience pain in the chest and difficulty breathing.
These psychological facts about relationships should go a long way to explaining why we feel so out of control when someone new comes into our lives. You feel like the reins have been taken away from you, right? Well, that’s down to hormones and working your way through the three stages of falling in love!
You may not actually make it to the love part. A million and one things can happen between the start and the actual arrival at the “L” word. But if you do, you’re sure to go through a range of reactions, feelings, and actions. Nobody could ever blame love for being a bore. Even though it hurts at times, love really is one of the most amazing experiences in life.
So, when you fall in love and you start to do things you would never have done before, check back on these psychological facts about relationships and everything should slot into place.
15 Signs of a Toxic Person to Recognize the Bad Ones in Your Life
Not everyone who’s toxic has it written on their foreheads. Sometimes, it’s incredibly tricky to spot the signs of a toxic person, then… it’s too late.
We all encounter toxic people in our lives. And I’m surprised if you’ve lived this long without encountering a toxic person already. They don’t necessarily have to be your partner. Even family members, colleagues, and co-workers can show the signs of a toxic person.
Even if you know exactly who’s toxic in your life, you don’t always know how to label it. There’s always one person in our lives we bend to in the hope of pleasing them, but it never works. I have a family member who’s like that; whatever I do, it’s never good enough, and it can really wear you down.
In the end, you’re the one who ends up getting hurt while trying whatever you can to make them love and accept you. But, spotting the signs can help you understand the person you’re dealing with and how to get yourself out of this situation. Being around someone who’s toxic can be unavoidable, but knowing the signs will help you understand how to manage them.
The 15 signs of a toxic person you always need to keep an eye on
If you’re not sure of the signs of a toxic person, well, now’s your chance to become an expert. Let’s get to the red flags of toxicity lurking in your life.
#1 They use language against you. There are many words that aren’t toxic or negative in nature. However, someone who’s toxic will manage to use non-toxic words against you through tone. They’ll never be upfront with how they feel.
For example, if you didn’t cook dinner like you said you would, instead of asking why you didn’t cook dinner, they’ll say, “It looks like you didn’t do much today.”
#2 They manipulate you. In your relationship, it’s very one-sided. And if you feel that, you’re probably right. Toxic people will make sure to have you feel as though you owe them something. When in reality, you owe them nothing.
#3 They never say sorry. This is one of those dead giveaways and signs of a toxic person. A toxic person isn’t someone who’s going to acknowledge their wrongdoings. If they hurt you, don’t expect an apology. And if they do apologize to you, it’s usually done to get what they want. If they always think they’re right, then apologizing isn’t something that comes easy to them.
#4 You have to prove yourself to them constantly. Whenever you’re around them, you feel you always need to choose between them and something else. The problem is you must choose them, at least, that’s what you feel should be done. You’ll hear phrases like, “if you really cared…” or “you never…” These phrases make it feel like whatever you do is never enough, and that’s a sign of a toxic person you should keep an eye on.
#5 They’re not listeners. It can be hard to actively listen to someone, especially when it’s a topic that doesn’t interest you. But if it’s your friend, family, or co-worker, you want to listen and show support actively. But toxic people aren’t interested in listening at all. They’ll quickly change the subject, usually to a topic that revolves around them.
#6 They play the victim card. The victim card is the only card toxic people know how to play because it always works for them. Why would they change now? They’ll blame everyone else for their problems while looking innocent and helpless. When in reality, they made a mistake and should take responsibility for it.
#7 They blame you for their misfortunes. We all have our bad days and accidentally take it out on the people we love the most. In those cases, we recognize our wrongdoings and apologize. But, this can’t happen every time someone’s in a bad mood. They need to take responsibility and work on their feelings.
#8 They’re not honest. When someone is toxic, one of the big signs you’ll see is that they’re not honest. Firstly, they’re dishonest to themselves, and secondly, to the people around them. It can be small exaggerations of a story to boost their self-esteem or to lie to get what they want. Whatever they tell you needs to be taken lightly.
#9 You’re never right. No one is always right, but no one is always wrong, either. But when you’re around this person, you’re never right *even when you are*. The minute you open your mouth, you’re put down and insulted. You’re dealing with a toxic person. If you’re always being suppressed by them, they’re not someone you need in your life.
#10 You need to defend your decisions. Whenever you make a decision around them, whether it’s big or small, you constantly feel the need to defend your choices. You second guess your feelings and intelligence. Did you make the right choice? If you can’t feel like yourself around them, that’s a sign of a toxic person playing with your mind.
#11 They use sarcasm as a weapon. Sarcasm can be really funny; however, too much sarcasm can be belittling and really hurt people’s feelings. But, for toxic people, it’s one of their strongest weapons as sarcasm is based on anger and distrust. Usually, toxic people don’t see how damaging this form of communication is.
#12 You’re always unsure of their behavior. When you’re around them, it’s like you need to walk on eggshells. One day they’re warm and friendly, the next day they’re moody and upset. You never know what you’re going to get, and it makes you constantly feel you’re on guard. Your need to please them only makes it worse.
#13 They dump their feelings on you. We all have good and bad days, but that doesn’t mean our friends, partners, and family need to feel those negative feelings. Just because someone feels bad, it doesn’t mean everyone else needs to feel bad. But one of the obvious signs of a toxic person is their malicious intent to make sure everyone around them is suffering as much as they are.
#14 They don’t have boundaries. We all have personal boundaries that need to be respected by others. Usually, people figure out pretty quickly what your boundaries are based on stories or experiences they’ve had with you. A toxic person doesn’t respect your boundaries. Your boundaries are there to help define who you are and protect you. If they can’t respect that, then that’s a red flag.
#15 When you’re on a low, they’re on a high. When you’re doing well in life, they’re not celebrating with you. But when you’re on a low, they’re shining. Your good news can never be too good because they’re insecure and jealous. But your bad news, well, that’s great news for them. They may pat you on your shoulder to “reassure” you, but their eyes would be gleaming with joy!
Now that you know the signs of a toxic person, what do you think? Do you have anyone in your life who may be a toxic person?
True Definition of Love: What Does True Love Feel Like Beyond Words?
If you’ve experienced love before, you’ll know it’s all-encompassing. But, what is the true definition of love, and how do you know when you’re in it?
In the words of Foreigner back in 1984 *ask your parents*, “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me.” Yes, a band of men with very bad hair sang those exact words. Even now, all these years later, we’re still asking ourselves what the true definition of love is. What does it actually look and feel like? Yes, the dictionary defines it, but it’s not really enough to explain he overwhelming flood of emotions that we feel, is it?
What is the true definition of love? And why does everyone define it differently? Honestly though, the reason? Because it’s different for every single person who experiences it.
What is the true definition of love, and what does love mean?
Explaining love is like trying to explain why water is wet – it just is! There are different kinds of love – romantic love, family love, friendship love, love you have for the things you do. Every single type of love is valid and real for you.
It’s entirely possible that you experience it in a different way to someone else in your life. We’re all unique and that means we recognize, experience, and feel love in slightly differently ways too.
However, there is some common ground at last. The true definition of love is quite blurry, but many people put it down as:
– The ability to understand and accept another person as they are, completely
– Wanting the very best for a person and helping them to be the best version of themselves they can be
– If it came down to it, you’d sacrifice your own happiness for theirs
– Wanting to build a future with that person
– Seeing the good and bad parts of someone and loving them anyway
– A deep connection and a feeling of being whole
As you can see, the true definition of love is wide-ranging and you might have a different idea of what it is to you. For most people, however, the above statements ring true. You want the best for that person and hate to see them struggling or suffering, and you’d sacrifice your own happiness to ensure that they’re smiling.
Love in all its types has these definitions, whether we’re talking about family, friends, or romantic love. When we love someone or something, we want it in our lives and become attached to it, to the point where being without it is painful.
What does love feel like, is it even real?
Is love real? Yes. However, as mentioned, love is different for everyone. It’s possible that you’ve never experienced that completely ‘sweep you off your feet’ type of love. You might never, or it might be just around the corner, but you will experience your own version of love in a way that’s right for you.
The true definition of love isn’t about Hollywood depictions. It might not come into your life, knock you down to the ground, and swing you around several times. Maybe it’s more of a calm and gentle feeling for you, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less worthwhile or any less meaningful.
What does love feel like? Again, it depends on the person! For me, love feels comfortable and warm. It’s like going home, it feels safe. However, I’ve also experienced love that was dramatic, overwhelming, and at times I felt like I couldn’t breathe. To me, that kind of love wasn’t the best; I loved that person, but it was a toxic kind of love because they didn’t love me back in the same way and didn’t want the same things as me.
Can you see how love can be different, depending upon the circumstances?
The true definition of love is when two people are aligned. That’s when the rollercoaster of emotions stop and everything becomes still and cozy. When that happens, many people falsely believe that they’re falling out of love or that the passion has left. That’s Hollywood’s fault.
True love doesn’t have us feeling sick every day, wondering what’s going to happen. It doesn’t mean constant arguments and screaming at each other. It’s not about being unable to eat over the long-term because you’ve always got butterflies.
We’re told that we should always go for butterflies because that means it’s special, but those butterflies don’t last beyond the infatuation stage. When love takes over, the butterflies actually feel like their work is done. That’s probably a very good true definition of love – when the butterflies settle down and contentment takes over.
Love feels comfortable, but it also feels like you would do anything to protect that person. In many ways, that’s what it means to love someone. It means that you would sacrifice yourself in some way to ensure their happiness, health, and safety. It means that while you don’t stop doing the things you enjoy or dedicate your entire life to that person, that you want them to become the very best version of themselves that they can be.
It’s easy to be taken over by love, allowing it to swallow you whole and put your own wants and needs to one side. It’s important to remember that you’re just as important as the person you love. If they love you, they’ll probably be doing all they can to ensure your needs are met anyway. Keep that balance – you’re just as important!
The strongest signs that define the meaning of love in a relationship
Now we’ve debated what the true definition of love is and know that it’s a very blurry subject to pinpoint. How can you tell that you’re actually in love? There’s no firework-laden moment when it happens, and sometimes it actually creeps into your life without you even noticing it until a few months or even years later. Let’s look at some signs that you might actually be in love.
#1 They’re the ones who make you feel better. If something happens to you, or you just have a bad day, they’re the ones who make you feel better and bring a smile to your face like no one else can.
#2 You value their opinion. Even for something as simple as wanting to know if your outfit looks good, you value their opinion over everyone else’s. Although, remember that your own opinion is just as important too!
#3 When they’re ill or upset, your heart literally aches. If you see your love in any kind of pain, it’s almost too much for you to bear. You want to take their pain and upset away, even if you know that you can’t. That’s probably the true definition of love, right there.
#4 You’re their biggest supporter. Whatever they do in life, you’re their biggest cheerleader and want them to succeed beyond everything else. It makes you feel proud of them whenever they do well.
#5 When you’re with them, you feel your best. You’re happier, lighter on your feet, smile more, and generally feel your best when you’re around them. They take away your worries and help you to feel content.
#6 If you’re away from them, you don’t feel right. While it’s normal to be away from your partner in some situations, if you are away from them for any length of time, you feel like something is missing, and it doesn’t right itself until you’re reunited.
#7 You know that you would do anything for them. The term “anything” should be taken with a pinch of salt here, but if asked to do something, you would consider it. Of course, it depends on what that thing is but you would move heaven and earth if you could.
#8 You see your future with them. When you look forward, you see them in your life and see the two of you together, building a life. That future doesn’t have to be the traditional type, but if they’re in the vision you have, that’s a good sign.
#9 You feel upbeat and more positive. When you’re with them, you just feel happy and upbeat. They inject a sense of happiness and joy into your day, and it’s a great feeling to have.
#10 You’re not going through emotional rollercoasters all the time. Don’t worry if the ups and downs slowly ebb away. This is normal! It means you’ve moved past the ‘not being sure where you stand’ stage. You’re now in love, happy and content. Of course, love can still make people crazy occasionally, but this shouldn’t be the overriding theme.
#11 Despite all of this, you fear losing them. Despite feeling calm and comfortable, you still have a slight worry in the pit of your stomach that one day this will all end and they’ll be taken away from you.
Again, this is normal when your emotions are so strongly invested in another person. Push that worry aside and focus on the life you’re building together.
Do you think you’re in true love? How does it feel for you? The true definition of love is different for every single person. Those who experience love in any guise, it’s a special thing indeed.
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