It is a well considered opinion that the best approach to dating is to see it as a game. All games have rules. From the traditional to the professional games of all shades and colours, rules are at the base of its enjoyment. The dating game is not left out. In fact, knowing the dating game rules and playing by it is a sine quo non for success in dating. These dating rules are applicable throughout the season of dating and beyond and would be helpful in sustaining the courtship and marriage relationships that could flow from a dating relationship. It applies to younger people who are dating for the purpose of socialization as well as the older people who are dating for the purpose of marriage. These rules also apply to relationships unrelated to dating, courtship and marriage. Learned and applied on other facets of life, these rules would give one the advantage in situations where dealing with other people are involved.
Rule 1: Independence and Sense of Self-worth
Your primary concern in any relationship – regardless of what kind of relationship it is – is to be yourself. This means that you need to know what you want from life and the relationship. You need to love and respect yourself. You need to know that you are an individual with potential for the best in life and not be prepared to settle for less. You might ask yourself these questions before you take up the dating bull by its horns – Who do I think that I am? What do I want from this relationship? Where are my moral boundaries? How much do I love myself? It would be a great idea to measure your self-esteem and self-confidence levels and ascertain that you are absolutely sure that you could not be confused by veiled seductive signals from the opposite sex.
Rule 2: Be prepared to create and have fun
The base purpose of all games is to create and have fun. There is no reason the dating game should be otherwise. When we try to make other people happy, we are happy ourselves. So, this is a rule you can derive its dual benefits with one act. The law of reciprocity comes to play here. If you give, you receive, most times double or ten times over. The next time, therefore, you have a date coming, remember this rule and get prepared in your mind on those things you can do to create fun for your partner so that you can also have fun. The success of any dating effort is rated by how much fun both partners had. If you deliberately plan and do make your date feel happy while you were out together, the better you feel yourself. It must be stated, though, that the fun spoken about here is not fornication – sexual intercourse.
Rule 3: Effective Communication
Effective communication is the bedrock of all relationships whether or not connected to affairs of the heart. Nowhere is this more critical than in the affairs of the heart. In fact, the dating and courtship period of every relationship is the time to learn and apply this rule so that one would be wise in it. In effective communication, you are not only just required to communicate well; you are required to help your partner to understand you. This could be a thorny challenge in life. Without effective communication, it would be difficult to find friendship, trust, respect, love, understanding, etc where the requisite building blocks of the foundation for joyful relationships are based. This is a critical rule. The Achilles’ heel to this rule is premarital sex. One of the ways to learn and apply this rule is to ask a lot of questions throughout the dating meeting.
Rule 4: Be Prepared To Discuss Differences
It is not all the time that your ability to communicate or obey rules would give you a smooth ride in a dating relationship. There are times that communication breaks down even between two people who may have thought that all is going well with their relationship. During those stormy seasons in a growing relationship, the ability to calmly discuss the differences is very helpful. Sometimes it is the only security for the relationship to continue. To be able to work through these rough waters of relationship, both partners should be willing to put all the cards on the table and discuss their differences with respect for each other’s boundaries and individuality.
Rule 5: Nurture Your Relationship
Every dating relationship and indeed all relationships, whether business, social, intimate and even the ultimate, marriage, need to be nurtured to keep going. Constant appreciation, value, consideration, reciprocity and thoughtfulness all help in showing each partner that he/she is cherished and valued and gives them a feeling that they have a place in your life. It must be stated though that these does not include sexual favors. In fact, premarital sex would harm the relationship badly.
Rule 6: Avoid Premarital Sex
There many reasons why you should avoid premarital sex. If that does not appeal to you, it would be wise to note that it is a breaking of the rule of the game of dating to have sexual intercourse during dating. The only time sexual intercourse is acceptable in human relationships is in lawful and legal wedlock. Premarital sex would take away the opportunity to build friendship and trust which are critical for the future development of the relationship to courtship and marriage. Premarital sex scuttles the ability of couples to learn and apply effective communication.
Rule 7: Ask The Most Important Questions On The First Date
This is critical especially if you are dating for the purpose of marriage. Some people believe it would have been better if the critical questions like family finance, how many children, extended family, demographics, sex, religion, etc, should be asked after the dating relationship has advanced far and may be into courtship. On the contrary, it best to trash the thorny issues first. If for example you are dating for marriage, is there any reason to waste several months with a man or woman whose financial plan, religion, demographics, number of children, sex and extended family ideas are at variance with yours. You can trash these issues on the first date and that would help you know whether you should see the person again.