"Avoid serious topics."
New rule: Talk about whatever you want.
I'm not saying you should walk into a first date, extend your hand, and in the same breath, introduce yourself and the timeline in which you want to move in together, get married and have children. But if you have set goals or deal breakers (like the fact you never want kids) then waste little time telling them. You may want to know your potential new man's views on things that are important to you (like feminism or marriage equality). If they get scared off by this, they're probably not the one for you anyway.
"Wait three days before you call/text them"
New rule: Text them whenever you'd like.
I'm not sure who invented this rule, but there's a cultural consensus that women should always play hard to get OR ELSE IT'S ALL OVER AND HE WILL BE TURNED OFF FOREVER. If you had a good time on a date, text him and let him know. If you want to see him again, tell him. When you stick to the antiquated rule of not calling or texting guys first, most people will perceive that as disinterest and move on.
"The guy always pays."
New rule: Split the bill
I'm old-fashioned in the belief that, on the first date, I like the guy to pay. But after that, it's definitely time to open up your wallet or do that awkward thing where you begin to reach for your handbag. If the guy is always paying for every date, it sets up a weird dynamic where the guy is pretty much paying to hang out with you, which could lead to resentment later on. You're an independent women and you can pay for your three glasses of wine, thank you very much.
"Have sex on the third date."
New rule: Have sex whenever you want.
Anyone who still adheres to the idea they should wait until the third date to have sex is ridiculous. Have sex when you want. If it's the first date and it feels right, go for it. If it takes you weeks or even months before you feel ready, that's completely fine too.
"Dates can only last for two hours, maximum."
New rule: Hang out as long as you like!
It seems to be a common consensus that you shouldn't stay on a date for longer than two hours. I'm guessing the idea behind this is that you should leave him wanting more because you're such a busy and interesting person - which we all know is already true anyway! However, if you're having a great time, there's no need to play games.
"Hide your inner crazy."
New rule: Be yourself.
Sure, everyone should self-monitor a little bit when you're just starting to get to know someone, but don't try and be someone you're not. More specifically, don't pretend to be a sports fanatic/ damsel in distress/ girl without bodily functions just because you think that's what guys want. Just be your sweatpants wearing, history buff, bookworm, genuine self and all the magic will happen. Do you want your potential partner to fall in love with you, or the carefully curated version?
Emma is just your average book loving, tea drinking, story writing, narcissistic millennial on an eternal quest for the perfect t-shirt. Ever since she picked up her first copy of Dolly when she was twelve, she always knew she wanted to work in magazines. She would describe herself as a bit of a hopeless romantic with an obsession for true crime and horror and a love for red wine, whiskey or a stiff gin and tonic. When she's not binge watching Netflix or buying things she can't afford online, she spends her weekends trawling through bookstores and eating her way through Brisbane.