Dating Rules — Don’ts

1. Don’t call, text message or email someone you’ve just started seeing more than once a day unless they reply (or in the event of an emergency). Desperation and instability are major turnoffs.

2. Don’t date the kind of people who’ve hurt you in the past. Many of us are attracted to people who are bad for us, but it’s important to break these patterns and seek out healthy relationships with matches who won’t demean you or make you feel bad about yourself in any way.

3. Don’t be late for a date. It’s just rude. If you have to change your plans, give the other person as much notice and consideration as possible. And always apologize.

4. Don’t lie to your date or about any aspect of your life, even if the truth isn’t as sexy or you’re worried they won’t like it. It would be awful to ruin a potentially life-changing relationship with your perfect match because of some silly lie you told early on to impress him or her.

5. Don’t be too available. We don’t mean you should play games, but if you’re free every night, you’re probably not taking care of yourself, pursuing your own interests and spending time with your friends — which means you’re probably not very interesting to talk to. People with full, exciting lives make the best dates.

6. Don’t give away too much about yourself at the beginning. Revealing your innermost secrets on the second date can lead to rejection. Don’t be scared to open up, but remember that getting to know someone takes time, and you should let your relationship evolve.

7. Don’t check out other people when you’re on a date. Ever. This is just tacky. You may think you are subtle, but while you’re scoping the cutie in the corner, your date will be heading for the door. Extend your partner the courtesy of concentrating solely on them while you’re with them.

8. Don’t be rude or get drunk on a date. Courtesy and manners will get you everywhere.

9. Don’t ignore your personal safety. Carry your cell phone and keep it charged — and make sure to tell your friends where you’re going and when you’ll be back. First dates should take place in well-lit public places. Don’t ever let yourself be coerced into going anywhere or doing anything that makes you uncomfortable.

10. Don’t give out personal information like your home phone number or address on the first date. Keep these details to yourself until you trust the person you’re dating.

11. Don’t have sex on a first date. If you like someone and are interested in getting to know them better (and possibly having a relationship), sex on a first date will likely ruin everything. It’s much too soon, it’s not romantic and it communicates to the other person that you’re more interested in their physical characteristics than in finding out who they are.

12. Never date a married person. Statistically, it is very unlikely that they will ever leave their husband or wife for you. Dating someone who’s married is the best way to serve yourself a heaping helping of misery, lies, deceit, sadness and heartache. If you are married, separate before dating. If you’re single, don’t be a shoulder to cry on — you deserve better. Go out and find someone who’s emotionally (and legally) available to you!

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