Why Dating Rules Aren't Necessary

There are many dating rules out there; some are widely accepted, some aren't. Ultimately, they serve as guidelines to help you have a positive experience in your relationship, which I am totally behind. However, I'm also here to say that some rules are trite and unnecessary. Respecting your partner's consent is important and should be followed without question, but limiting yourself to texts or certain acts because others say it's too soon is bogus. Here are a few reasons why these guidelines aren't always helpful:

They Strip You of Individuality

If everything came with a manual, everything would be easy. However, that means it would also all be the same. Following set guidelines doesn't allow you to make your relationship your own because you second guess everything you do. Relationships are challenging and strange because people are confusing and strange. You're no exception to that. If you want a relationship to work, you have to be yourself. The whole point is figuring out whether you mesh with that other person or not, so why change who you are?

They Hold You Back

See the example as mentioned above of texting above. Dating standards try to tell you what to do and when to do them, and that isn't right. Everything about dating is a matter of trial and error, and you ought to do what feels right to you when it feels right to you. Obviously, consent is an important aspect of this, and you need to make sure the other person seems comfortable with the move you want to make, so if this is the case, go ahead and go for it. If it works out well, great; if it doesn't, there's likely a reason for that and it'll serve as an experience to learn from regardless.

They Pressure You

There's a lot of pressure focused on marriage in particular, whether you've been with your significant other for years or if you're older and you feel that you're "running out of time". However, that isn't the only form of pressure. There's also moving in together, committing certain intimate acts, etc. Dating rules tend to tell us that all of these things should happen within a specific amount of time of you being together; otherwise, you feel judged and pressured that you might not have done them. Again, this is a damaging stance to take. Relationships are entirely built around what you feel is right for you, and others have no right to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. I won't tell you that I think it's wise to marry someone you met three weeks ago, but I will say this: do things at your pace and when you feel comfortable doing them. Relationships are work and everyone involved needs to feel secure before taking any big leaps.Your relationship is your own; you have complete autonomy over it. Certain "rules" should always be in your head, especially when it comes to looking for the right people. However, you need to embrace your own individual reactions and feelings toward your relationship. For better or worse, it's a learning experience.