When it comes to dating, there are some rules that should not ever be broken. Here are 10 dating commandments—for men!—that should be etched in stone. (Don’t worry—we’ll do 10 for women too … eventually.)
Commandment #1: Thou shalt not be late or cancel more than once.
If you can’t help but be late, send a text message or call as soon as possible to alert your date of your failure to be prompt. And if you must cancel—like, say, if you have mono or Freddie Mercury comes back from the dead for a one-night only concert to which you have a ticket (in which case, invite me)—reschedule immediately. To quote myself, rainchecks are bulls**t.
Commandment #2: Thou shalt not itemize the bill.
If you’re set on being a modern man who prefers to go dutch, so be it—
we most of us are cool with that—but divide it straight down the middle. Those who itemize based on who ate what—especially if that means they owe less—should be deeply ashamed. And also castrated.
Commandment #3: Thou shalt not expect sex in exchange for paying the bill.
If you’re more traditional and opt to pay the full bill, do not expect your generosity to buy you any sexual favors. Seriously, not even a kiss. Besides, kisses/blowjobs/sex feel so much better when they’re given with natural enthusiasm, not because $50 was forked over for a mediocre piece of salmon and some stupidly named cocktails.
Commandment #4: Thou shalt not get completely wasted.
Drinks can (and perhaps should!) be imbibed on a date, but watch the intake and avoid shots, unless you are in college and there’s a special on tequila and cans of Tecate. Loosen up with a couple beers or a glass of wine or two, but nursing rather than guzzling will ensure you keep your embarrassing alter ego, Senor Drunky McStumble-Puke, safely at bay.
Commandment #5: Thou shalt not talk incessantly about your ex-girlfriend.
Doesn’t matter whether you’re calling her a complete bunny boiler or singing her praises—it’s weird. It’s one thing, if it comes up, to talk about when you last were in a serious relationship or how many years/months the longest one lasted. It is another thing, however, to share the entire Wuthering Heights-esque saga of your love story, starting with when you first laid eyes on her and ending with the day she went completely mental and poured sugar in your gas tank because she found out you cheated. Relive the memories with your man journal or therapist. Or, on second thought, move on already.
Commandment #6: Thou shalt not name drop your Ivy League university more than once.
Nor the model of sports car you drive or the high-end brand of watch strapped around your wrist. We don’t care that when you graduated from Princeton—also Princeton grads, natch—or that your parents gifted you with a vintage Rolex, which was pretty cool, but not nearly as cool as the Porsche they gave you when you graduated from Harvard Law. We care much more that your fancy education bought you something interesting to say.
Commandment #7: Thou shalt not be rude to waiters, cab drivers, or other service people deserving of mutual respect.
Angrily sending your plate back to the kitchen because your steak is cherry blossom pink instead of Thulian pink makes you look like a pretentious douche. Giving the cab driver a crappy tip because there was traffic makes us want to go home with him instead. We’d much rather date someone who is chill and relaxed when things don’t work out completely to their specifications rather than an adult baby who throws epic tantrums.
Commandment #8: Thou shalt not discuss money.
Super broke? Just got a fat raise? About to come into a six figure inheritance? Parents worth $20 million? Need to get a roommate because money’s super tight right now? All of the above needs to be kept to yourself. Couples talk about money. We’re not a couple yet.
Commandment #9: Thou shalt not be dismissive of her opinions.
One of the best perks about dating is getting to learn another person’s perspective—on the world, on politics, on pop culture, whatever. Make the most of that. Listen! Nodding your head and holding back an eye roll while she explains her beliefs on universal health care, only to seize the spotlight the minute she pauses in order to say, “Yeah, well, maybe you should just move to France,” is not listening. It’s dick.
Commandment #10: Thou shalt not refuse to wear a condom.
Ohhhh, condoms make your penis feel like it’s being strangled. You don’t have any diseases, you swear. You basically got, like, a master’s degree in the pullout method, huh? You’ve never gotten a chick pregnant! Congrats. Strap one on anyway, homie.