Modern Dating: Do Old Conventions Apply?

By Monique Zamir, BounceBack Editorial Staff

These days it’s difficult to predict what’s appropriate and inappropriate to do while dating someone. Should you wait for them to call you back? Should you send them a text message saying you had fun, or do you not want to show your interest too strongly, lest you seem desperate? Should you tell them about your obsession with cats and that yours is having a litter, all of whom you intend to keep? All are great questions, and don’t necessarily have a right answer. But we can still wonder.

We've outlined a few of the dating conundrums faced by members of the BounceBack community, and people’s thoughts on them:

Does the three day rule still apply?

Do you wait a few days till you call the person back? Or if they don’t get back in touch after a few days, do you call them back? Or do you just forget about the three days and call them back the next afternoon?

Well, the general consensus is that the 3 day rule still very much applies - it adds a bit of mystery but also gives you a good sense of whether the other person is truly interested in you. Kelly says, “Definitely; if it’s someone you just met and you’ve gone on one date, you should wait a couple of days to make sure.” Kristin commented, “Most definitely! If I haven't heard from a guy in 3 days, I don't expect to.”

Should a girl call the guy back after a first date?

This is a question that has been leftover from the days when most women didn’t go to college, and if they did it was to find a husband. While it does make things easier when you don’t lay the pressure on yourself to call your date back, it also could feel empowering to know that you were able to call your date back, whether or not it ended successfully. Josh contends, “I don’t think that it should be a mystifying experience. She could call him and he could be excited about that. My girlfriend called me back before I called her and we’re now seven years in. One phone call isn’t going to kill the thing.”

Stacey, however, comments, “Girls are not supposed to call first. Let the guy call you, if you call it might make you look desperate.” Looks like the jury's still out on this one.

Texting vs. Calling: Is texting an inappropriate means of communication when you’re first dating?

Texting has made relationship communication more low-key and low-pressure. Something about indirect communication makes people more easy-going, so when you don’t see them face to face, or even when you’re not talking to them on the phone, asking people things or telling them things seems to be much simpler. It’s like talking to someone under a cloak, but simultaneously, it depersonalizes the conversation. But, are people taking the easy way out?

Mike says, “You should call. Text someone if you just can’t get ahold of them. Texting is just an auxiliary form of conversation, this is someone you intend to get intimate with and you’re texting them?” Laurie says, “I'd rather talk with the person on the phone. It's better to be able to hear each other's voices and a better way to get to know each other." Suzette thinks “It's good for people who are shy/anxious but it takes away from the human quality of courtship.”

When thinking about these questions in today's dating environment, more often than not it depends on the individual, the situation, and how gutsy you are. Sometimes it's better to take things slow, wait and see, and let the other person make the move. At the same time, it can be better to do things on a whim, even if you’re unsure or nervous about it. Take a chance and see what happens.

What do you think? Do you follow the 3 day rule? Do you text more than call? Are you afraid to call a guy before he calls you? What are the craziest dating conventions you've heard of, and do you think they still apply?

Monique is a writer and recent college graduate transitioning to the working world. She currently resides in New York.

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