Dating Rules That Make Sense, Finally

June 16, 2009

Thailand oceanRobot Heart is one of my favorite blogs. Katie, the blogger, posts numerous (many!) things on there every day. In fact, Katie is an amazing woman, with five blogs:

Robot Heart

Twenty Something

Sex, Religion and Politics

Daily Beagle

Things I *Heart* About Oregon

She’s really into photography and design, so there are amazing visuals on Robot Heart. I find great quotes and thoughts there as well, including wonderful bits and pieces from other blogs. Recently I found this post:  Words to date by. It’s from another blog called Live.to.the.point.of.tears, which is similar to Robot Heart, though more confessional, I would say. Check it out, I think you’ll like that one too.

Today’s post is a dose of hard-core realism after yesterday’s upbeat, hopeful and optimistic post. It’s cynical and a little jaded, but we all need to take a dip in that pond sometimes to keep it real. I find that to be the hardest thing: figuring out how to strike a balance. When to be hopeful and keep trying, when to throw in the towel. Sometimes feeling appreciated, sometimes taken for granted. When to be generous, when to look out for my own needs first. It’s a constant tug of war, and we’re all just trying to figure it out as we muddle along as far as I can tell. Perhaps the old Russian proverb says it best when it comes to dating: “Doveryai, no proveryai.” Trust but verify.

Words to date by.


  • If you’re not sure if he’s your boyfriend, he’s not.
  • When he says he’s not looking for a girlfriend, believe him. If he changes his mind, it’ll be in the first two weeks.
  • He does not want to hear about your ex-boyfriend, even if it is a “really funny story.”
  • White lies are the slipups before you find out about the big, black, nasty lies.
  • Guys always say that their ex that they’re still in love with is a “psycho.” He’s still calling her. I promise.
  • There are actually no rules about how long to wait to sleep with someone. If he likes you, he won’t care if it’s the first night.
  • You can pretend that you don’t care, but you do, and he knows it.
  • You can pretend that you don’t care, but he’s still fucking you.
  • “You’re an awesome girl,” means, “I am sleeping with 5 other people.”
  • Don’t let him cup your face in his hands when he kisses you unless he means it.
  • Unfortunately, some people are just really good at acting like they’re not just fucking you.
  • If he keeps telling you he’s too busy with work/the gym/his best friend/etc. to see you, bail. Even the busiest person in the world will find and make time to see you if he likes you.
  • Avoid guys who drive status cars. Especially if they say they “have to for work.”
  • Don’t trust a guy with more than one cell phone.
  • Do not talk to him about all the things you ate or didn’t eat today.
  • If it feels like a lie in your gut, it’s probably because it is. Don’t let him tell you you’re making it up in your head.
  • If he cheats on you and then tries to buy you something or take you on vacation, run, run, run.
  • If he cheats on you and you’re “really mad about it” for a week but you don’t make him suffer, he will absolutely do it again.
  • Waiting for someone to come around is like waiting for the elevator after you pushed the button. You wait and wait because you’re afraid it will come the moment you walk away. And you know, it might. But more likely, it’s stuck on another floor. More likely, it’s fucking broken.

Your thoughts?

  • heartbot

    Thank you for all the link love! 🙂 And…the words to date by are incredibly smart. All the things you really know about whether to *start* (or whether you can start) a relationship are right there.

    • susanawalsh

      You are welcome, heartbot! BTW, I also found 10 Crazy Things About Sex pretty compelling reading!

  • Ladies, thanks for the link and the shoutout … I’m so insightful and wise about dating, until I actually attempt it, right? 🙂 Great blog, love it.

    • susanawalsh

      Thanks so much, love yours too. It is always so much fun to meet another blogger!

  • zack

    Whats wrong with the guy who drives status cars? That one is odd cause most guys and girls like nice cars so I don’t know how that reflects on any particular guy.

    • That’s a good question. Maybe she got burned by a guy with a nice car. For me, it depends on what you mean by a status car. A nice BMW sedan? Sounds great. A Range Rover? Needy and insecure despite having lots of money. I think her general point is that a person who needs to show off their assets with an extremely expensive car is a turnoff.

  • The best tip is about exes, it’s such annoying when a woman starts talking about her ex-boyfriends, I never go on a second date with those who do so.

  • Jennifer

    “There are actually no rules about how long to wait to sleep with someone. If he likes you, he won’t care if it’s the first night”

    Clearly we’re not talking about a Christian guy..

  • Marie

    I know this is an old post, but I just noticed it 🙂
    I don’t understand this one:
    ““You’re an awesome girl,” means, “I am sleeping with 5 other people.””
    What is the problem here, is it the “awesome” that does it? What if you change it to “amazing”, still bad?

    I will print this, but remove the one of first night sex. You will only gain from waiting.