Rules for Responsible Dating

Wouldn’t it be great if there were rules for responsible dating, just as there are rules for responsible driving? I realize not everyone abides to responsible driving guidelines, but at least some have been publicized so more people do than if nothing had been created.

So how about we craft some rules for responsible dating? Let me begin, and you can add what I leave out:

Rules for Responsible Dating

  • You will only date if you are not in a long-term relationship. No dating if you are married or living together, unless you have the explicit permission of your partner.
  • You will only date those with whom you want to explore a long-term relationship, unless you both are explicit about seeking only a casual or intimate encounter.
  • You will be honest about your age, marital status, height, income, body shape, health and other facts about you and your life. If someone misinterprets some key information (you are separated and s/he thinks you are divorced), you will correct the misunderstanding immediately.
  • If you decide you no longer want to see someone, you tell him/her gently, honestly and as soon as you make the decision.
  • You will not make promises you don’t intend to keep (“I’ll call you” or “Yes, I’d like to see you again”). You don’t avoid the person nor not return their calls if you don’t want to see him/her again. You address it maturely and responsibly.
  • When someone says they don’t want to see you again, or they would like to just be friends, you graciously accept that they aren’t a match and let go.
  • You will never, ever, ever, stand up anyone. If you are unexpectedly detained or decide against the meeting you will call the person’s cell phone and/or the meeting site to inform him/her as soon as you realize you won’t make it. The same goes for being more than 5 minutes late — call. The only viable excuse is if your home/office is aflame, you have been kidnapped, or you or a family member has to be taken to the hospital.
  • Before becoming intimate, you initiate a conversation about safe sex, STD tests and protection.

Okay, now it’s your turn. What shall we add to this list?

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12 responses to “Rules for Responsible Dating”

  1. Rod Avatar

    If you do break up with someone you should suck up your courage and do it in person, especially if its been a serious relationship. If you do it by phone, you are subject to a verbal slap to the side of the head, if you do it by email, you should be publicly flogged in the courtyard, and if you do it by text message, you should most rightly be shot.

  2. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    I LOVE this list! In fact, as I’m a bit of list lover myself, I’m going to print it out so I have it at my fingertips for quick reference at all times.

    I’d like to add this rule: Be honest and upfront about your other dating partners, especially if sex is involved. As you mentioned, with all the STDs out there these days, you can never be too careful when it comes to matters of intimacy, plus it would cheese me and good if I discovered, (as I recently did), that a guy I was interested in dating was simultaneously dating every warm female body in his zip code.

    One at a time is my personal rule, and anyone who can’t or won’t deal with that rule obviously isn’t looking for the same things I am (a long term life partner) and needs to be ditched pronto.

    Best wishes from your fan bookyone 🙂

  3. Lulu Avatar

    I would add that if you are still angry with, hurt by or fantasising/obsessing about an ex, give yourself time to readjust and grieve before you try to date again. Healing is a process, and you shouldn’t try to replace one relationship with another too soon. It drags too much baggage into the next relationship, and is no good for anyone involved.

  4. hunter Avatar

    This is what I was told. To break up all you need to do is quit calling. One doesn’t have to explain or justify one’s self.

    Ask for a promise ring on the 3rd date, make an oral contract, I want sexual and social continuity, we go out once a week,,etc. If he breaks the contract you keep the ring.

    The sooner you start seeing someone else after a break up the better, for you…

    I heard these three responses at a singles seminar. A woman from the audience, raised her hand and said, “my friends say the contrary,” the guest speaker says, “who are you going to believe, your friends, or 30 years of research and experience?

  5. Alison Avatar

    That is a great list — one that I will print out and place next to my computer.

    I have another tid bit to add to your list:

    You will not drone on and on about your ex on the first, second or even third date. If you hit date four, you may bring up the ex only if it pertains relevant to the current conversation.

    I have noticed already in my short reemergence to the dating scene that people like to talk to much about their ex — usually by bashing them. Not cool, regardless what they did.

    BTW — thank you for stopping by my blog, Cheat Peeps, and for including my comments in your IM posting.

    I’ve added you to my blogroll.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  6. Mitsy Avatar

    I like the list. It has almost everything on it I can think of. This time last year, I was still smarting from a relationship that ended with the guy simply “LEAVING TOWN” and not bothering to tell me. It is a long story, but looking back, I truly believed I dodged a bullet. I eventually did get an e-mail apology from this guy, but that was my only closure to this selfish man’s behavior.

    Interestingly enough, this guy’s sister and I have become pretty good friends. He left town owing his sister money and disrespecting her in many ways. To this day, their relationship is icy and she has seen him maybe once in almost 16 months.

    Many things about his behavior and things I found out about him after he left, made me eventually feel lucky that this guy was out of my life. However, the whole thing would not have left such a bad taste in my mouth if he’d simply just talked to me in person. He could not do it. It showed what he was made of and I’m glad I didn’t waste anymore time with him. The hurt was bad, but I do not long for him or think about the “what ifs’ anymore.

    I’ve moved on and while life is not perfect for me, I learned a great deal from my bad experience with this one. For starters, if they are not totally divorced (not in the “process” or have another set of papers to file), they are not dating material. Just forget them. It is not worth your emotions. Trust me, I learned.

  7. bookyone Avatar

    Hunter, that’s not a bad idea. Considering I’m a jewelry buyer and seller, it couldn’t hurt to add to my collection. 🙂

  8. Fancy Red Lady Avatar
    Fancy Red Lady

    I think the list could have been written by me…
    But I also think women agree more than men! (Notice who posted.)

  9. hunter Avatar


    How funny!….lol!…..

  10. Avatar

    Addendum to “Rules for Responsible Dating”

    *The individuals involved are required to disclose ‘PRIORITY’ isssues by the end of the second date to the other party.
    For example:
    a) I have a misdomeaner(s)/felony(ies) conviction on file in the County of _______, in the State of _______ for ________ in the year of _____.
    b) I have been diagnosed with a mental illness by a qualified psychiatrist. I am ___________. I am taking/not taking medications prescribed to treat this illness.
    c) Although it might appear I am attracted to the opposite sex, I’m really gay/lesbian.
    d) I’m ____ months pregnant.
    e) I’m an alcoholic and/or drug addict; sex addict; porn addict; work-a-holic; etc., etc.
    f) Although no formal charges have been filed, I’m a violent partner/individual that has absolutely no control – whatsoever – of my temper, should somebody piss me off.
    g) I masturbate quite frequently, which will explain the inability to achieve and maintain an erection and/or orgasm, should there come a time that we find ourselves physically intimate. Furthermore, this will explain the scabs on my penis and the lack of sperm.
    h) Although no formal charges have been filed, I have previously sexually assaulted an individual and/or child.
    i) I’m a control freak.
    j) Although I give you every indication that I’m really interested in you – for you – I’m really a gold-digger (or) gigolo and think nothing of breaking your heart, using and abusing you, and selfishly gaining from your financial wealth.
    k) Although I’ve lead you to believe I’m ‘into you’, my culture has taught me to marry American service personnel so my family and I can reside in the United States.
    l) I have a particular sexual fetish (es) that involve (s) beastiality (and/or) children, (and/or) peculiar non-living objects.
    m) I will always put my needs and wants selfishly ahead of yours.
    n) You will always take a ‘back seat’ to my friends, mother (and/or) father, (and/or) children, (and/or) extended family. With the exception of my friends, blood is thicker than water, babe!
    o) Although I’ve lead you to believe I’ve attended ___ year (s) of college and obtained my _________ degree in the field of ___________, in the year of _____, the truth of the matter is my parents are illiterate and I dropped out in the _________ grade.
    p) I’m heavily into the occult and/or believe I am an alian from outer space.
    q) I am prejudicial to a fault.
    r) I can’t stand animals, (and/or) children, (and/or) people in general.
    s) I have no respect (and/or) love for myself, let alone anybody else.
    t) I’m a lazy bum (or) bummet and have absolutely no ambition, goals, or direction in my life.
    u) I hate to clean up after myself. That’s why I’m dating you!
    v) I have a judgement (s) and/or wage garnishment (s) against me which will explain why I need to live off of you.
    w) Plainly put, I’m a toxic partner and a total nightmare of a person.

  11. Gatti Avatar

    Sheesh,, was this the waiver form for a dating agency that set up near the exit doors of the county jail?????

  12. Lulu Avatar
    Lulu, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read that list!

    One other rule for responsible dating might be: Be your authentic self. Try not to be on your best behaviour just to impress someone. If you’re wearing a mask, you’ll have to keep acting, and that’s a very hard thing to do.