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The Dating Rules in the Age of Social Media

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Rosie Bowie
Rosie Bowie

The rules of dating regarding whether woman can "make the first move" is something that has befuddled many on the dating scene. 

A recent article on Stuff about an app designed to help people manage their online dating, created a lengthy correspondence about the "frequency" with which you should contact someone your dating.

"Frequencies?"  "Apps?"

The story looked at how the old-style "rules" of dating have changed with online dating.

The article looked at the dating classic from 20 years ago, "The Rules", which took a look at a mainly woman's view of dating.

It's an interesting debate because it's my view that while technology and social media has changed us all, the basic rules for things like dating stay basically the same.

What do I mean?

First, generally (an important qualifier), women prefer to be asked out, rather than vice versa.  Things have changed a little in the modern age where women can do anything, including asking men out.  But in romance, tradition dies hard and one of the die-hard traditions is for men to do the asking.  It may not be an absolute, but it's

Second, honestly remains the best policy.  Are you married?  Do you smoke?  Whatever.  You will get caught out with your little white lie or your major deceipt if you persist with the fiction.  It's like the phony profiles - you're fooling yourself, but no-one else.  We'd all like to be younger and better looking, but at the end of the day you - and any future partner - know exactly who you are.  So fess up now and keep it straight.

Third, there are no absolutes or laws in the dating game.  Rules, but not tenets by which you must win.  And if either men or women don't like the rules, then don't follow them.  But when it comes to some age-old customs (like numbers one and two, above, I believe they remain as valid as ever).

The main thing is to live your own life with as much individuality as you wish.  Put your own 'spin' on dating, but remain true to yourself and - hopefully - your partner.

Rosie Bowie is the manager of Matchcompany, New Zealand's premier personal matchmaking agency. Contact her at

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