The Rules of Dating Revealed

With over half of all single Britons using their New Year’s Resolution as a spur to find new love, and many using dating sites such as EliteSingles to find potential partners, it is important to understand those unwritten rules of the dating scene. Too many kisses on a text, sending a Facebook friend request and taking longer than 15 minutes to respond to a message all put pay to a second date, according to new research.

A study exploring the do’s and don’ts of dating highlights the rules singletons should adhere to if they want to follow up a first date with a second. Men should be the ones to first send a text after a successful first meeting and women should respond within a quarter of an hour if keen.

But when making contact, a maximum of TWO kisses is all that is required – any more and the potential love interest may be put off, any less and you’re in danger of seeming ‘cold’.

The study of 1,500 Brits, commissioned by TLC’s Undressed, also revealed that locking lips is acceptable at the end of date one – if things have gone well – although a smooch is more likely after the second encounter.

Jo Hemmings, behavioural Psychologist for TLC’s Undressed, said: “The advance of smartphones has made dating both easier, and more difficult.There are countless apps to help people find dates, but the conundrum of how soon to follow someone on social media or get in contact opens up a new layer of pitfalls. Our parents may have had nothing more complicated to worry about than when to ring a date up on the landline, but these days there are dozens of methods of communication that all have to be carefully orchestrated.”

The study shows that three is the magic number when it comes to the number of dates needed before an overnight stay although one in 10 say they’ll need over 10 dates to get to that point.

A definite no-no is waiting for the other person to text first. Half of respondents say that they want their potential love interest to make the first contact – which means the other half of daters will be disappointed.

It seems that playing it cool may be a thing of the past, too – a third of people reckon they’ll text back within a quarter of an hour, with just five percent saying they’d wait as long as two hours.

Just 23 per cent of people think that texting back straight away is a sign of being ‘too keen’ with the majority of Brits saying they’re happy to get right back in contact with a potential love interest.

Venturing online is stickier territory. On average, it’s best to wait until some point between the third and fourth dates before sending a Facebook friend request or following them on Twitter.

Half of us say we’ve looked up a potential date online before meeting in person, to get a feel for their personality and see more pictures – and 15 per cent say they’ve cancelled a date after seeing something on social media they didn’t like.

When actually on the date, there are countless faux pas to avoid – the worst of the lot being talking about an ex too much, followed by poor personal hygiene.

One in 10 Brits say, they’ll cancel a date with someone if they talk about themselves too much.

The reasons for breaking off a relationship after a date range from the banal – finding out the date is already in a relationship – to the bizarre, with one respondent admitting that they couldn’t stop staring at a date’s mole, and another saying simply, ‘They punched my cat.’

Rules of Dating

Send first text message – after one date

Go for first kiss – after two dates

Send Facebook friend request – after three dates

Spend the night – after four dates

Allow your partner to undress you – after five dates

Introduce partner to friends – after five dates



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