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Some old dating tips to spice up your love life

Your parents will give you a totally different impression of what dating was like when they were your age. In only the last 15 years or so, a lot has changed, mostly because of the advent of dating apps and our growing dependency on smartphones. This means that if you want to achieve romantic satisfaction, you’ll have to evolve with the times.

So, can you keep up? Experts say that all depends on whether you can follow these modern dating rules.

1. Stay Off Your Phone on Dates

If there’s one way to make a bad impression in the early stages of dating, it’s constantly texting or checking social media.

Angelika Koch, a certified life coach and relationship expert Taimi, says this kind of behavior — referred to as “phubbing” these days — is massively rude and disrespectful to your date.

Jacqueline Fae, CEO and Founder of the matchmaking company IDL Diamond Club, even goes so far as to advise turning your phone off or putting it on airplane mode. At the very least, you can set it to “silent” so you’re not getting distracted by constant Instagram and text notifications.

“Give your date your full attention,” she says.

By stashing your phone away, you’re sending the message that you’re fully present with your date and that you value quality time with them.

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Some old dating tips to spice up your love life

2. Seek Consent for Sexual Intimacy

This should go without saying, but consent is a non-negotiable when getting physical with your dates.

“Always prioritize consent and mutual respect in your interactions,” says April Davis, CEO of LUMA Luxury Matchmaking.

That means your partner willingly, explicitly, and enthusiastically agrees to whatever kind of sexual activity you’re engaging in. Remember: Just because your partner doesn’t say “no” doesn’t mean they consent. Also, just because they may have consented to sexual activity in the past, doesn’t mean they automatically consent to intimacy in the present or future.

Here’s what getting and maintaining consent looks like, according to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network:

Making sure your date is interested before initiating physical touch

Asking “Is this OK?” before moving to another stage of intimacy

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Checking in with your partner periodically to make sure they’re still OK during intimate acts

Looking for physical (body language) cues that your partner is still comfortable with and enjoying what’s happening

Reminding your partner that you can stop at any point

3. Be Brave Enough Not to Ghost

Just because ghosting is super common nowadays doesn’t mean it’s OK.

Across the board, experts agree you should always treat your dates the way you’d want to be treated — which means politely informing them that you’re no longer interested. By the way — this rule applies whether you’ve been on one date or 10.

“Being ghosted can be emotionally injurious, and this also saves you from an awkward run-in with this person later,” explains Dr. Wendy Walsh, a dating and relationships expert at DatingAdvice.

Relationship coach Karina F. Daves suggests sending a text that says something along the lines of: “Hey, I really enjoyed meeting you but it seems like we want different things, so I think it’s best if we go our separate ways,” or “Hey, thanks for spending some time with me — I don’t feel like this is heading in a romantic direction, but I’m glad I got to know you!” A simple message like this takes so little effort on your part, but can make a big difference in allowing your date to move on, says Daves.

“It’s OK to have a change of heart about meeting somebody, and OK to end a date early if you’re just not feeling it, but don’t leave the person hanging,” adds Dr. Betsy Chung, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert. “Always do your part to provide some closure to the other person so they’re not left wondering what happened.”

4. Discuss Boundaries Early On

Dating without boundaries can lead to all kinds of hurtful misunderstandings, conflicts,, and resentments, and other issues.

“This includes honoring physical boundaries, respecting each other’s time and space, and being mindful of individual preferences and comfort levels,” says Davis. “When both parties feel respected and valued, it lays the foundation for a healthy and fulfilling connection.”

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Boundaries can revolve around your need for personal space or alone time, your communication habits and preferences, or your personal possessions.

For example, in dating, this might look like:

Not discussing certain sensitive topics on your dates, like your salary or a traumatic experience

Not sending or receiving nudes

Not accepting late-night booty calls

According to experts, the earlier you discuss these boundaries with someone you’re dating, the better. That’s not to say you need to list off your expectations on the first date, but definitely start communicating what you will and won’t tolerate in a way that feels natural as you start forming a connection.

5. Be Upfront About What You’re Looking For

Make sure you know what you want out of dating — and moreover, that you’re clearly communicating that to your dates — whether you’re just looking to keep things casual or interested in building a more serious relationship.

“This is important from the start of things because it sets the stage for somebody to know and love the most authentic version of you, rather than a curated first impression of you,” says Dr. Betsy Chung, a clinical psychologist.

Bretton Key, founder and CEO of Date Jar, echoes this sentiment. By being upfront about your intentions, you can save your date from wasting their time if they aren’t on the same page.

6. Take the Time to Heal Past Relationship Traumas

Most of us have some kind of baggage — whether it’s attachment wounds from the way our parents or caregivers didn’t meet our needs, or trust issues from an ex who cheated. Make it a priority to work on healing from these wounds, says Ella Scaduto, a matchmaker and dating coach.

Maybe this means finding a therapist, joining a support group, or checking out some self-help books. However you choose to work on processing these issues, trust that it will pay off in the long run — because you’ll not only attract a more suitable and worthy partner, but you’ll also be able to show up for them better, too.

7. Keep Your Online Dating Profiles Up-to-Date

It’s time to swap out those pictures from 10 years ago on your Tinder profile — and while you’re at it, make sure your bio isn’t misleading.

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“In the age of online dating, your profile is like your resume,” says Key. “Keeping it fresh with recent photos and an accurate bio can help you attract the right matches.”

And remember: honesty is the best policy here. So, don’t pretend you’re an avid surfer if you’ve only been on a board once just because you think it’ll attract more matches.

“Gone are the days of trying to project an image of perfection,” says Davis. “Instead, share your true self, including your passions, quirks, and yes, even your flaws. Being genuine is way more attractive than striving for an unattainable ideal.”

8. Don’t Try to Play It Cool

Newsflash: surveys show that men are becoming more vulnerable. Don’t fight the trend — embrace it.

“Expressing your romantic feelings is a mature action,” says Harrison. “Don’t hesitate to communicate your interest if you’re feeling a connection. Doing so creates space for the other person to reciprocate and engage authentically.”

While we’re on the subject of being vulnerable and authentic, it’s time to ditch that wait-three-days-until-you-call-them rule. If your date went exceptionally well, it’s totally fine to follow up the next day and let them know you had a great time.

“Taking several days to respond to just one text shows this person you’re not very interested or you’re playing games,” explains Koch.

9. Avoid the App Pen-Pal Trap

Once you’ve established mutual interest with a dating app match, experts advise meeting up IRL as soon as possible so you can better gauge your chemistry and compatibility.

“Don’t get into an endless text relationship with a stranger where your imagination can run wild,” says Walsh. “Meet for a quick coffee after just a few texts. This does two things: it gives you a reality check before you waste too much time becoming emotionally invested in a digital fantasy, and it eliminates those with ‘dating apathy,’ — people who are entertained by dating apps but aren’t actually interested in pursuing anything.”

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