5 Dating Rules You Need To Unlearn If You Want To Find True Love

Hung up on what you're "supposed to do" on dates? Read this.

Dating Advice For How To Find True Love & Soulmate Through Self Love First Unsplash 

If you want to know how to find true love and your soulmate, the best dating advice to listen to is the kind that talks about self-love.

The world is full of tips about dating. 

I can tell you from experience – both my own, and from the people I work with – that most, if not all of them, are nonsense.  

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They are built out of patriarchy, misogyny, and gender roles. And they all come with a hoard of expectations that add unnecessary fear to the minefield that is dating. 

To begin the process of unlearning, here are 5 dating rules that you need to say no to right now. 

1. Monogamy is everyone’s end goal 

Many people want to settle down, and get married, and grow old together. But that doesn’t mean that they want it right now, or in the near future, or with you. 

If they do not want monogamy right now, that does not mean that they don’t want you right now. It simply means that they are not in a place to have you be their one and only. 


Monogamy is still the gold standard of our culture, but that does not mean that you should expect it from the person sitting across from you on a first date. It certainly doesn’t mean that you have to expect it from yourself.

Putting this expectation on your date, and on yourself, means that you are already preemptively writing a story with no ending. This sets you up for failure, and shuts down the opportunity to build something beautiful, if unconventional. 

Be honest and open, and let the relationship reveal itself as it progresses. 

2. Do not reveal your feelings too quickly 

There are many rules about when to tell someone that you like them: wait to text them back, don't let them know you are thinking about them, don't say I love you first, etc.


But all of these rules are built out of game playing - something we need to avoid if we want to date authentically, and ethically. 

And really, why not express your feelings? It is nice to know where everyone stands. Knowing what's going through your date's head helps you figure out where you are going, so that you don’t end up a few months down the line with mismatched feels, wondering what went wrong. 

Communication is the biggest factor in any successful relationship, so why not start off yours in an honest way, and put your feels on the table. 

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3. Everyone is straight until proven otherwise 

The time of sexual fluidity is upon us – and how exciting is that? Whenever I go talk to teens about sexual diversity, they are mostly not phased. They are astounded that people would ever be shamed for being who they are, or loving who they love.  


Now, if we believe that sexuality is fluid, that means that many folks will not fit nicely into a heteronormative box. Heck, many of them won’t even fit into a homonormative box. 

If you close yourself off to the possibility of ever having relationships – romantic, sexual, or otherwise – with people of the same gender, or really any gender, then you are closing yourself off to many beautiful connections. 

And, if you are assuming that everyone is straight simply because they are on a date with you – someone of the opposite sex – you are erasing their identity. Stay open, stay curious, and stay fluid. 

4. Wait at least 3 dates to have sex

This rule stems from the idea that one needs to wait to “get to know a person” before jumping into bed with them. 


However, jumping into bed with someone helps you get to know them. 

If you are communicating openly about sex – birth control, STIs, condom use – and you feel comfortable with your sexuality, there is no timeline for sex. You can have it the first night, or you can have it a year later. 

The more rules you put on something that is natural, beautiful, and a power tool for creating connection, the less organic it will feel when you have it.

Just like talking about your feelings – do it often, do it openly, and do it when it feels right. 

5. You must be (beautiful, thin, happy, healed, [insert ideal adjective here]) before you are able to date

In his book, Rebel Love, Dr. Chris Donague talks about self-acceptance being the one and only predecessor for having a dating life: “I can tell you for a fact: the most revolutionary thing you can do – for yourself, your sex life, and as an example for the rest of the world – is to learn to celebrate your own body exactly as it is now.” 


If you tell yourself that you can go on a date when you lose 5 pounds, or when your acne clears up, or when you are no longer depressed, you are ultimately telling yourself that you are not good enough as you are. 

And, I’m here to tell you – you are good enough exactly as you are. You deserve to go out, and socialize. To go on dates. To be spoiled. 

Sure, set goals. Sure, work on yourself. But do not think that you must be perfect to attract your person. You must be you to attract your person. You will bring in the energy that you are putting out. If you are putting out self-depreciating energy, you can bet you will find that coming right back at you. 


Ultimately, dating rules stop you from being you. You will end up stuck in boxes, trying to please everyone but yourself. You will feel disconnected from your authentic self, and you will attract people who you likely will not be a good match for. 

The sooner you learn to say “forget these rules” and create your own model of dating, the more likely you are to be successful in finding the people who are meant to be in your life. 

If you need a chat, or check-in, or a quick boost of self-love, shoot me a message. Let’s talk.  

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Celeste, BSW, is a relationship coach, sex educator, and counselor, who is currently creating an online course about self-love and relationships. She can regularly be found sitting beside a lake, dancing around her kitchen, cuddling with her dog, or lecturing you about healthy boundaries. Sign up for her newsletter for more tips on how to love yourself while dating.