My thoughts/comments are in italics. You can comment if you want with thoughts of your own. (Disclaimer: If I receive comments that start with, "Are you really 29?" I will immediately zap you....)
#1. Coming to the door to pick someone up.
I think we’ve all had it with the incredibly unromantic “here” text, and meeting up always seems to be more casual and platonic than the alternative. Of course, meeting someone from online or any circumstance like that would probably be the exception to this rule, but generally: the 30 seconds it takes to get out of a car or cab and knock on the door makes a huge difference.
Now, many lucky ladies (and some men) I know get this regularly, and in fact, I have myself as well, but only ever with people I’d been dating for a while. I think there’s something to be said for bringing flowers to the door on your first date. It’s become uncool because it’s forward and it’s a gesture that confirms their interest, but we should definitely get past that idea and worry more about how we’re going to let someone know we really do care and appreciate that they want to spend time with us.
(Arab hospitality extends to this: You don't show up the first time empty-handed. Usually, it isn't flowers, but sweets. If the guy is really into you, he won't show up without something in his hand.)
Whatever happened to this? Dancing for the sake of dancing, like fun, not essentially sex on a dance floor dancing. What’s a better way to literally shake off nerves than seeing them bust a really dorky move on a dance floor? And the art of slow dancing has generally been lost, though I’ve been one to do it in my living room with my slightly coerced significant other, and I’ll tell you he’s said on numerous occasions it ended up being one of the most romantic nights we had together.
(Not really applicable in Kuwait unless you're at a party and IF someone is up grinding on my leg, I'm leaving.)
Or, as is very popular these days, “talking.” “Oh, we’re just… talking.” As in, seeing one another and speaking frequently as to get to know each other? So… dating? We’ve found these really convenient ways to skirt around the issue of having to put our hearts on the line, but honestly, it just ends up being messy and confusing for all parties involved. There’s no need to go back to the idea of courting or anything, unless you want to, but simply being direct about whether or not you’d like to go on a date with someone is a truly lost art, one that really shouldn’t be.
[Ok, this one is a real pet peeve of mine. If you want to be WITH me, be straight-forward, frank and state your intentions clearly. For example, "I would like to take you to dinner. I would like to get to know you. Are you free this Friday night? Would you like to go to X restaurant?" (and NOT in an F-ing cabina!) NOT, "Let me see you sometime. Call me.... uh uh uh...." I need a man, not an indecisive little boy.]
Oh, the awkward, “so… are we… you know… what are we?” talk. Classic. We should go back to asking one another if the other person would like to “go steady” or something. There’s something about asking them if they’d like to rather than assuming that you are or aren’t anything that’s just very cute, in my opinion.
#7. Romantic gestures like writing poems.
Writing poems may not be for you, I know mine would look something like “Roses are red, violets are blue, I hate poetry but I love you.” I literally just made that up thank you please quote me when you inevitably post that gem on Tumblr. But seriously, like a handwritten letter in the mail or just surprising them with something you made even if it looks like the macaroni necklace you made when you were 5 is cute just because you tried and were thinking of them.
(This is NOT OTT! Mr. Clean had one redeeming quality: He left notes all over my apartment and sometimes car telling me that he loved me and that I was beautiful. Although not completely "poetry" - it was so romantic and sweet and I loved it. Best of all - it was free for him!)
#8. Turning electronics off and just being with one another.
I’m not sure there is anything worse than the person who picks up their phone and starts staring at it in the middle of dinner, or at any point while you’re together and having a conversation. I’m not anti-technology here (hello, I work for the Internet) but I am saying that there comes a time to turn it off and disconnect and remember what actually matters. People.
(Oh for the Love of God - everyone knows how I feel about this. Just recently, I met a man (let me re-phrase: he literally RAN after me trying to exchange numbers. He took me out with his friends to get to know him. When we were finally alone together, he was SMSing so much that I started laughing and asked him to leave! Why???? He begged me to see him again. Why should I? I wasn't important to him the first time. Should I make him my priority the second time around? The same goes for when you're already in an established relationship. What makes the person on the phone more important than the person in front of you?! This is little boy stuff. Stop it.)
It used to be principle for people to say: oh, when can I see you? Or, when could I call you? Rather than just assuming they can at any point. But I think that old concept could be applied to our modern world by just assuming that, unless told otherwise, you should ask permission to you know, touch them anywhere, take them out, call them at a certain time, etc. Once you’re in a relationship these things usually don’t require asking anymore, but some do, especially when it comes to sexuality. I once knew a person who said that they asked permission before so much as touching a girl’s thigh, and that always stuck with me.
(May I.... ok, never mind... too many people on here know me. I can't go there... Fill in the blanks. Whispering it my year... O. M. G.)
Now, I’m certainly not saying it should go back to being a taboo that’s unspoken of, but we certainly shouldn’t expect it from someone on the third date, on the first date, because they’re being flirty, because you know they’re into you, or even because they agreed to go out with you. A date does not have to be a precursor to sex, and you shouldn’t be disappointed if it isn’t because you should never assume that it will be. It depends on the person you’re with and what they want to do.
[THANK YOU, MS. KATE BAILEY!!! The best relationships grow from letting things happen naturally - not on a time schedule. And unless you're in high school and you've never been alone with a man before, hearing, "My doctor told me that if I didn't have sex when I'm (like this), I will have a medical problem." is just a laughable offense. "There's the door...."]