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4 Common Dating Myths Debunked

When we go on dates, sometimes we hold ourselves back because of certain “rules”. Well, some rules – like taboos and superstition – are best thrown out the window in this day and age.

By Clara Tan

There are some acknowledged truths when it comes to dating, like dressing appropriately and showing up on time. On the other hand, there are old-school notions that are best forgotten. Like men should be the ones paying for the meal on a date, or how etiquette dictates that one should wait out a few days before calling the other person. While those archaic dating scripts and conventions may have worked for your parents, times have changed. In fact, these “rules” may actually be holding you back. Here are four of the most common dating myths debunked by both men and women:

Myth 1: Men should pay for the meal on a date

We’re all familiar with this one, and it may even be seen as “protocol”, especially on first dates. While reactions on whether men should pay for the meal are generally mixed, the consensus is that men don’t mind paying. However, it would be nice if the other party offers. Plus, from a woman’s perspective, going Dutch or taking turns to pay can be a nice gesture as well. Banker Firdaus Hamid, 32, and student Rachel Yeo, 23, can attest to this.

“I would pay for a date without having to be asked but that doesn’t mean that we [men] don’t notice or appreciate when the other party insists to pay their share. When a woman offers to pay, it’s also how I tell if she’s serious or here just for a free meal.” – Firdaus

“I think women should at least offer to pay. If not dinner, at least dessert or drinks after. I think it would be quite unfair to make the man pay all the time, especially if both parties are working, because this would mean the woman has the ability to provide as well, but doesn’t want to.” – Rachel

Myth 2: You must wait days to contact each other so you don’t appear desperate

Spamming someone with text messages definitely isn’t a good thing, but this doesn’t mean deliberately putting the other party’s messages on hold is acceptable either. By playing hard to get, it may just lead the other party to think you’re not interested. Marketer Marcus Khoo, 24, sees no contact as a red flag while freelance designer Zak Ross, 28, sets time limits.
“The time in between shouldn’t be too long (for example, more than 24 hours), unless the person is really busy. Then again, you may want to reconsider being with someone who’s too busy to spare a few minutes to text you back.” – Marcus

“Texting and replying is basic courtesy in courtship. If you just met the girl, it is OK to text a couple of hours later or the next day, but never more than two to three days.” – Zak

Myth 3: Men don’t like it when women make the first move

Traditionally, men have always been the ones to make the first move, and women avoid doing so for fear of appearing desperate. There are also thousands of tips out there for men on how to approach women and not the other way around. Naturally, a woman approaching a man would be seen as bucking this social norm and may also be construed as being too “forward”. For Firdaus, a woman making the first move indicates that she is interested.

“Women should at least show some indicators of interest or most men would be completely clueless if they’re approaching things right. With that being said, I think men are just too used to being the ones chasing that when the roles get reversed they feel totally lost and awkward.” – Firdaus

Myth 4: Dating is more exciting if it’s with someone different from you

They say opposites attract, but is that really true? As exciting as the idea of dating someone completely different sounds, dozens of studies on intimate relationships have shown that the attractiveness of similarity is strong across cultures. However, that’s not to say a relationship with a polar opposite won’t work – just try to find a common interest, be it a hobby or passion.

Corporate executive Elizabeth Goh, 26, found her special one while bonding over common interests. On the other hand, for freelance writer Christy Tee, 24, her past relationships with people different from her never worked out.

“My boyfriend and I had really similar interests as friends, and I feel like that played a big part in helping us have that special connection. We’d go to music festivals and concerts together, and bond over artists. That time spent brought us much closer and eventually led to us dating.” – Elizabeth

“I used to be very attracted to people who were different from me personality wise, because it made the initial stages of the relationship very exciting. However, after a while, our contrasting energies clashed as did our interests, and we eventually parted ways.” – Christy