It seems inevitable for a social activity as complex as dating to come with lots of unwritten rules. These rules govern how people going on dates should and shouldn’t act, what they wear, how they communicate with their dates, and more. And many of these rules have been common knowledge for so long that it seems only natural to follow them. However, it’s also worth evaluating whether the dating rules we take as gospel truths are at all relevant to our personal lives, values, and personal contexts.


What many people in Malaysia don’t realise about many widely held beliefs surrounding dating is that most of them are based on traditional social norms and gender roles that have long been out of date. Modern dating is generally a much more relaxed, more egalitarian, less regimented playing field than the dating cultures of generations past. Practices that would have seemed ludicrous in the past, like meeting a date online through a MY dating app, discussing politics at the dinner table, or even agreeing to split the bill, are no longer just accepted but in many cases even celebrated.

Here are 4 antiquated dating norms that you should abandon sooner rather than later:

Outdated Belief No.1: Always Give People a Chance

Traditional dating advice recommends that if someone asks you out, it’s better to be nice and give them a chance regardless of whether you’re actually interested in them. But while it’s good to always be open to new possibilities, it’s also worth remembering that you know yourself best. You’re ultimately the best judge of what you’re looking for, what feels good to you, and whether or not someone is worth getting to know and spending time with. In the end, there’s nothing wrong with gently and respectfully turning down overtures if you don’t see things working out between yourself and the other person.

Of course, that’s not to say that you should get up and walk out on a date if you don’t feel an initial spark. This is rude and hurtful behaviour in all but the most extreme circumstances. However, there’s nothing wrong with simply telling someone as kindly as you can that you don’t feel like seeing them again rather than leading them on. If they’re a decent person, they’ll probably even appreciate your honesty.

Outdated Belief No. 2: Men Should Make the First Move

In Malaysia, as in many other cultures, women are traditionally expected to act demure and submissive to their male partners, but this expectation is rapidly changing. Modern women are more empowered about asserting their desires and needs, particularly in interpersonal relationships. As a result, they’re more likely to express interest in potential friends or romantic partners with minimal fear or shame. 

If you’re a woman navigating the dating scene in today’s considerably freer and more connected world, there’s absolutely no reason to hold off reaching out to someone you’re interested in. And if you’re a man, remember that a woman making the first move is, in many cases, a positive sign that she wants to be honest about herself, her desires, and her good opinion of you. 

Outdated Belief No. 3: You Should Keep All Conversations Light

“Don’t talk politics on the first date” is an especially long-standing dating adage, but how useful is it really? Figuring out whether the other person’s core values and beliefs are compatible with yours is an integral part of dating, particularly if you’re looking for a serious, meaningful relationship down the line.

Topics you feel strongly about, such as politics, social causes, religion, spirituality and more, are absolutely fair game to discuss on the first date if you think doing so will help you determine compatibility. Even if these discussions can be uncomfortable, they’re sure to teach you and your date a lot about each other. And if your conversation strays naturally in the direction of issues you’re mutually passionate about, that’s a good sign that you two will end up on the same page about the things you find most important.

Outdated Belief No. 4: You Should Play Hard to Get

People are typically advised against texting or calling back too readily, agreeing too quickly to a second date and just generally doing things that would make them seem “desperate” to see the other person again. However, pretending that you care less about the person you’re seeing than you actually do can turn your potential relationship into a never-ending mind-game. And we all know that mind-games and poor communication typically hurt relationships much more than they help, especially in the long run.

Ultimately, relationships are more likely to succeed if both parties can be honest with each other about how they feel and how they see the other person. It’s healthiest to strike a balance between doing your own thing and being open about your interest in someone you’re dating. While you certainly shouldn’t drop everything to pick up a call from a new person, it always pays to make your interest in them known. If you clearly like someone and want to see them again, there’s nothing wrong with simply telling them so.

At this point, most traditional dating “rules” are meant to be broken, and you have everything to gain from unburdening yourself of the obligation to comply with outdated social norms. Once you free yourself from them, you may just find the space and confidence to connect with people who are truly right for you.

I pray that you find your soul mate from "4 Outdated Beliefs about Dating You Should Throw Out the Window Today" sharing. Live your life!

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