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Are the dating rules of 2020 the same as 1990?

The 1990s.. what a time to be alive! The Stone Roses, Sex in the City or Friends (or both), Gladiators, Pulp Fiction, Blur vs Oasis, Keanu, the Spice Girls – oh, and Mandela was freed!

And an even better time to be on the dating scene. From making mixtapes to talking for three hours on the landline, getting ready for your date (with the help of your friends) was just as exciting as actually going on it. And of course, most of us learnt to navigate the dating world with the help of Cilla and Graham.

But it’s now 2020, Blind Date has been replaced with Take Me Out, Tinder has changed the way people meet and sadly cassettes are no longer a thing (I suppose you could always make your date a playlist on Spotify). So how much has the dating landscape changed in the last 30 years and are the dating rules of 2020 the same as they were in 1990?

The rules for dating in 1990

During the 1990s a very controversial book was released called ‘The Rules’ which claimed to be a time-tested guide to dating. Even for back then, it was full of some ridiculous and outdated suggestions – for example, don’t look at your date too much and don’t tell them what you want in bed – but despite this, there were some generally well-accepted rules for dating in the 90s. These were:

  • Pick your date up from their house – typically this means the man would go to the woman’s home instead of meeting at the chosen venue
  • Have a plan and something booked for the evening – don’t just wing it!
  • Ask questions and get to know them – don’t just talk about yourself
  • Don’t sleep with each other on the first date – remember the five date rule
  • Generally, men pick up the cheque at the end of the date – it’s the gentlemanly thing to do
  • If you like them, call them – calling on the landline or leaving a message on the answerphone shows them the date went well

Are these rules still relevant in 2020?

Clearly, there are some of these rules no longer apply, thanks in most part to big strides in equality and technology, and for the most part we should be grateful for that. For example, men are no longer expected to pick up the bill and it’s certainly less taboo to hook up on the first date. It is also no longer necessary for the man to pick up his date at her home – in fact, it is safer and recommended that you meet at the venue or in a public space during the early stages of dating.

That said, some of these rules – and arguably the less offensive ones – still remain today. It can be nice to have a plan for your date and you should always ask questions and get to know one another. Calling your date to let them know you had a good time is also appreciated, though nowadays WhatsApp seems to be the preferred method of communication. And to be honest, we’re a bit nostalgic for some 90s trends like writing little messages to one another on Post-It notes and being fully present during a date (not checking your mobile phone every two minutes)!

So I guess what we’re saying here is that the rules of dating have certainly changed over the last 30 years, with technology and equality playing a huge role in this. That said, some are as true as they have ever been and one or two others might make the dating world a better place. So let’s bring back the good parts and leave the rest in the 90s where they belong.

At Ignite Dating, we understand that the times have changed, but we know that dating agencies still remain a great and successful way to meet people. Our dedicated matchmakers are there to help you navigate the world of dating in 2020 and to find you the perfect match. If you’d like to know more, get in touch with our friendly team today.