“Am I expected to pay for that?” (and other dating etiquette insights) – In Real Life

“Am I expected to pay for that?” (and other dating etiquette insights)

How soon should you call after a date? Who’s supposed to provide the contraception? What should you do if you’re being ghosted (when someone you are interested in suddenly stops communicating with you)? The dating game is a battlefield alright, but overall, dating and sex should be exciting, confidence-boosting and safe. We’re here to answer a few frequently asked questions to help you on your way.

“Is it a bad idea to date a long-time friend?” – Sam, 18

Your friends are the people who know you best, so friendship can be a great way to start a relationship. You already know a lot about each other. Keep an open line of communication and only proceed if you both feel the same way. You wouldn’t want to ruin a good thing!

“Who’s supposed to supply the contraception?” – Finn, 20

Of course, sex on the first date is by no means mandatory, but if you’ve been on a few dates and you’re both feeling like taking things to the next level, any contraception is your own responsibility, as is your sexual health. You should never rely on someone else to bring the condoms, or be on the pill.

“After how many dates should you have sex?” – Claire, 19

There are no hard and fast rules for this one folks, but it will be a lot more enjoyable when you’re both ready. There’s nothing wrong with a slow, exciting build-up to the first time!

“How do you ask for a second date?” – Bradley, 18

Why not suggest another outing before you leave them, so you can read their actual facial expressions? Be brave – they’ll probably appreciate it! If you can’t, send a text when you get home and say you had fun and that you’re looking forward to seeing them again. If someone’s interested they will reply and you can take it from there (don’t stress if it’s not right away either).

“How soon after a date should you text/call?” – Hannah, 21

There are no rules for this. Sometimes the chemistry will be so strong you’ll be texting all the way home after your date. Sometimes you might need some time to clear your head. The most important thing is that you should try and avoid chasing someone who isn’t interested. There are far too many other awesome people out there for that!

“Who pays on a first date?”Becky, 19

If someone offers, or insists on paying after you’ve both had a really nice time, let them. Chances are it’s their pleasure to pay because they’ve enjoyed your wonderful company (yay you!) Splitting the bill on a first date is fine too. After all, you have both put yourselves out there in meeting the other and there’s nothing wrong with sharing the cost no matter how the date went.

“What do I wear on a first date?” – Lucy, 18

It depends where you’re going. No point in wearing heels if you’re headed to the cinema, or a woolly hat for a summer picnic in a garden. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable and happy in your own skin. Letting your personality shine is more important than worrying about what you look like.

“Is there a nice way to ghost someone?” – Li Yin, 20

Disappearing on someone who likes you and who’s trying to reach you isn’t very nice. If you don’t want to see someone again after a date or two, it’s nicer to call or send a quick message to say you enjoyed their company but you didn’t feel an attraction. You’re freeing them up to meet someone who might be more interested in a relationship, and in the end they’ll respect your honesty.

“How do you know if you’re dating?” – Scarlett, 20

The lines can be blurred in a new relationship, but the only way to tell if you’re exclusive is to have a conversation about it with the person you’re dating. Everyone likes to know where they stand. Try saying something like ‘hey, we’ve been spending a lot of time together lately. Are you seeing anyone else, or is it just me?’ And take it from there.

“Is waiting for sex really going to make a difference to the way guys view you?” –  Chloe, 19

There’s no need to worry about what anyone else thinks when it comes to your sex life. You are the only person you need to consult. If you’re not ready for sex and someone is pressuring you to do it, walk away. Anyone worth having sex with will be happy to wait until you’re ready.

“How long is too long before making things official?” – Daniel, 18

If you both know you’re not dating anyone else, then chances are you’re official. But if labels matter, a few months of exclusive dating, holding hands in public and/or attending events as an item warrant a conversation about making some kind of announcement together.

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