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New rules of dating in the digital age

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Amid the quagmire of dating manuals, it's easy to get a tad confused with the bounty of mixed messages. Where one ostensibly helpful tome insists that he's just not that into you, another infamous book by Tracy McMillan dictates that you're single because you're a bitch, a slut, a liar, or not good enough.

In fact, amid the flurry of advice, rattling in the ears like a gaggle of overly enthusiastic and helpful aunts, it's a wonder we find the opportunity to get out there and meet anyone. The internet has, of course, heralded a solution to the whole 'getting out there' quandary; now it's possible to be 'out there' in the comfort of your own home — no make-up or Spanx required. Alas, with this new development has come the death of courtship; forget dinner and a movie, in other words — you'll be lucky to get a text message that doesn't even invite you to a night out he's already having with his mates.

With that, a new book could not have come sooner. Enter 'The New Rules: The Dating Dos and Don'ts for The Digital Generation', which explores how texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and online matchmaking sites have changed the dating landscape for better or worse. If you've been single for any length of time, you'll no doubt be already familiar with the book's Luddite predecessor, 'The Rules'.

Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider created a set of maxims, held dear by American singletons, that dictated women should play hard to get, and rather than actively search out men, they should instead wait for men to pursue them. Sounds bonkers, outdated and slightly anti-feminist, but then the book didn't become a worldwide bestseller for nothing. Predictably, Fein and New rules of dating in the digital age have brought their provocative philosophies kicking and screaming into the digital age, but will their new teachings stack up in the digital age?

Time to find out. Don't talk to or text a guy first. You are essentially creating a relationship for yourself that might not have happened the 'organic' way — as in, waiting for Himself to show enough willingness to make the first move. In a way, this is not entirely dissimilar to a philosophy I find myself intoning time and time again to friends: However, if you really want to be with him, why leave anything to chance? Being in the driving seat only increases your chances of sealing the deal.

Wait at least four hours to answer a guy's text. What's more, respond with fewer words than he has texted you. This text-back time does not apply to weekends, specifically from Friday at 6pm to Sunday at 6pm. Sorry girls, men are pretty hip to the ruse by now. It is industry standard to wait a while to respond "New rules of dating in the digital age" texts. You are not being coy or mysterious, you are being conformist.

Besides, we are living in a breakneck society, where four New rules of dating in the digital age can often be a lifetime. Texting him to say you've skedaddled to Morocco for New rules of dating in the digital age weekend, now that will send him into a tailspin. Don't ask guys out by text, social networking, instant messenger, or any other way, based on the diktat that men love a challenge and relish the chase.

Fein and Schneider reckon that asking a man out, even by thoroughly modern means, screams desperation. Our pair also reckon that a 'yes' doesn't necessarily mean you've struck gold; a man might say 'yes' to a date to be polite or — eek — out of boredom. Men love confidence, in any form. I used to take the coward's way out of this one; I would initiate 'pints' via Facebook — under the guise of being matey and, by New rules of dating in the digital age sufficiently laddish, bringing the 'date' into safer territory.

Needless to say, this 'bromance' approach didn't ever work out, except in the rare instances where it worked out for one night only. Instead of being a lad about it, ring him. He's less likely to say 'no' if he doesn't have to chicken out with a written reply. You can stun him with your charm and rapier wit on the date itself.

A call after midnight is known by one name and one name only: All emails, instant messages and texts sent during the witching hour mean that your man is fishing for sexy time. Nothing New rules of dating in the digital age with a man looking for a good time in the small hours, but it's his demeanour during daylight hours that dictates how you should respond.

If he's strictly giving it the whole 'whatcha doin'? Or rather, Dutch friskiness. Friending a guy you like on Facebook is a no-no, while it is standard practice to wait 24 hours to confirm a friend request from a man you like. Even more importantly, referring him on Facebook — via tagging, writing on his wall, and so on — is strictly forbidden.

Unlike the pre-digital age when...

You know the sort of girl on Facebook who comments on every picture their paramour puts up, sends lovey-dovey messages publicly on his wall, and pretty much overshares everything in the hope of catching her man's eye? Don't be that girl. For the love of your budding relationship, and for the love of all humankind. Our authors insist that a Skype date is not a date proper. Fine if you are in a relationship and hoping to keep the embers burning, but not so much if it's your primary method of communication.

I'm in agreement on this one. A Skype date is the lazy guy's way of keeping you on the call sheet. If he is not taking you out to dinner, or moving mountains to see you face to face, a couple of hours in front of the computer New rules of dating in the digital age mean precious little.

The biggest rule to keep in mind when online dating is that he contacts you first.

Despite all of the books,...

Women don't chat men up on online dating sites, and certainly don't respond to winking — or some other cowardly, non-committal device. If you don't want to be in any doubt of how interested he is, wait for him to make the first move.

Editors Choice

What they've failed to mention here is that most men take a 'numbers game' approach to online dating. They hunt for fresh meat and reckon that the more women they hit up — often indiscriminately — the better their chances of New rules of dating in the digital age gold. Don't look on a mail New rules of dating in the digital age a potential online paramour as something other than him panning for dates.

Sure, the unspoken rules state that he makes the first move, but he'll be grateful and intrigued that you broke protocol.

In case of breakdown, Fein and Schneider are fans of the 'ejector seat' approach. Sure, you may be sending out a less-than-ideal message: Charlotte Lytton These are tricky times for the tactile among us; a shoulder squeeze capable of causing an ethical quandary, our phones now being the recipients of most of our physical touch. Some comfort, then, to see that the British royals, arbiters of protocol and properness, are embracing a more touchy-feely dawn.

It all started in when Charlotte Lytton These are tricky times for the tactile among us; a shoulder squeeze capable of causing an ethical quandary, our phones now being the recipients of the majority of our physical touch. My son suffers from anxiety.

He is in his thirties now and despite his talents and intelligence, he never really took off. He still lives at home, works in an entry-level job despite a good January 20 6: Our resident psychologist answers your queries about sex and Most Viewed Most Shared Ask me anything: Our resident psychologist answers your queries about sex I'm worried about my sister - her exercise obsession is making her Ireland beat the All Blacks: Sainsbury's Christmas ad sees eight-year-old 'star' give tear-jerking Entertainment Video Roy Curtis: Style Newsletter Stay on top of the latest fashion, beauty and celeb gossip in our Style newsletter.

The new rules of public displays of affection - and how to know These are tricky times for the tactile among us; a I left my husband for my girlfriend but my mother I am a year-old woman. I have two teenage children My argumentative boyfriend disagrees with I am in my 20s and have been with my boyfriend for Also in this section. The new rules in the MeToo era These are tricky Our resident psychologist answers your I think I'm in love with a workmate I started a new I'm worried about my sister - her exercise obsession It's hard to trust my boyfriend I have dated my I am a year New rules of dating in the digital age am in my 20s Why are so many married people risking it all by swiping on Is marriage supposed to be 'hard work' like David Beckham I've never been asked out on a date and I'm so lonely Q: I am a year-old woman He's really boring - there has to be more to a I'm catfishing my ex boyfriend to get his nudes to My new partner's problem has left me clueless I'm 49 and have Should I make the first move with walking club Unlike the pre-digital age when the biggest worry was whether a date would When you're communicating with a new match, try and avoid the temptation to.

#1 No Expectations Or Promises

According to the best-selling 90s dating bible “The Rules,” a woman should never make the first move. A lot may have changed in the years. Love in a digital age: Thanks to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, dating rules have become a lot more complicated than.

#2 Prepare To Be Stalked
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