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After watching a dating segment on Bethenny (don’t judge), I became perplexed by the amount of dating rules discussed. There was one rule in particular that sent my eyebrows into a fury. The two female panelists suggested that after a man’s initial text, a woman should wait at least four hours before responding! Hmmm… I understood their thought process behind this rule, yet, it gave me pause. Which got me to wondering, do people really take to heart all of these rules? How many rules are there?!

I googled (this really shouldn’t be a verb) dating dos and don’ts followed by dating do’s and don’t’s books, in less than a minute, 309,000+ total results appeared on dating rules. I pray, no one in their right mind is reading all of this. If you are, email me, let us talk. Anyhow, according to Mrs. Carter, we (by we I mean women) can be Crazy In Love, Dangerously In Love, AND Drunk In Love (my personal fave and not for its ingenious juxtaposition to feminism intended or not), are these rules too? I digress.

MAKE and FOLLOW YOUR OWN RULES!

If you are grown, make your own rules. STOP calling your girlfriends to run your every idea by them. Grown folks don’t need validation.

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If you don’t believe in waiting to be fresh, or simply ignore that part of your faith, don’t deny, don’t defend. Do it. Don’t discuss.

If you choose to be the side chick knowingly, don’t say he’s leaving his girl/significant-other/wife. Be the quiet side chick. Alternatively, you could just not be a side chick. You’re worth more. You deserve better.

If you are the modern day Susie homemaker, let your friends tease you. Your man ain’t mad. But if your friends are single…teach them how to make something.

If you meet someone at 2:10 pm, and at 2:11pm on the same calendar day, you are naming future babies in your head, go right ahead. No need to call a friend so she can corroborate crazy.

If you choose to sleep with everyone you date, no one can call you judgmental names, if you don’t share details.

Women share, but there is a difference between sharing and looking for a friend to endorse one’s dating life. I am a woman. I share. Yes, there are times strategically chosen friends are asked to chime in, to answer specific questions only. But this isn’t a ritual. It is MY dating life. Possessive pronouns were made for this.

At the end of the day, with all these rules floating around, at some point, it would behoove every woman (me included) to sit down (alone), analyze her dating life, see what has worked, see what can use a little improvement, and adjust accordingly. When one reflects, it should be comprised of one’s own experience, their reality, no one else. Now, if you are in denial need help, then ask a friend: In your opinion, what are my best traits? In your opinion, what can I improve? That is vastly different then asking, should I wait to text him back or not. Spare her. She’s probably doing grown woman thangs anyway.

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Remember not one of those people producing 309,000 results personally interviewed you. Self-reflection is a beautiful thing. Best part is… you can do it yourself. Think on it. Literally.

Do you make your own dating rules? If so, what are they? Do you recommend others use them? If so, why?

Sable B. founder and creator of Fly & Fierce Boutique. You can check out her passion for fashion at www.flyandfierce.com. Twitter @FlyAndFierce.