24/09/2015 3:25 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

How 100 Men Swayed Me to Throw Out My Dating Rule Book

Cute young couple making out in their mini van via Getty Images
Cute young couple making out in their mini van

The idea of dating 'rules' is like the story from The Emperor's New Clothes. It's all a sham. The truth is that they never existed. My guy friend is convinced that guys have no idea what these 'rules' are. They certainly don't follow them. And so, after spending some time with 100 men, I was ready to throw out my dated perception of dating.

No -- I didn't date all 100 of them. Instead I took all the taboo questions that had society's pre-written answers and asked 100 men what they thought of them. Surprise, surprise, if the results were to tell me anything, it'd be to throw out the rule book because those 'rules' never existed.

Here are three rules you need to break, right now.

1. Letting the Guy Bring Home the Bacon

In a time where breast milk can be pumped in advance and parenting advice can be found in a Google search, men don't care if their lady makes more money than them. They care about paying the bills and having the family fed and happy. If it happens to be that their wife is making more money, then so be it.

2. Spending Three Months Salary on an Engagement Ring

Way back when, men spent three months salary on an engagement ring as 'insurance'. If anything were to happen to him, the woman would always have an asset, ready to be converted into a lump sum of cash to support the family.

Though unnecessary in the generation of working women, the likes of high-end jewellers continued promoting this tradition, influencing men and women that this was status quo. Any first-time home buyer will tell you that breaking into the property market is a real struggle.

That anyone would spend three months salary on an engagement ring when they can be going for a deposit baffles me. I thought men would continue the tradition of spending this extravagant amount but 20 interviews in, I realised how wrong I was.

When it comes to shelling out the cash, younger men are aiming to spend more money on a ring. 50 percent of men in the 18-25 age bracket said they would spend over $7K on an engagement ring vs 40 percent of men in the 26-39 age bracket.

As the men get older, they seem to spend less on the ring. 35 percent of men in the 31-35 age brackets and 43 percent of men from 36-40 would spend over $7K. Only 12 percent of men in the 41-45 age bracket would spend the same amount.

3. Sleeping with Him Too Soon

This is one the 'Rule Book' (and a prude like me) would condone but according to the survey, most guys will not think of a woman differently if she slept with him on a first date. 69 percent of men I spoke to said they would not think of a woman differently if she slept with him on the first date and 65 percent said they would be likely to ask her out again.

Most women are concerned about looking like a hussy if they sleep with a guy on the first date or that they'd be giving away all the power if they slept with him too soon. Because of this, the 5 date rule was created. Turns out, holding out won't make him like you more or less.

If I were to sum up my interview with 100 men in one big lesson it'd be to throw out all your dating rules. Have your own set of morals and don't follow anything else. Every guy and relationship is different. Just because some rule/trick/form of manipulation worked for your friend, it doesn't mean it'll help you on the dating scene.


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