I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like rules — especially when it comes to dating. I want to do what I want when I want to do it. Look, I get that in order for things to have structure or for society to function in general, there needs to be some sort of code of conduct, but let’s at least please dump these silly ideas.

1. You must wait three days after a date to text.

I really hate this one. If you had a good time, tell them. If you had a bad time, tell them. Well, don’t text your date letting them know you thought their shirt was stupid, but do let them know you don’t see this going anywhere. Waiting three days to do it — or just chat for that matter — doesn’t prove anything, and it doesn’t make someone want you more. It creates anxiety, annoyance, and makes everything hard, so stop. Thanks!

2. You have to play hard to get.

Just like waiting to use your thumbs to send a text, playing hard to get makes you seem, well, kinda douchey. If you like someone and want to hang with them, can’t you just be honest about it? One caveat: Maybe don’t tell them you’ve already picked out the color scheme for your wedding.

3. You can’t have sex on a first date… or second… or third.

If you want to do the horizontal tango, I’m not stopping you. Sex is a personal preference and choice. Anyone shaming you for doing it (or not doing it) has a stick shoved very far up their caboose (and not in a sexual way). If both parties are willing and verbally consent, I don’t see a problem. Go forth and fornicate as you please.

4. You must subscribe to gender stereotypes.

Hey guys, ICYMI, it’s 2019. And while there’s still a lot (A LOT) of stuff to be done in terms of equality, maybe we can do our small part to bring dating up to speed. Things are looser and less formal now, so expecting a gentleman or lady archetype is so, like, medieval. If she pays, that doesn’t make you less of a man; if he doesn’t pay, that doesn’t make him a bad guy.

5. If they’re not “the one,” don’t go out with them again.

I’m very sorry to be all grim, but fairytales don’t exist. That swept-off-your-feet feeling is unlikely to happen on a first date. Sure, you can be excited about someone, but if you don’t feel butterflies post-drinks, that’s actually a good thing. It usually means you’re comfortable with a person and should try hanging out with them again. I mean, how can you expect to know whether this person is or isn’t your everything from a single two-hour meet?

6. Don’t show your “crazy.”

First of all, calling anyone, especially women, “crazy” is problematic. Also, what people generally prescribe as crazy isn’t crazy at all — but that’s a rant for later. You want to be with someone who is going to understand and be able to process your emotions in the way you want and need them to. Telling your date that you see a therapist weekly for your anxiety isn’t a bad thing; it’s a way to show a part of who you truly are and weed out someone who isn’t going to jive with that. I’m not suggesting you describe in graphic detail the traumatic memories from your childhood, but a general blanket statement is OK, even early on. Show who you are, whatever that means for you.