Dear people I have dated/will date/am currently dating: Here is a list of simple dating instructions for you to follow

I am often shocked (but never surprised) by how clueless my coitus buddies are. They are so out of touch with reality that it is almost comical and definitely rage inducing. They’re not clueless in a cute Alicia Silverstone kind of way, but rather in a “I know we haven’t spoken in six months but what do you mean we’re not still having sex?” kind of way. They lack common sense and empathy and a stable Internet connection.

Worst of all, they are not innocent in their cluelessness; they are clueless by choice. They want their heads to be up in the clouds because it relieves them of all responsibility. They like not knowing what’s going on ‘cause it’s a lot easier than knowing what’s going on. They plead ignorance to every accusation tossed their way.

Thus, in order to eliminate this perpetual cluelessness, I present to you this straight-forward, explicit, detailed list of necessary dating instructions. So the next time he quotes Mr. Justin Bieber and inquires, “What do you mean?” I will simply point to the list.

  1. Ask me to hang out on a specific date and at a specific time. Don’t rely on me to always make the plans. I am not your secretary. I am a human person you want to sleep with. Do not hope that we bump into each other in person. Use technology and make legit, concrete plans. I am busy. I don’t have time to leave sex up to fate.
  1. When you cancel, apologize, ask when I am free next and suggest another time. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow. It could be in three weeks. Suggest anything. I do not care if you need to cancel. But I do care if you don’t suggest another date and I’m left to wander in the unknown. It makes me feel discarded and irrelevant.
  1. If you don’t want to see me anymore, tell me. Don’t ghost. Don’t simmer. Don’t block. Be a grown-up. Be honest. Be direct. So I can move on. And if you’re not sure that you want to see me anymore, then you DON’T. Do not string me along cause you’re lonely. It is disrespectful and hurts more in the end.
  1. Always offer to get me off. Sex is a pleasure exchange. It’s not a one-way ticket for your genitals. If I try to give you an orgasm, you try to give me one and I shouldn’t have to request it. You should automatically volunteer your services.
  1. Inquire about what I like sexually and what you can improve on or do differently. Do not assume that you know what I like. Listen to what I say. I will inquire in return. Also, be direct and honest with your answers.
  1. Ask me how I’m doing and what’s going on in my life and why I’m so happy/sad/neutral. Dating should not just be me interviewing you. It’s a back and forth interview. Otherwise known as a conversation.
  1. Show an interest in my professional pursuits. If you don’t know what I do, ask me, and then follow up with more asking as the days go by. Support me by sometimes attending my shows or reading my pieces or remembering what I do for a living.
  1. When I send you a message, read it, think about it, eventually type words into your phone as a response, reread your words, spell check for typos and grammatical errors, read it one last time, and press send. This will likely take you between thirty seconds and a couple of minutes.
  1. Include me in conversation with your friends when I’m out with you. Do not introduce me only by my first name and then proceed to talk to them for three hours, ignoring my existence and never offering up a subject I can contribute to.
  1. Write to me just to say hello, especially if we haven’t seen each other in a while. Or call me. I probably like talking to you if I’ve slept with you more than two times and connecting for no particular reason makes me feel appreciated.
  1. If you want to message me, then message me. Don’t hold back as a power play. Making someone feel insignificant is not powerful or cool. It’s gross and mean. Remember that next time you almost text and then don’t. If you worry that you’re bothering me, know that you’re not. If I’m busy, I’ll reply when I can.
  1. Like my shit on Facebook! Favourite my tweets! Heart my Instagram photos! You’re on there anyway. I see that you liked that page. Give me social media love.
  1. If I invite you to a show/party/event and you say you will 100% be there and then you can’t, let me know. If you don’t, I will be waiting for you to show up.
  1. Compliment me occasionally and not only on my appearance. It’s nice knowing that the person you’re sleeping with is a fan of yours. Tell me I’m funny or smart or insightful or generous or good at whistling. Pick any positive quality and let her rip.
  1. Make physical contact with me when we are out in public together. Don’t treat me like I have a contagious disease. Your friends will be fine with you touching my lower back once an hour. If you don’t want people to know that we’re dating, then we shouldn’t be dating.
  1. Be honest with me. If you’re not sure if you should communicate with me about something, you definitely should. Unless I have explicitly asked you not to. Lying is the worst and withholding important information is also terrible.
  1. If I ask you to stop doing something because it hurts me, put in some actual effort and try your best to stop doing that thing. Do not be lazy. Do not deny my needs. Change takes time but you can at least try.
  1. Learn how to have an adult conversation about real emotions. Such emotions may include anger, sadness, and anger. If I’m upset by something you did, listen to what I have to say and share how you feel and tell me when I upset you. Do not refuse to talk to me about anything remotely serious ‘cause you “don’t want drama.”
  1. Take responsibility for your mistakes and your actions and the pain you caused. Don’t blame others or pretend that you didn’t know or act like it doesn’t matter because we aren’t in a relationship. You don’t have to be in a relationship to apologize for treating another person like shit. You just have to be not an asshole.
  1. Inform me of what you want to happen between us and/or what you are looking for in general romantically. If you don’t know what you want, figure it the fuck out.

42 Comments

  1. Margot White
    January 14, 2016

    Brilliant! They should post this on POF, match.com, etc. etc.

  2. Mary1234
    January 14, 2016

    Exactly! The truth hurts gentlemen!
    I’m a single mom dating in my 40’s and all this rules apply!
    Where the real men at?

  3. KevinAmell
    January 14, 2016

    Dear women,

    I have read every word of this article. I have thought about my own experiences with ladies I have dated, and even recognized some of these behaviours in myself. To say that the truth hurts is as hurtful as it is true. And I get your perspective, too. Exasperation is a natural reaction to years (or even decades) of lacklustre experiences with us guys.

    It may surprise this author to know that, while trying to conform to a (long) list of requirements is indeed an honourable and meaningful endeavour, some men have a lot going on in their lives, heads and hearts. Sometimes we are balancing very meaningful challenges of our own. Sometimes we have given up on dating altogether, knowing that despite our best efforts, we will never reach that ideal set by our prospective partners.

    I remember clearly the last time I told a lady I was seeing, “I am not prepared give up time with my children in order to make space for romance. This means we will not see each other as often as I would like.” She was hurt, offended and angry. I can’t say I blame her, either. Life is not easy, and we all have to make tough choices. That’s what a real man does.

    I have a hunch, supported by about 20 years of dealing with the opposite sex, that women are looking for two types of man simultaneously: the “solid responsible man”, and the “fun, risky, adventurous guy”. I could have been either, but not both, and I chose the first because it is better for those that depend upon me.

    I have profound respect for all the women I have known and those I have not, you are all unique and powerful members of a vast and fascinating world.

  4. Elle
    January 14, 2016

    I have nothing against men being respectful to women, but I’m not sure what it is she wants. A relationship or a “coitus buddy”? If you want random sex then I don’t think its fare to ask to be treated like a girlfriend.If you don’t show that you want commitment, why should men show commitment to you? However, If you want commitment, then raise your standards hun, and stop sleeping with people you know are only looking for sex.

  5. GraemeHouston
    January 14, 2016

    I don’t know what the author was getting at, but is seems to me like these are dating rules. Not rules for “coitus buddies” (love the term though).  I have zero expectations of my buddies.  I can go days, weeks, months, years without hearing from them, and that’s totally ok with me.  We are friends, but mostly we are there to meet each others’ sexual desires when it fits both of us. Seems like the rules the author is proposing are more fit for people you date.

  6. GraemeHouston
    January 14, 2016

    Also, I’d like to point out that despite Jess’s article, I’m quite a fan of her comedy otherwise.

  7. gayathrikamath
    January 15, 2016

    spidey_j #9, this behavior would make me leave and find something better to do.

  8. spidey_j
    January 15, 2016

    gayathrikamath I should have left, instead I accepted his excuses 🙁

  9. gayathrikamath
    January 15, 2016

    spidey_j happens! I have had other ones happen to me for sure! And its def. nice to have someone else remind you

  10. AdamV
    January 15, 2016

    Great article on DATING, not on “Coitus Buddies”. Here’s a hint from a male perspective, we don’t care about you. That’s why your experiencing those behaviors. However, I did take a lot of tips from your article to apply to my relationship with the woman I care about. (newly dating)

  11. Whohasfire
    January 15, 2016

    Honey, you have to work harder on what you want from you, bot what you want from HIM. I’m sorry, but after reading a list this long, I wouldn’t want to call you back or even date you once. What guy wants to hear every thing he’s doing wrong? What guy wants to date a woman who doesn’t take responsibility for her own needs? what guy wants to stick around when she sleeps with him (and every other guy) so quickly after meeting? What guy wants to date a girl who sticks around if she’s unhappy? What guy wants to date a woman who is so self centered and mico managy she would rather write a long ass blog about 100 ways to CHANGE a man instead if spending the time to find someone who feels good to her, respects her, and loves her for who she is.
    Keep looking, work on your own happiness, don’t have sex so soon, and move on without his permission. the less you try to change men the easier it is to find a man that you don’t ever want to change.

  12. nicole289
    January 15, 2016

    @Whohasfire Couldn’t agree more!

  13. AdamV
    January 15, 2016

    Great article, I actually took a few of your pointers and will apply them to my current RELATIONSHIP , because I feel that I was lacking in a few of these areas and it was great to see a womens perspective.  However, you mentioned that men should apply this to their “Coitus buddies” sorry, not happening, friends with benefits don’t get the girlfriend treatment, never have never will. I’ve never really cared about my fuck buddies, I don’t respect them really, I’m just there to bang them.  A girl I choose to date, I really respect however and i’ve established that because im dating her, therefore all of these concepts definitely apply, so thank you.

  14. AdamV
    January 15, 2016

    @Elle Yep, ^ This.

  15. sbehl
    January 15, 2016

    I am not the author of this article, but here are some assumptions that I will make about the content she has written. 
    1. She is not soliciting a relationship from anyone who is reading this. Hey, you, random reader of this article, Jess is not asking you out. Don’t be stupid.

    2. Aside from the points specifically about sex, these things could be applied to any and all relationships! Yes, text your mother back. Yes, attend your friend’s event if you claim that you will attend. Yes, be honest with your boss when engaged in discussion about yourself. It is called being a good human being, and respecting other people!

  16. Jason
    January 15, 2016

    These are all great & valid points, for sure. That said, if Jess is writing from personal experience I can’t help but notice the low-level dudes she must be attracting to generate a list like this. Or perhaps she & “they” just aren’t on the same page in terms of the real context of the relationship?
    In my experience, we attract that which we feel suited for, or matched to, or met by. Which leaves me with… what’s going on with the author that she keeps dating boys instead of men? The vast majority of this list is 101 level stuff, agreed? There’s little here that’s mind-bending or deeply greedy in requesting basic communication and respect. Said another way, perhaps we are met with the same level of respect & love that we are giving ourselves… and hence, the real work to do, if these low-level dysfunctions seem a recurring pattern, is within.
    Thanks for the article and resulting discussion. Best wishes to all…

  17. Angela
    January 15, 2016

    i’ve dated for longer than you have probably been alive and the best thing I’ve learned is: guys really are straight forward. It is SO refreshing once you open your eyes to it. If they aren’t into it, they will either tell you with your words (“i really dont want a g/f right now, but we can fuck if you want”) or they will tell you with your actions (“i dont want a girlfriend, but you are pressuring me, so i’ll just try to annoy you or dissapoint you until you go away on your own”)
    If they are into you, they will let you know either ib words “i want to see only you” or in your actions by calling, texting, courting.
    If you dont get the second, move on. He really isnt int it, and its nothing to take personally
    The easiest way to move a guy from the “into it” category to the “not into it” category, is to tell him EVERYTHING he is doing wrong and EVERYTHING he needs to do to make your self esteem higher and feel valudated as a person.
    Looks like you have an amazing blue print to tell him everything he’s doing wrong ans everything you need to feel ok with yourself.
    Focus more on what YOU can do for YOU, and you will probably have better luck with happier signals.

  18. Hollinal
    January 15, 2016

    This is interesting. how did we get to a place where it is acceptable to engage in city’s with someone you wouldn’t treat with basic manners and courtesy?

  19. Katie Macdonald
    January 15, 2016

    So right yet again. Sigh

  20. Chantii
    January 16, 2016

    This comes about after hooking up. If you haven’t really taken time to get to know him, it’s just easier for him to see you as a sex object. Accept that this kind of relationship is going nowhere fast. If you really like a guy as a bf, ask him to be just friends until he shows you that you are more then a hookup.

  21. JulieBlackadder
    January 16, 2016

    if you want a proper relationship, then have one. don’t expect casual sex to be some kind of loved up, groovy substitute.

  22. V
    January 16, 2016

    AdamV You don’t have to care about them like a GF or friend, but you should still respect them as a human being, a human being who is agreeing to have sex with you! Sure, don’t give them the girlfriend treatment, but you should never give them asshole either. YOu can both bang and respect someone.

  23. Tom
    January 16, 2016

    I will agree with most except for the social media one. I have friends that get verbally abused if they do not act with immediate positive reassurance when their partner makes facebook posts. It’s not sexy and caring, it’s needy and borderline narcissistic, especially when it’s 15+ posts and selfies a day.

  24. LisaVannelli
    January 17, 2016

    great article! dating is fun,better with guidelines like these!

  25. Fed_Up1
    January 18, 2016

    @Angela “Telling you with their actions” is NOT “being direct”. that’s passive aggressive at best, & childish.

  26. Fed_Up1
    January 18, 2016

    @Whohasfire “What guy wants to stick around when she sleeps with him…so quickly after meeting?”

    Did you listen to yourself when you posted this? 
    Why is it okay for this guy to “sleep with someone so quickly after meeting HER”, but he then gets to dump her BECAUSE SHE SLEPT WITH HIM??

  27. EmmaJohnson
    January 18, 2016

    Sounds like you’re spending time with people who just aren’t into you. They know these rules, but don’t care enough about you to abide by them.

  28. robzilla711
    January 18, 2016

    It doesn’t sound like you’re dating people. It sounds like you’re hooking up with them when they text looking for sex and then getting upset that they don’t actually like you. Try not sleeping with people who don’t like you. Bam, problem solved.

  29. Funk
    January 18, 2016

    So you have a list of 20 demands because you have been exposed to a lot of a holes.  But what do you offer and bring to the table?  Are you attracting these types of people?  Do you accept people and se the good in them or make demands on how they can date and please you?

  30. AdamV
    January 18, 2016

    @V AdamV I replied to the article, she’s asking for the type of respect you give to a girlfriend to a fuck buddy, it doesn’t compute or work that way, sorry. I’m being realistic. Yeah, I can both bang and respect someone, that’s called my girlfriend not some random girl from a dating website.

  31. PabloSanchez666
    January 18, 2016

    If you want to catch HIV maybe.

  32. cjprender
    January 27, 2016

    lianamsilva So true. Even after marriage. Year ten I said to my husband, you’re making the plans for the next 10 years.

  33. lianamsilva
    January 27, 2016

    cjprender Right? Show some effort! It’s not just up to you to take care of the relationship.

  34. crossland68
    January 27, 2016

    lianamsilva I would suggest that asking someone to “hang out” is not a date, but that’s me.

  35. lianamsilva
    January 27, 2016

    crossland68 Yes, valid point! Ask me out on a date, not to “hang out.”

  36. lianamsilva
    January 27, 2016

    crossland68 I think some folks say “hang out” to try and keep it casual.

  37. reader
    February 2, 2016

    @Funk her looks! /s

  38. reader
    February 13, 2016

    Fed_Up1 Telling you with their actions” is NOT “being direct”. that’s passive aggressive at best, & childish. actually, that’s what women do. So yes, women are passive aggressive and childish indeed.

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  40. May 12, 2016

    I’ve dated women with less demands..
    It also reads like it’s all about the f*cking. What are we to you? F*ckmachines??

  41. shillinj
    August 24, 2016

    Wow, as a recently divorced daddy of two, this was an excellent “how to” to start dating again since I’ve been out of the scene for 15 years. Thank you, so much. Don’t listen to the sugar coated shit sticks that are hating on you. I appreciate your willingness to share what it takes to date a woman these days!!

  42. Fed_Up1
    October 13, 2016

    @reader Fed_Up1 Actually, lots of people do it. For you to pretend that only women do it/are that tells us everything we need to know about you.

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