Dating rules
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Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Sonya Rhodes, PhD and Susan Schneider, coauthors of “The Alpha Woman Meets Her Match: How Strong Women Can Find Love and Happiness Without Settling. In some ways, online dating and social media have leveled the playing field: Women can take charge of their dating and sex lives in ways they haven’t before. We can initiate dates or group hangouts just as dating rules as men do.

The dating world revolves around making the right proactive choices — and this means that if you’re ready for a monogamous relationship, you have to be clear about your goals, both to yourself and prospective partners. If what you want is a long-term relationship, approach it with your goals in mind. The right mindset is key: Start out by knowing that you are in control of the process. If you’re looking online, do your profile with a friend — this will help you lighten up. Don’t boast or be self-deprecating. Be funny, short and concise, and don’t sound too cutesy. A photo that shows you actively pursuing an interest is good because it offers information without being wordy.

Pick out three or four guys and signal your interest. If someone shows an interest in your profile, remember that you are not obligated to respond unless you want to. With several prospects, start an email exchange. But limit your emails to no more than two or three before suggesting a face-to-face meeting. Anyone who wants to prolong emailing is not interested in a relationship. Avoid this person — he could be married, in another relationship or just a creep.

Arrange a coffee or drink at a convenient location. Talk about things you like to do, your job, college stories or recent experiences. Pay attention to whether there is a good balance in the conversation. Are you finding common interests?

Avoid talking about your or his problems. On first dates, make sure you have other plans afterward and keep them, regardless of how things are going. If you’re underwhelmed with this person, you will have a good escape route. If you are having a great time and don’t want to leave, stick to your previous plan. If you are interested, say so explicitly upon leaving. This may sound too forward, but there is nothing wrong about being clear.