With Valentine’s Day around the corner, wherever you go there’s talk of relationships, dating, and love. Whether your single, taken, or ‘in between,’ there’s some cardinal dating rules that I believe most people can agree on. I came across tons of articles that break down relationship advice, and compiled a top 10 list of the things I came across most often online, mixed with things I hear about most often in daily life. But what do you think? What are your dating do’s and don’ts? Take a look at what I found, and share what you think….

1.) Don’t Be Needy
A lot of people believe this is a tip directed towards women, but face it men you can be equally as needy as your woman, just in a different way. While it’s important to spend time together it is just as important to spend time apart. You never want to be overly dependent, you need a life outside your mate and self-sufficiency can be a big turn on.

2.) Don’t Dish Too Soon
Whether you’re just meeting, or building on your relationship, you always want to be careful on sharing too much. This is not a suggestion to lie, but in reality sometimes what someone doesn’t know won’t hurt them. Details about an ex, or strange family secrets are topics that fall under this tip and while they can be revealed over time, you want to make sure you do so carefully because rushing this sort of intimacy can seem over bearing and unattractive.

3.) Leave The Cell Phone Alone
In today’s digital society our cell phones have basically become an extension of our bodies, and often times a land mine in relationships. To those who creep their significant others phones, whether behind their back or in front, what are you really looking for? This sort of investigating is a clear sign of distrust which is a way bigger problem in your relationship than who your mate was texting last night. Text messages can be very easily misinterpreted and the act usually leads to more problems than solutions. If you find something bad, you’re going to argue; if you don’t find anything, you should feel like a jerk for not believing in them. Either way it’s a lose, lose.

4.) Define Cheating
If you feel your relationship is at, or headed, towards monogamy it’s important to set boundaries for what you consider to be cheating. What one person views as innocent, another may find to be incriminating. Make sure you know what your mate is comfortable with and make sure you’re what your proposing is fair. My personal cardinal rule is, ‘if you wouldn’t do when your mate is sitting next to you, then it’s probably inappropriate.’

5.) Don’t Expect Them To Be Like You
Keep in mind that just because you show affection one way, doesn’t mean that your mate uses the same tactics. Be conscious that everyone expresses themselves in different ways and you should never expect someone to mirror your efforts. You also have to keep in mind your actions affect people differently, just because you think something is funny doesn’t mean your mate will. Learn how to read your mate, accept what’s different between you, and most importantly be patient with each other.

6.) Don’t Have Sex On The First Date
I know it seems totally cliché but these days you really have to stress the idea of making people wait for the ‘golden ticket.’ In my opinion, our current society is so sexually charged that the act is far more accepted and casual these days. Women, if you give it up too soon society may label you poorly, and men often fail to take you seriously. Men, if you give it up to soon you can come off as a dog and a girl will take you for just as much of a joke. Build respect, if you wouldn’t want to date someone who has been around the block, then you yourself should stop riding around the block. Make them wait!

7.) Be “Un”-Available
Giving yourself and air of mystery can be a huge turn on. This is a suggestion I lean towards couples who are still on the fresh side, but it can be helpful in long term relationships to keep your mate on their toes. You don’t always have to know where your significant other is, what they’re doing, and who they’re with. You don’t always have to be there on the drop of a dime, and it’s ok to occasionally keep them waiting. This tactic of being “un”-available will keep your partner guessing, and keep in mind, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

8.) Don’t Talk About It, Be About It
It’s nice in a relationship to hear how much you care about one another, but what is it all worth is there’s no action? Instead of telling your mate how you feel, show them. Even if it’s something as little as bringing home flowers for your girl, or cooking your man’s favorite meal, little actions go a big way. Words can only go so far, and don’t worry often times there are rewards for your efforts!

9.) The L-Bomb
Everyone has heard the tip ‘be careful with saying I Love You’ but in the same sense I urge people, be careful with hearing ‘I Love You.’ In my opinion many people have lost sight of what the phrase really means, and nowadays it’s thrown around casually all the time. All I can really say here, is don’t say if you don’t mean it, and don’t believe if you don’t see it! I don’t care what you want out of a person, don’t fill their head with thoughts of love and commitment if that’s not really what you want; and just because someone lets the words come out of their mouth doesn’t mean you should believe it unless you see the actions and effort that back up their love. People will say anything these days so don’t be a sucker!

10.) Don’t Lie…Just Don’t Do It
It seems so basic, yet so many people struggle. Consequently, whenever you lie, down the line you will have to lie again to cover your last lie, and then probably again to cover that. Be an adult in your relationship and just be honest. My rule of thumb here is, if your lying about even small things, what else could you be lying about? And even more importantly if you know you’re lying, how would you feel if you found out your mate was lying? A relationship is about mutual respect, so before you fabricate your next lie, put yourself in your mate’s shoes and re-consider.