18 Old School Dating Habits That Have Been Left In The Past And I'm Not Upset To See Them Go

Dating can be exciting in a "butterflies in your stomach" kind of way. There's a giddy feeling that comes along with the thrill of new love that makes you want to twirl around and perhaps burst into song. Okay, maybe I watch too many musicals, but what I'm trying to say is that it's fun to get to know a new person who could end up being that ✨special someone✨.

the guys holding hands and looking at each other
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Going on dates can certainly be stressful too, but it's a lot less uncomfortable when there isn't an imaginary set of rules to follow. I asked the BuzzFeed Community to name some old-school dating habits that used to be a standard but have been phased out over time. Here's what they had to say:

1."I like that men don't give flowers or gifts early on anymore. Between that and a guy paying for the meal, I've been made to feel like I 'owe' him something in return. I'd much rather skip the flowers and pay my own way."

guy holding out flowers for someone
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2."The pressure to date at all to fit in."


3."Picking me up from my house on a first or second date! I don't know you!"

cartoon saying, that's my purse, i don't know you

4."Rules and timelines in general. I think half of the reason why dates go so damn badly is because people are too nervous that they will say the wrong thing at the wrong time, want a kiss 'too soon,' or do something 'too early.' CALM. IT. DOWN. We're so caught up in not breaking rules that we look like total stick-up-the-butt downers!"

person talking to a woman and wiping off nervous sweat

5."Needing a relationship to be Facebook official. I feel like people don't use Facebook like they did ten years ago. I know many who don't use Facebook at all!"


6."Waiting until marriage to have sex, or even the third date. I’ve done it on the first date if we were vibing. Surprise, surprise — nobody died!"

person saying, we're going to save for marriage what's meant for marriage

7."We used to use friends and social circles to vet dates. Now, we have their online details to find out about them. There is more information online, so we do our own screenings. In general, social interactions have decreased including the 'what do you know about so and so?'"

someone saying have you met ted

8."This might be cliché, but for me personally, it's waiting for a man to ask me out first, waiting for the man to propose first, and the notion a woman will always be inferior to a man. I grew up with baby boomer parents who abided by the traditional 'the man should make the first move and it’s the woman’s job to look attractive enough to be asked out' rule and it worked out for them. They’ve been married for 40 years, but I didn’t see the reason why I had to keep that awful mindset."

"When I met my husband, I immediately felt our connection and I asked him out first. Then, after three months of dating (two months in person and one month long distance), I asked him to marry me through a text. Surprisingly, without hesitation, he said yes! I asked through a text because I have a lot of anxiety and my preferred method is texting because I can't hear very well, and not hearing clearly just makes the anxiety so much worse. Anyway, I flew him to my home state and we got married at the courthouse. Six years and counting. We are so happy together and I can’t imagine life without him. We both strive to make sure we are equals in the relationship. I’m just so glad that in this day and age this is not only becoming more and more accepted, but expected."


9."Asking for a phone number. Nowadays, people just ask for your socials, which I actually prefer!"


10."Asking parents for permission to date and/or marry their child. Along those lines, parents who get upset or offended that their child’s potential date or partner DOESN’T ask for permission."


11."Being involved with parents. I’m dating you. Not your family. Of course, I will put in the effort when necessary as they are an important part of my significant other's life, but if I genuinely dislike my partner’s family member then I’m not going out of my way to be around them or impress them. I will always be civil and kind, but it’s important to acknowledge some parents are just toxic and bullies."

Image Source / Getty Images/Image Source

12."Going to a fancy restaurant for a first date. A date once wanted to do that for our first date and I immediately thought, 'But...the money...'"


13."The 'don't double text' rule. It's fine to text someone twice if you want to talk to them."

someone writing lol as a text message on a flip phone

14."Telling someone when they aren't interested. Ghosting seems to be becoming more popular. I read a survey a while ago that says the majority of people don't like being ghosted, but a majority of people have done it."


15."Blind dates or being set up on a date in general. I was single for a long time and my mom suggested I ask my friends to set me up with someone. She met my dad that way. I tried explaining that I didn’t think it was a thing anymore, but she kept insisting I at least try it. I mentioned the conversation to a couple of different friends and they agreed it just wasn’t really a thing anymore."


16."People used to meet for a date, talk on that date, and decide if the person was worth their time. Now, all of that is gone. People just read a brief profile of the person on a dating app and decide in like five seconds if the person is worth their time. It's sad because some people don't necessarily look good on a dating app but have wonderful personalities."


17."Exchanging phone numbers after your first meeting or app match. Nowadays, with so many social media apps and free ways to text, I am more likely to give someone my Insta handle to DM than my phone number. Once they prove they're worth a real phone call or we've had a successful date or two, THEN I'll consider giving them my private cell number to contact me easily."


18.And finally, here's a wholesome one that actually should come back: "Writing good old fashioned love letters. I know it's 2023 and text messages and voice messages exist, but there was nothing like receiving a hand-written letter! It was so genuine, so from the heart, and seeing that person's handwriting was another kind of intimacy that I can't even describe its warmth!"

Jamie Grill / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

What other outdated (pun intended) dating habits didn't make this list? Let us know in the comments!