It took a good date to highlight it, but I think many women have generally bad dating habits. What I would normally consider a faux pas now seem to be accepted and even expected rituals of modern dating.

After plenty of frustration – and sometimes bewilderment – here are 10 simple rules that I think everyone should follow when going on a date:   

10 simple rules of dating

SAY YES ONLY IF YOU MEAN IT
I can only assume that certain bad behaviours are brought out on a date because the women don’t actually want to be on a date with that particular guy. It may surprise you but there actually is an incredibly simple solution to this: If a guy asks you out and you don’t want to go, just come out and say so.

Most guys will just move on, so don’t sugar-coat or drop little hints as it will only serve to complicate matters. The best thing you could do is to just step up, be direct and honest.

STICK TO THE PLAN
Don’t make your date feel as if meeting them is like making an appointment with the dentist for a root canal. I have experienced having one woman make and break plans with me more than three times with excuses straight out of a handbook: “It’s someone’s birthday/going away party”, “I’m swamped with work” and the classic “I’m sick”.

The truth is everyone has something else they could be doing, so stick with the plans you make (assuming you are following the first rule and want to be on that date).

BE ON TIME
Seems obvious, but it isn’t to everyone. By now you should know how long it takes you to get ready, hail a cab and get to any place you need to be. Running late basically means you didn’t care enough to be on time.

DRESS TO IMPRESS
If you’re going to a nice restaurant, do make an effort to dress up. In fact, as long as you’re going on a date, you should definitely put a little more thought and effort into your outfit than if you were going to watch a romantic comedy with your girlfriends. Try to impress your date, even if it’s just a little.   

DON’T BRING A FRIEND
On one of my recent dates, the woman threw me a curveball and showed up with a guy friend. While this might seem like a no-brainer, you would be surprised at the number of women I’ve heard of have friends conveniently “stop by” because they were “in the area”. That’s all well and good if it were any other outing, but for the actual date just keep it to two.

TAKE YOUR PHONE OFF THE TABLE
Nothing says I would rather be somewhere else more than someone constantly on their phone. You can check it periodically or make an important phone call but save the status updates, tweets and random messages to your friends for after. Social media can wait, take advantage of your time to get to know someone.

DON’T TAKE PICTURES OF THE FOOD (A PARTICULAR SINGAPOREAN FOIBLE)
I’ve been in Singapore for about two years now, and have never – and still don’t – understand this phenomenon. Unless you just got served on a private island by a top chef who imported rare ingredients from all corners of the earth and spent countless hours carefully crafting a course that looks as good as it tastes [pause for a deep breath], put the camera down. Taking a picture of your salad and pasta just makes your date feel like he’s less important that an entry in your food blog.

GO SOMEWHERE NEW
Sure, it’s nice to go into a restaurant and see familiar faces, but part of the dating process is to get out of your comfort zone and try new things. You’re already meeting a new person, so you might as well try a new restaurant. It also helps if your date doesn’t feel like he’s on display by meeting people that already know you.

OFFER TO SPLIT THE BILL
As you’re trying to muffle your gasps, do read on and try to see where I’m coming from. In this day and age, everyone talks about and places a huge emphasis on gender equality. I think that with this equality comes not only the perks, but responsibilities as well.

Most guys will foot the bill, but it’s a nice gesture even if you just offer. If the guy pays, offer to pay for the next one, or buy a coffee or drink after. Trust me, your date will appreciate it and it’ll go a long way to scoring points with him.

SAY THANK YOU
This shouldn’t require an explanation.

All and all, dates should be reserved for people you want to get to know better. Steer clear from dates with guys you aren’t interested in, and treat your date as you would like to be treated.

And if you’re ever out on a date and the guy calls you out for breaking one of the rules above, who knows? You just might be sitting across from the person who wrote them.

The writer is a man-about-town in Singapore, and likes spicy ice-cream, pig Latin and long walks off short piers. He will regularly be bringing us a guy’s perspective on love and relationships.