Ever come home from a date and spent the next week scrupulously analysing every single thing you did, every word you spoke and every non-discreet hair flick that occurred during dinner that might have put them off?
You're not alone.
The world of dating is plagued with 'rules' that not only make women feel like they failed an exam if they don't secure that second date, but that they've not upheld the standard required of them.
So we're looking at studies, articles and other pieces of advice that quite honestly all need to get in the bin.
1. Be whoever you want to be.
For all those 'alpha females' out there you'll be more than familiar with the suggestion that you need to tone down your behaviour and be less like yourself. This study said that women needed to be 'nicer' to men so that they come across as "more feminine", whatever that means.
And this example, tells women: "Simply put, women have become too much like men. They're too competitive. Too masculine. Too alpha. That may get them ahead at work. But when it comes to love, it will land them in a ditch." Quite honestly we'd like to put you in a ditch.
2. Sleep with them whenever you want.
Ah that old chestnut. If we had a penny for every time we've been told that putting out on the first date will mean your bed partner runs for the hills...(here and here). Now we don't to state the obvious but this scream double standards, because without stating the obvious, it takes two to tango.
One article helpfully states: "This guy will never again wonder what your naked body will feel like next to his, because he's felt it. He won't sit at his desk and wonder about the size of your nipples...you need to keep him feeling like he has something else to win." Because winning your personality doesn't count, okay?
3. Wear as much make up as you want.
Choosing what to wear on a first date is nerve-wracking enough for both parties, without feeling like how you choose to present your face is going to be a dealbreaker. This article helpfully points out men prefer less makeup (great, good for them with their blemish-free skin). It's your face, do as you wish.
4. Smell however you want to smell.
Not today, Satan. If you thought that the makeup article was petty, turns out women need to curate their scent too. While we're not suggesting that you should not shower for three weeks and expect someone to be totally cool with that, you should not be compelled, as asked by Good Housekeeping, to turn up smelling of pumpkin pie and lavender. How do you expect to increase his penile blood flow otherwise ladies?!! (Well we have a few ideas...)
5. Eat whatever you want.
You all knew this one was coming because women can't eat anything without feeling like they need to check themselves ten times: for calories, fat content and anyone nearby who might be offended by their consumption.
But helpfully, we have this list of foods you must never order, this reminder that salad is a no go, and this little treat that simply lets us know: "Red meat sent a message that she was: 'Unpretentious and down to earth and unneurotic...that I'm not obsessed with my weight even though I'm thin, and I don't have any food issues'." BRB going to stick pins in our eyes.
6. Text them whenever you want.
Perhaps you thought you'd successfully navigated that first date, having worn, eaten and behaved in all the right ways (congrats).
But what happens now? Because you've still not heard from them in 24 hours, and because you are a normal adult human being with working fingers, you fancy giving them a casual text. However, all the advice says that as you are without a penis you must not touch that keyboard. That is unless you want to be single forever? Send the bloody text girl.