DEAR ABBY: I am a young woman who, along with my friends, has run into many different men -- and many different styles of dating. We have compared notes, and decided that it's time to share some basic "dating guidelines" for the men out there:
1. Whoever asks (male or female), pays. Whoever pays makes the plans.
2. If you really like a girl and are broke, don't ask her to share costs -- and if she offers money, refuse. If she's worth your emotional investment, she'll be happy going to free concerts, picnics, etc.
3. A guy who asks for money to help with the date before he's asked you to be his girlfriend (usually around three months) is usually just "marking time" and looking for a fling until someone he really likes comes along. And even if you're going steady, don't assume she'll share the expenses from then on.
4. Meet her where it's convenient for her the first few dates, and after that, pick her up from work or her place. Open doors, help her with her coat, etc.
5. Don't whine and sulk if she won't sleep with you right away. It's truly unattractive, and if you're dating her just for sex, and that's obviously not what she's in it for -- be nice, break it off and say goodbye.
6. Call several days ahead to ask, then call to re-confirm the night before.
These are the basics, Abby. If your readers have anything else to add, we're open to suggestions. -- 20-SOMETHING IN L.A.
DEAR 20-SOMETHING: Your contemporary rules for dating may raise a few eyebrows, but they seem sensible to me. Readers? Anything you'd like to add?