It appears that i’m entering the single person dating scene. Dating etiquette is something I am not too certain about having rarely done it in its conventional form. Hence, knowledge gained by most by the time they’ve reach pre-adolescence, remain mysteries to me.

Certain questions spring to mind.

Is it ok to date more than one person at the same time? If so, after how many dates with one person does it not become ok to continue dating others? Is there a sexual intimacy event horizon after which one is obligated to close the bidding?

Is one obligated to tell datees that one is dating others? If so, how much information should be provided? I assume puppet shows, powerpoint presentations, interpretive dance and photoladen livejournal entries would be considered over-sharing.

As nobody wants to be the rebound datee, how long should one’s mourning period be before dating commences? Is it measured in days, weeks, months or years? Does one need to wear black and brood a lot in that time or would a hint of pain in one’s eyes and a slight quiver in one’s voice be sufficient to indicate common decent humanity?

Is one allowed / expected to strategically exaggerate one’s mourning period so as to comfortably save face all round? If so, to what extent and to what order of magnitude?

Is it wise to reveal to a datee on the first date that one is still cohabitating with one’s ex-partner? If not, when is a good time? Presumably this is before the first dinner date at one’s home. With one’s ex-partner as a surprise dinner guest.

How long after a date should one wait before contacting a datee for the next date? Is this period shortened considerably after sexual intimacy? Are flowers and poems required or should one make financial plans now for maidenhead dowries?

Speaking of sexual intimacy, at what point of the mating ritual does this occur? From hilarious American sitcoms, one date indicates an untoward hastiness, a certain caddish focus and corresponding disrespect of the datee while five dates reveal a possible different sexual orientation leading to sidesplitting misunderstandings. Three dates appears to be safe but this assumes the datee understands American sitcom dating protocol. Is there an Australian sexual intimacy protocol which does not require vast amounts of beer, an equally drunk but strangely enticing stranger and multiple regrets the following morning?

Are erotic txts the height of wit and romance or do they instead reveal a callow adolescent inability to spell or talk properly? Following that, is txting a datee every day evidence of potential stalking traits, encroaching codependency or does it instead demonstrate commitment and gag-inducing sweetness?

How does one politely tell a datee that while one had a good time, matters should probably be best left as they are? Can all this be conveyed by the simple and efficient method of just not calling or returning calls? If not, would a simple txt do? Are one’s obligations more stringent after sexual intimacy? When does it all turn into a painful breakup with tearful recriminations over cooling lattes?

Speaking of which, why is it the responsibility of the guy to call or make contact? Or is it just what they say to hopelessly unattractive men to assist in their self-esteem and in reality it is the sad lot of the majority of men to constantly fend off phone calls, txts and emails?

Is it true that only desperate people use the Internet as a procurement agent for dating fulfilment? Or are those contact pages instead the stalking ground of russian brides, time-poor but money-rich executives, single mothers and sweaty overweight men with photos that little resemble themselves?

Mysteries indeed with more, I suspect, to come.

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