The New Rules Of Dating In The Digital Age

Illustrated by Liz Riccardi

As told to NYLON

Despite all of the books, movies, columns, and studies that exist about dating, it's still, generally, a really confusing process. There's no formula for the "right" way to date, especially now that technology is a third wheel in establishing our romantic relationships.

Recently, Mary H.K. Choi shadowed a group of teens to learn more about their social media habits. While their strategies for expressing an interest in people were nothing new, the way in which they went about it is miles away from prior generations—including millennials.

While every person is bound to have their own way of doing things, we wanted to see if there are any dating patterns that overlap. In order to obtain the most accurate results possible, we conducted an online survey via Google Forms. Read on to find out our conclusions on a variety of topics in the realm of dating.

When is it acceptable to follow someone you're "seeing" on social media?
This is always tricky. There's no simple answer, particularly because you might have already been following someone before you started seeing them. But you don't want to seem too eager by following them right away, and it would definitely bother you if they took a month to follow back. Based on the results of our survey, most millennials agreed that around three dates in is a good rule of thumb, but not all accounts at once. 

"I wait until the guy follows me first, although I will creep to find his social media accounts," said Annie Regan, 24. "I feel like Snapchat would be an easy add, though. Then maybe Instagram since that is connected via Tinder now. I had a guy add me on Facebook after two dates and thought that was too soon."

The only downside to following someone is what happens if the relationship doesn't work out. (Read this post to learn about the anxiety it can cause.) "If you just stop talking or someone ghosts, unfollowing them is so awkward and hard," said Amanda Ross, 23.