Dating Etiquette Act, 2005
An Act to codify the legislator’s ideas regarding the term called dating and to clear the stupid clichéd meaning given to the concept by the Indian middle class
Chapter – I – Preliminary
Short title and Extent – The law hereunder may collectively be known as the ‘dating Act’ and would be extended to any and every man irrespective of any caste, creed, race, age, region, religion or country, who wishes to, have at any point of time in the past 28 years had and does dates me with both retrospective and prospective effect.
Definitions – in this act unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, the given terms shall have, so far as this Act is concerned, the meaning as ascribed herein.
Legislator – that will be me the creator of the present law known by the name Sanjukta,Sanju,Sanj, San, Sans, Samyukta, Samy, Sam with Basu being the common surname for all the above names, having no relation whatsoever to Bipasha Basu and any resemblance to her, if found, would be purely coincidental, surgical, or as a part of the beholders hallucination or optical illusion.
Flowers – shall not include any flower of the type belonging to gobi ka phool, geande ka phool and a certain red Jaba (Bengali nomenclature) phool which is exclusively used for the purpose of worshipping Goddess Kaali.
“asking out on a date” – save as otherwise provided in this act, where a man, not being in any manner related to the legislator, whether single or married, shows his willingness to meet in person the present legislator for any purpose whatsoever and for whatever duration of time, be it a cup of coffee or a movie or simply to have a look at the legislator in flesh and blood, with an intention of getting to know the legislator better and get closer both physically and emotionally, whether immediately or over a period of time, this shall be known as asking the legislator out on a date.
Date – the person who shows such willingness is known as a date and also the time and day when such a meeting takes place depending upon the context in which the term is used.
Explanation of (3) and (4) (I talk for myself and no one else but myself)
The term ‘dating’ doesn’t necessarily involve the element of ROMANCE. Dating is the very first step towards a relationship, which could be friendship, love, romance or can even turn out to be a professional relationship eventually. I meet a person in a café shop, in the railway reservation counter, in a yahoo chat room, on a networking portal like Orkut, Friendster, in a blogger’s meet, in an art gallery…etc. having exchanged a couple of words we then exchange phone nos. Thereafter, either I completely forget about this guy, never call and never bump into him again or may be we both kinda find each other interesting or may one of us find the other interesting, in which case there is further exchange of phone calls or sms(s). At this point when I and this guy decide to meet each other again, or for the first time (if the earlier meet was virtual) so that we get to know more about each other, I call such meeting as a ‘date’. If he says, “hey how about a cup of coffee tomorrow evening?” That will be like ‘asking me out’. That evening when I go out I will tell my other friends (when asked about my evening plans) that I am going to so and so place on a ‘date’.
In this entire scene there’s nowhere an element, essence or color of Romance or anything even remotely associated with romance. Its just a way to know a person. ‘An intention to spend quality time with an interesting person’ is the crux of the concept of dating. Of course one meeting isn’t enough to know a person. Two meetings is also not enough. So we meet quite often, we try to meet on weekends, what begin with a cup of coffee may now have been replaced by a movie or by art galleries (once again), further blogger’s meets or even outdoor adventure sports…this whole process over the period of time would be termed by me as “we are dating each other”. Which means, our interests match, our ideas of having fun match, our places of weekend hangouts match so we end up spending a lot of quality time together…we do stuffs together. Once again it has got nothing to do with romance. As a matter of fact dating shall end where romance begins. Once I know we are kinda romantically involved I shall call it a courtship and not dating.
Chapter – II – Rules of Dating
The longevity of a relationship (whatever kind) will be determined and the chances of giving a proper name and shape to the relationship shall depend upon the person’s dating etiquettes, which should definitely include the following: –
7) Get flowers.
8) Take the lead in most of the things, from which place to go and sit to what drinks to order etc.
9) Talk, about anything…just talk.Don’t let your mind go haywire, concentrate and pay attention to what the other person is saying, don’t let a chilling silence creep in.
10) Smile, just simply smile, don’t try to find a reason to smile.
11) Don’t have any other plans for that evening and if at all you do, don’t say it and don’t let it show up on your face. Don’t keep looking at your watch every now and then. Relax.
12) Say things that comes to your mind but with caution. Be yourself but don’t be rude.
13) DO NOT GO DUTCH on your FIRST date. Do not be entrapped. Yeah dating is costly.
14) Pay a compliment. Either in front of her or after you have departed.
15) Say ‘thanks’ for the time spent.
16) Handle her like a newborn baby…with love, care and affection.
17) Drop her back home.
18) Say “will meet again” just for the heck of it. Say it even if you don’t mean it.
Chapter – III – Effects of a Nice date
An evening with all the above etiquettes would certainly lead to a second date, and the second shall lead to third.So on and so forth.
The above said manners are most important in a first date. Eventually they can be logically done away with.
19) You need not get flowers on all the subsequent dates. But try to whenever its possible for you.
20) You can stop giving false compliments and be a critique after about 5-6 dates.
21) You can pick up a fight at the same time too.
22) When in fight, fight once its over don’t hold grudge.
Chapter – IV – Physical intimacy while dating
Having said that romance has got nothing to do with dating, this is to further clarify that presence of romance would not change the above definition of date, and that this chapter shall come into operation only when either of the party is having romance in his or her mind.
23) Physical intimacy while dating whether allowed or not is a complicated question.
24) On a first date it certainly would be a bit too forthcoming but is not totally prohibited.
25) A lot depends upon the way you carry yourself and the confidence with which you take a step.
26) A nice friendly hug is always welcome.
27) A slight brush of your palm on her cheeks is a nice gesture too.
28) A Kiss is dicey, but you never know…after all if the prince on the white horse kisses the princess would she mind. But make sure it is like the prince kissing Cinderella and not some…you know…
29) Thumb rule is that, never seek her permission, it would make you look like a weak man in her eyes be confident and decent in whatever you do and think before you do.
30) Most inhibitions are meant for the first and couple of subsequent dates, after which public display of affection should not be much of an issue.
Like all laws in our country this List of rules too mostly remains un implemented and thus the Legislator had never had a perfect date as described above.
Update May 2016
This was written when I was 28, stupid and naive. I didn’t know patriarchy and gender back then, and so its full of terrible contradiction. But I would keep it like this, just as an evidence of how I learned unlearned a thing or two about love, romance and dating.
I continue to search for a perfect date, even today.