Dating Don’ts

Sarah: He probably side hugs.
Chanel: Oh, he totally side hugs.

I may be in the Christian minority and/or hanging out with the back-row Baptists, but when it comes to male-to-female interactions, the side hug bemuses me. In my mind it says, “I have ambivalent feelings about feelings.” One could also argue that it treats a woman’s mammary glands as a giant bin of sin.

I have no patience for either view.

But let’s say you’re a reformed side hugger. A person who’s just now reconciled that when it comes to hugging, our Lord and Savior didn’t look down from the cross and say “This one’s for you.” If you’re just now learning to navigate the waters of a real hug, here are a few pointers:

  1. Don’t cling.
    If it helps, count “1, 2, Release.” Anything past the 1-2 count qualifies as hug-turned-cling. While I might admire your ambition for the Standing Spoon, calm down and rest assured that you’ll have plenty of time to work your way up to the big leagues. After all, if couples at a Springsteen concert can make it happen for themselves, your odds aren’t so bad.
  2. Tallest person = arms on top.
    Shortest = arms around waist.

    It’s not a matter of personal preference. It’s physics. Don’t try to battle with the laws of Sir Isaac Newton. You’ll just end up hugging knees like R. Patz.
  3. Get the first hug out of the way.
    Crossing any physical threshold is a little bit awkward. More awkward? High-fiving your significant other goodnight. Hug like the grownup you are.

Exceptions to the side hug stance:

  1. You’re a total shortie.
    Chanel is a side hugger. Given her height, she’s either nestling about some woman’s lady-business or she’s getting up close and personal with some dude’s navel. It just isn’t worth it. Peeps pushing 5′ get a pass.
  2. You’re dealing with an aggressive hugger.
    Sure, we’re all brothers and sisters in Christ (GROSS. WHATEVER. DON’T EVER SAY THIS.) but if I wouldn’t know you on the street (much less once we step past the pearly gates), I probably don’t want you up in my mix. You sir, are gonna get a side hug.
  3. You’re dealing with someone who uses phrases like, “up in my mix.”
    I mean, I’m judging myself.

In addition to the side hug, calling me your “sister in Christ” ranks high on the list of Dating No-No’s. I don’t make out with my brothers. We take naps.

Lemme explain.

In my family there are more people than there are couches. Therefore, when we’re all home for the holidays one or two of us usually ends up laying on the floor. The stated goal might be to watch a movie together. In reality, once the tryptophan kicks in there is nothing in life — except perhaps, the prospect of more pie — that will compel us up off the carpet. Floor naps typically result in a circle of drool that we alternately try to blame on each other and/or the dog.

Have I sufficiently communicated just how unattractive this phrase is? Calling me your “sister in Christ” puts you in sibling territory. Siblings get drool. Future boyfriends get pencil skirts, high heels and hair that’s been recently washed (note: today’s outfit). Pro tip: opt for the later.

Any other Dating Don’ts that I’ve missed? Leave it in the comments.



Sarah is a co-founder and editor of I Kissed Dating Hello™. She has a deep affection for sweatpants, Pringles and movies with predictable plot lines. She is not opposed to long walks on the beach.