There's a grain of good advice in this rule, which is that you don't want to spend the whole date bad-mouthing an ex and coming across as bitter, says Dr. But the idea that you should never bring up your past is outmoded."You want to be open and honest and not act as though your history is a taboo subject," says Dr. A better rule: "Think of talking about a past relationship as a way to communicate what you want out of a new relationship," says Dr. Just save certain insights––such as how you learned that you prefer a man who loves his family, which your ex did not––for when you're ready to take your relationship to the next level. Always avoid touchy subjects like religion and politics.

Sometimes, especially if you're not necessarily looking for something long-term, moving fast feels right (as long as you stay safe).

But conversely, believing you should have sex after a specific number of dates can feel artificial, not to mention scary in some cases.

There's a hilarious scene in the movie Sleepless in Seattle when Tom Hanks's character contemplates getting back into the dating game and wonders if the rules have changed.

If that describes you, back in the saddle again after a hiatus, divorce or widowhood, know that yes, the rules have changed—and for the better.

The point is that rules don't help you figure out the right time to have sex––your own feelings and instincts do, says Dr. And two, "men are as afraid of rejection as you are," says Dr. "A guy who's interested will be relieved that the burden's not on him this time." Photo: i Stockphoto3.

Never talk about your ex-boyfriend or -husband on a date.

Old credos, like waiting a certain number of dates before having sex or insisting that the guy should always pick up the bill, may be officially outmoded, but they still linger in many people's minds. "Because one of these rules might have worked in one situation with one person," says Gary Lewandowski, Jr., Ph D, associate social science professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey—which by no means makes it something that everyone should live by.

Read on for eight dating rules ripe for the breaking.1.

Suzanne Oshima, a dating and relationship coach with Single in Stilettos, says to put away the cell phone and start noticing men and women whenever you’re out.

“By not allowing technology to dominate your interactions with potential partners, you’ll be able to focus more on your own desires and expectations, distancing yourself from the distractions that technology and social media can pose to your dating life.” Sure, Tinder has its perks, but relying on it too much can have the opposite of its intended effect.

A better rule: Forget the "always" or "never" rules about paying, says Dr. "Who pays will depend on your generation or who did the asking out," or just your impulse at the time the check comes. Better yet, be upfront when you go out: "This one's on me" always sounds good.