By Nick Nelson – Alexandria, VA

When do I text? What do I wear? Should I kiss on the first date? Is it gauche to carry a condom on me just in case?

Let’s be honest. Dating leaves us with plenty of questions. Unfortunately, intrepid Moxie reader, I’m not going to be able to answer any of them; at least not broad swath. I know what works for me, just like you know what works for you.

Wrestling has made me cry. I truly believe Die Hard to be one of the greatest movies ever made, and I never miss an opening day of baseball. That’s me.

However, here is absolutely one piece of advice that I can give. It’s something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis: We’re making this too difficult. All of us, every single one, have turned dating into paralysis by analysis. We’ve let modern dating culture and romantic comedies train us into thinking there are RULES TO DATING. There are no rules to dating. There never were any rules to dating. Unless we end up living in some Orwellian hellscape, there will never BE any rules to dating. Stop expecting rules to dating.

Look – you’re never going to make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Mistakes will be made. Hearts will be broken. You’ll have wistful conversations with friends about the one who got away. The process of dating – and yes, if you’re doing it right, it’s a process – wasn’t meant to be foolproof. You have to learn, practice and lose (quite often sometimes) before you win.

But the thing that is desperately, unrelentingly, vitally important to remember is this: whoever falls in love with you doesn’t care when you text. They don’t care what you wear, what you do, how much you make or what you drive. To quote the can of vegetables from “Wet Hot American Summer:” I was honest, and being honest makes you feel better.

Dancing courtesy of “Wet Hot American Summer.”

Your dream partner is going to be okay with the fact that a Budweiser ad can make you cry. They’ll be just fine with the fact that you care more about baseball than the average bear and that Katy Perry might be your spirit animal (Hell, she’s certainly mine). Your match is also just looking for the right crayon in the box.

Raise your voice. Be heard. But never compromise.