The Rules of Dating — a Talking Points lesson plan

The rules of dating can be very different depending on which country you are in.

This is a great lesson that can be really good fun in your English class.

This lesson is perfect to use in your English or ESL class — also ideal for IELTS or any other test-prep class.

You can download the full lesson plan complete with other exercises and activities by signing up to my mailing list here: Talking Points

 


 

Introduction

 

What are the rules for dating today?

Do people have expectations that are too high these days?

Has dating changed in the last few years?

 


 

A Real Man

 

Read Daphne’s views about modern dating and her experiences. Then answer the questions on the next page.

I want to find a man in my life, but to be honest there are no real men around.

I don’t know what has happened to men in the last few years — they all seem to have turned into wimps.

I go on dates with men and I’m always disappointed. They never live up to the standards I have in a man. And I don’t think I’m asking too much. I would just like them to be more masculine and to look after me if I needed them to do so.

But after the first ten minutes of meeting them, I have feelings that range from disappointment to outright disgust.

For example, I met this one guy, and we went out for dinner. He ordered for himself and then let me order. That was his first mistake. In my opinion, a man should always order for the woman. It shows initiative and confidence. But he just looked at me with a weak smile and asked me what I wanted.

But then, after our food arrived, he started talking about himself and his feelings. That to me is just a big no-no. I sat there, looking back at his soft face, as he went on and on about how someone had said something to him at work and he didn’t know how to react. He was shaking his head and getting all flustered.

I thought he was going to cry!

And then, to make matters much worse, when we finished our meal, and the waiter brought the check, this guy looked at me and said: Go Dutch?

I just laughed. I told him I would pay for both our meals and gave the waiter my credit card. The guy just nodded and didn’t say another word.

He asked me out for another date — by text — and I said no.

I’m sorry, but that is not the kind of man I want to spend the rest of my life with. It would just drive me crazy.

Men in my generation are just weaklings. I don’t want to listen to a grown man revealing everything about how he feels about this and that. He should not speak at all and let the woman talk.

I look at my father and uncles and I just think: why can’t men today be like them?

Strong, confident and with a stoic attitude. That is what a woman wants. Not a boy. A real man!

When I talk to my mother and my aunts about what attracted them to my father and my uncles, they all say the same thing. That their men were strong and didn’t talk too much. They treated their women like women and put them first. They never talked about what made them sad or angry. Even the way they walked — they walked upright and head held high.

Men today look like they are about to have a nervous breakdown.

I think social media is much to blame for this — but men are also trying to adopt ideas that don’t suit them.

I know this sounds strange, but I don’t think men and women are the same. We are not equal. We have different roles in life and there is nothing wrong with that.

I just want a man to be like a real man. Not a gentle little flower made of glass.

Is that too much to ask?

 


 

Reading Comprehension Questions

 

What does Daphne want in life?

What does she think has happened to men in the last few years?

How does she feel about going on dates with men?

What feelings does she have when she goes on a date with men?

In your own words, describe the account of the date that Daphne went on.

What were all the things the man did wrong on the date with Daphne, according to her?

How does Daphne compare men from her generation to men like her uncles and her father?

How do her mother and aunts describe men in their generation?

What does Daphne blame for men being weak?

Does Daphne think men and women are the same?

 


 

Essential Vocabulary

 

wimps

to go on a date

disappointed

live up to the standards

masculine

outright disgust

to show initiative

confidence

a weak smile

a big no-no

flustered

the check

Go Dutch

credit card

by text

in my generation

weaklings

a stoic attitude

upright

head held high

a nervous breakdown

social media

to adopt ideas

different roles

 

Exercise

Write down all the words and phrases in your vocabulary notebook. Look in your dictionary

and find the meaning of each word. Write the definition next to each word.

Then make up your own sentences using each word or phrase.

For example:

Notebooka small book with pages of blank paper that students use to make notes when studying.

“I left my notebook at home so I was unable to make any notes in my English class.”

 


 

Discussion Questions

 

What do you think of Daphne’s views? Do you think she is being fair?

Are Daphne’s expectations of men too high? Why/why not?

Do you think it is possible for Daphne to find her ideal man? Why/why not?

Are men today too weak? Too strong? No different from other generations? Explain your thoughts and views.

Is there a growing divide between men and women today? Can you explain your reasons?

How does dating work in your country?

At what age do people in your country start to go on dates?

In your culture, what are the rules of dating? How should a man behave? What should he do?

Do people ‘Go Dutch’ on dates in your culture? Why/why not?

How can you determine who to go on a date with? What kind of people would you accept? What ones would you reject? Why?

Have you been on a disastrous date before? What happened? What went wrong?

What is the perfect man? Why?

What is the perfect woman? Why?

Has any man behaved poorly while on a date with you?

Has any woman behaved poorly while on a date with you?

What kind of things can you talk about on a date? What things can you not talk about? Why?

How long do you go on a date with someone before you can hold hands? Kiss? Or…?

Do people in your country go on blind dates? Why/why not?

 


 

The Rules of Dating

 

  • What are the rules of modern dating in your culture?
  • How is the man supposed to behave?
  • What about the woman?

 

Get into two large groups: Men/boys in one group and women/girls in the other.

In your groups, make a list of all the rules of modern dating. Think about what is expected from both men and women.

Then select two people to present all your findings to the class.

Compare notes between the two groups views.

 


 

Game: Speed Dating

 

  • What is speed dating?
  • Would you go to a speed dating event? Why/why not?

 

Speed Dating

Speed dating is a formal event that has been around since 1999. People can go to these events and hopefully meet an eligible partner in a short period of time.

Speed dating has become very popular in recent times as people’s lives become too busy and they cannot find a boyfriend or girlfriend.

 

Create Your Speed Dating Profile

Fill in the form below:

Who are you?
What do you do?
What are your interests?
What kind of person are you looking for?
Describe your ideal date.
Just friends or Long-Term?

 

Now Speed Date!

Now do the speed dating activity.

You have two minutes to introduce yourself to your partner. They have two minutes to introduce themselves to you.

Make careful notes of who you like and who you dislike.

 

Tell the Class

At the end of the activity, stand up and say who your ideal date is and why.

Give all your reasons why you think this person could be the perfect date.

 


 

Role Play: The Worst Date Ever!

 

This is a role play exercise. There are two characters:

1. You are meeting someone for the first time but you don’t know anything about them—maybe they are not quite what you expected!

2. You met someone on a dating site—you have a strange habit. But you have to try to impress your date!

 

Go through all the options below and choose one. Then prepare your role play.

Show to the rest of the class!

 

Choose one of these strange habits if you are character 2.

1. You can’t stop talking about your mother. On any topic, you always talk about your mother. Maybe you love your mother very much, but for other people, they think it is kind of strange.

2. You are a very nervous person. You seldom go on dates as you don’t like to be outside in the evening. You think something terrible could happen. You cannot relax for one minute!

3. You have an imaginary friend—a big dog called Telephone. He is the size of an elephant, but only you can see him. You want everyone you meet to know about Telephone and to love him as much as you do.

4. You think you are a ghost. You died 200 years ago, and you have been roaming earth since then looking for love. You think your date this evening could be the best person in the entire world!

5. You don’t have a job, and you have no plan to get a job. You hate working and instead, you would like to meet someone to support your lifestyle and pay you to stay at home. Try to convince your date to do this for you.

 


 

Writing

 

You are going to write a profile of yourself to put on a dating website.

Write a profile that details all the positive things about yourself. Then talk about the things you are looking for in a partner.

Make yourself sound very interesting!

 


 

What did you think of this lesson? Was it useful for your class?

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