The Golden Rule was my bubbe’s (and probably your grandma’s) go-to phrase for basically everything in life. “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” she’d say, handing me a fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie.
But let’s be real, my bubbe’s cookies were delicious, but her advice? Not always great for every situation that arises, especially when it comes to dating. This is where the Platinum Rule comes in handy: “Treat others how they want to be treated.”
What is the Platinum Rule, and why is it more apt in modern society? Let’s explore this recently revised rule and find out how it applies when it comes to dating and relationships!
The Platinum Rule—It’s Not About Precious Metals
Before we get going, let’s give the Platinum Rule its fair due. This rule is the Golden Rule’s updated, more insightful younger sibling. Whereas the Golden Rule is like that pair of comfy, reliable jeans that goes with everything, the Platinum Rule is that more risqué, bolder color than you ever wear pair of velvet trousers that makes people say, “Hmmm, you look different, but I don’t know what it is.”
The Mystery of the ‘Love Language’
Now, let’s move on to the gooey love aspect of The Platinum Rule. If you’re at a loss, wondering why leaving the toilet seat one time up didn’t translate to love in your romantic partner’s eyes, you’re likely not speaking their love language.
According to Gary Chapman’s theory, some people like Words of Affirmation, while others prefer Physical Touch, Acts of Service, Quality Time, or Receiving Gifts. But with the Platinum Rule, it’s not just about being in a compatible relationship, and it’s not enough to show love how you want it; you’ve got to speak your partner’s love prose, too. Imagine telling your cat-loving partner you adore them by getting them a pet snake. You missed the mark by several miles.
Netflix and Literally Chill
You’re snuggled on the couch, ready for a Netflix binge, but the struggle to pick a show is real. You want to watch Marcella, but they are dead set on a rewatch of The Office. Instead of digging your heels into the “But I want to watch…” quicksand, try to find a middle ground or take turns picking shows based on each other’s TV tastes. The Platinum Rule says that tonight you may be watching Dwight Schrute, but next time, a BBC crime procedural will be on the screen.
We can’t talk about romantic relationships without mentioning the way to everyone’s heart—food. But maybe you’re a pescatarian or vegetarian, and your date’s idea of the perfect meal is a huge rack of barbecue ribs.
Don’t just insist on what you want and drag them to a salad spot—ask them if they’d be open to finding a place that caters to both your tastes. Because trust us, no one falls in love over a plate of resentfully eaten tofu that’s disguised as meat.
Texting etiquette is confusing. Should you text first? Should you double-text? Triple-text? War text? Let’s apply the Platinum Rule: If your partner likes chatty texts and random memes throughout the day, text away. If they’re more of a face-to-face communicator, don’t bombard them with texts, emojis, or even a meme that you know they’ll find hilarious.
Meet the Parents (or Don’t)
Meeting the parents is a panic-inducing milestone in a romantic relationship, but some people prefer to keep their love life and family life compartmentalized. Instead of surprising your significant other with a “Guess what? My parents are in town and want to meet you!”, ask them if they’d be amenable to it before you spring your mom and dad on them. The Platinum Rule’s entire premise is respecting what they are comfortable with—not what you are.
Public Displays of…Caution?
Some people love PDA; they want to shout (and show) their love in public and don’t care who sees it. Others would rather have an appendectomy than be seen holding hands in public. Before you go planting a big ol’ smooch on them in the middle of a crowded room, gauge your partner’s comfort level. Nobody wants to be one half of the couple that’s overly mushy in public when the other half isn’t into it or literally hates public displays of affection.
Unconventional Ways the Platinum Rule Can Up Your Love Life
If you have mastered the art of romantic date night clichés: candlelit dinners, surprise getaways, and all those “Good morning, beautiful” texts, good for you! You’re doing amazing, sweetie.
But why settle for ordinary when you can up your relationship game? Say farewell to the Hallmark card sentiments and use the Platinum Rule when it comes to date night, too. Here’s how to do it without doing the same old, same old.
Build a Custom Adventure Quest
Why just hang out on the couch and watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy while eating takeout when you can make a real-life adventure based on your partner’s interests?
Do they live for hiking? Draw a treasure map leading to a secluded mountain picnic. Are they a bookworm? Plan a scavenger hunt in their fav indie bookstore. Modify this fun date idea based on what your gf or bf loves to do, not just what you want to do during the weekend.
Curate a ‘Mood Playlist’ Together
Music is a universal love language, but not everyone has the same exact taste—far from it. Forget about forcing them to listen to your Spotify playlist labeled “Ultimate Love Songs,” that’s selfish and not in the vein of the Platinum Rule!
Instead, collaborate on a playlist together by adding songs that reflect different moods you share. Take turns; you get one song, they get the next one, etc. Next time you’re on the road together, put your co-created playlist on shuffle and revel in your mutually curated, impeccable ear vibes.
The Art of ‘Un-gifting’
Who says you need an expertly wrapped-up box to make a gift special? Try “un-gifting”—gifts that aren’t material objects. Does your SO dread doing the laundry? Take that chore off their hands for a week. Do they hate being the one to make decisions, like where to eat or what movie to see? Be the “decider” for a day, but pick things you know they’ll love. It’s like gift-giving, but you’re wrapping up actions and decisions instead of things.
Starry Night, Sans the Van Gogh Painting
Love stargazing? Great. Couldn’t care less, but your partner loves it? Even better. Make a night of it based on their starry-eyed curiosity. Pack a telescope, some cosmic brownies (or other celestial snacks), and check out the constellations they love, not just the Big Dipper—the only one you can actually identify. The point? Your effort to share in their love or stargazing can make this “starry night” better than looking at a Van Gogh in a stuffy museum.
Yeah, “You look beautiful” and “I love you” are classics; you really can’t go wrong with those, but they can also get as stale as last week’s ciabatta, which is already hard when fresh. Instead, listen to what your boo is really proud of and compliment that. Are they excited about a work accomplishment? Celebrate it like it’s a Pulitzer Prize. Did they finally master a tough yoga pose that’s eluded them for months? Act like they took home the Gold Medal at the Olympics.
If romance is an art, then the Platinum Rule is your master brushstroke. Forget the tired dinner-and-a-movie routine—by treating your partner the way they want to be treated, you’re not just scoring cosmic brownie points; you’re creating a whole new relationship tactical plan. You’ll be #couplesgoals for sure.
The Platinum Rule isn’t just for saints and diplomats; it’s for everyday people navigating the deep and sometimes murky waters of romantic relationships. It’s the advice you didn’t know you needed, but once you use it, you’ll wonder how you ever dated without it.
So the next time you’re on a date, leave the Golden Rule for collecting dust on your bubbe’s living room tchotchkes and update to the Platinum Rule. Here’s to love, understanding, and the wisdom to know the difference!