When my parents talk about 'going steady' it all sounds so simple. You meet at a charming local dance, go for a milkshake and then boom, you've got three kids and a house (which you bought for $80,000).
These days mastering dating requires an actual Masters Degree. Technology is mostly to blame, with the digitalisation of dating blurring the rules beyond recognition. This is particularly true when figuring out what constitutes a deal breaker in 2018.
Once upon a time, it was easy – "Oh he's a smoker"; or "Oh, he kisses his mum on the lips."
But we're living in a whole new era of dealbreakers.
So I took it upon myself to hit up my most trusted single friends and find out what might get you ditched in this brave (and brutal) new world.
1. Following fitness models
I learnt this first hand when my former flatmate found himself suddenly flying solo yolo after his then-girlfriend blew up about the number of fitness models on his Instagram feed.
"You're not even that f*****g fit!" she yelled at him, in what proved to be an impressive way of adding insult to injury.
Now, I'm the first to admit that my Instagram feed has more than it's fair share of beautiful women in activewear. Normally I scroll right passed their offers to transform my body or make my teeth whiter, not realising how it might come across.
"It's very transparent, you're not following these girls for #gains in the gym," texted Francesca, a friend who has offered some feedback in the name of dating research.
"At worst it's creepy, at best it'll make whoever your dating feel bad."
Seems the real issue with following these types of accounts seems to occur during the transition from 'seeing each other' to 'seriously dating.' Or when the content of your social media feeds is no longer for your eyes only.
Follow your heart, hit unfollow.
2. Failure to delete dating apps
This is essentially the modern day equivalent of not wearing your wedding ring on a night out. The accusation being levelled is that you're keeping your options open; holding off from deleting Tinder (or Hinge or Bumble), in case whatever you've got going go on fizzles out.
Bu the most interesting thing isn't the necessarily the discussion around if you should do it, but when.
"Third date absolutely," said another friend, Sara, over text.
"If we've been out three times, and maybe even had an adult sleepover, then I don't want to see the Tinder app on your phone, it's gross."
Hold up, what about deactivating versus deleting...can you keep the app but just not use it?
"What about if I delete you from my life?" she quipped.
You heard it here first lads.
Bet you never thought that skipping ahead on House of Cards would get you dumped, did you pal? Think again.
Netflix cheating, the act of watching a show without your viewing partner is a real issue. In fact, Netflix even did a study on it, finding that 48 per cent of Australians will Netflix cheat on their partners. Despicable.
This is more of an early days issue - if you've been together for a year or more, sneaking in a few extra Downton Abbey eps isn't going to change the game. But it's the newbies that could be binging their way into a breakup.
"I know it sounds trivial, but it's more about what it says, you're essentially admitting I don't care about sharing this with you," says one mate, Chloe.
"There are so many shows out there if we've picked one to share, exercise a little self-control."
Best fire up Rick & Morty again.
4. Watching Insta-Stories before replying to a text
In the dating hall of shame, one of the most common reasons for splitting up is that "[Insert Name] just didn't have his priorities in order."
Typically this would refer to something big and life-changing, like turning down a promotion because you didn't want the extra responsibility. This may (reasonably) lead your partner to speculate that you're not on the same path.
But in this terrifying new terrain, priorities have been pushed, pulled and picked apart, meaning trouble is just a text message away.
"The last guy I dated would NEVER reply to my text messages but I could see he was watching my Instagram stories," explains Kate.
"This wasn't just once, it was constant...so eventually, I called him on it and he didn't see the issue...so I didn't see him anymore."
I bet he got the message then.
Good advice...sort of
Short of joining the Amish and living a tech-free life (in a funny hat), there's not much more you can do about the nightmare that is modern dating.
But it's really not that hard when you think about – just common sense and respect.
Yet if anyone asks, "I haven't watched an episode since I was last with you."