That title does scream things out, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

The modern world of dating is simultaneously easier than ever before—we can message prospective partners from our phones, conduct webcam dates via Skype, and spend more time in the romantic entanglements of other people through reality television than we do our own.

Dating is a minefield and putting your heart out there for someone can be brutal, scary, and terrifying—as well as being wonderful, fulfilling and joyous. Besides, a bit of subterfuge is part and parcel of most successful relationships. Little white lies are told all the time by happy couples.

Manipulation is something that normally belongs to the world of psychopaths and Machiavellian types, so while this writer suggests these six tips that every girl should do while dating—or at least consider doing—there has to be a boundary and a line which you have to draw in the sand.

Subterfuge to test out whether or not a relationship is worthy of your time and undivided effort can be a great thing, as long as you don’t cross the line into something dangerous. Check out our top tips.

1. Fake a crisis.

Faking a crisis is all a bit “The Hills,” but it can work wonders sometimes, and if it errs on the side of manipulative, it normally doesn’t harm anyone. Faking a crisis is something a girl should try out when she’s dating someone and she thinks it could be getting serious. Your date is smart, cute, funny, has adorably bad taste in movies, and a great sense of humor—but it’s only really when we’re put under pressure that the real person can emerge.

In terms of crises, pick something small—your friend’s boyfriend broke up with her, your sister’s dog ran away from home, your brother is drunk at a party—and see how your date reacts. If they get annoyed at you taking time out of the date—or even leaving the date early without the promise of a goodnight kiss—then they’re probably worth hitting the “delete” button on.

However, if they’re more than willing to drive you to where you need to go without you asking (which is rude and never should be done), and check in the next day to see how you are, with genuine concern, then you’re onto a clear winner and can feel confident that they’ll be there for you when the rain starts to fall.

2. Arrive five minutes late.

Okay, normally we’re all the first to be extolling the virtues of being early and punctual, but when you’re dating a guy, it’s always best to arrive a little bit late. “Why?” you might ask. Let’s face it: the old adage absence makes the heart grow fonder really does apply, and while disappearing off the face of the Earth might be a little extreme for some, being a little late can achieve similar results; plus, it can lead to a potentially killer entrance which never goes amiss.

There’s also the added benefit of having an extra five or ten minutes in which you can double check your appearance, make sure that everything is as fantastic as can be, and if you’re nervous, it gives you a chance to calm down and psych yourself up for your big date. Arriving late certainly isn’t a way of life, but it’s something every girl should do when dating, if only for the first couple of dates. Your date’ll be thrilled to see you arriving, particularly when you’re at your most relaxed and gorgeous, and you’ll have a much better time as a result.

3. Wear heels.

Wearing heels used to be a big part of every girl’s outfit when she headed out on a date, and it has remained a big feminine cultural mainstay for decades, despite both men and women originally using the accessories centuries earlier. However, one of the best things a girl should do when dating, is to always wear heels on the first couple of dates. The reasons for this are simple: a height difference can sometimes make or break a relationship, and so much of society’s norms say that a man should be taller than his female significant other.

However, regardless of if you’re dating a man or a woman, wearing heels helps check your height against that of your prospective partner and sees whether or not the difference is something pleasing, acceptable, or something that’ll throw a spanner in the romance. Plus, wearing heels has the benefit of making your legs look longer and slimmer, so there’s no reason not to wear them for your date. Just don’t wear them all the time—your feet will thank you.

4. Go only so far with the physical affection.

This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but is still worth including on the list. Take things slow on the list in terms of physical affection. It’s practically standard that a date can expect a kiss at the end of the first date and breakfast at the end of the third these days, which is fine, but if it goes by too quickly, you can lose your appeal and allure. The art of burlesque preaches a similar message—what is truly sexy can sometimes be what you choose to keep hidden and only flirt with.

It’s simple really: go a month or two without engaging in anything more than kissing. It’s so easy in today’s culture to have one-night-stands, which themselves are no bad thing; unfortunately they’ve lead to a culture where sex and sexuality can be disposable and women face a strong double standard for either having “too much sex” (not a real thing) or not having enough (equally not a thing or anyone’s business).

If you’re thinking long term, keep the dating partner waiting a little longer than a month for you to initiate sexual or physical affection or contact; this has the benefits of making you infinitely more desirable for what they haven’t seen, rather than what they have, and of weeding out the people who are only with you for sexual gratification. If by a couple of months in, they’re whining and calling you a “prude” or a “tease” for not having sex with them already, then you need to kick them to the curb and find someone who’ll wait as long as it takes—for that’s the kind of person you’ll enjoy being with, both in and out of the bedroom.

5. Don’t reply to every message.

This one primarily deals with the world of texting, emailing, and the prevalent idea of social media ensuring anyone at any time can be contacted, reached, and pestered through the double-edged sword that is modern technology. Say you’re dating someone and it’s going well; fantastic. However, every girl should try to keep a bit of mystery while dating, i.e. turning off your non-vital communication needs for a while.

You don’t have to, nor should you, reply to every text, Facebook message, or tweet the person you’re dating sends you. If you’re having a relaxed weekend, turn off your phone and enjoy the weekend. Your significant other will get a little antsy and when you return the message, they’ll be all the happier and the relationship will be kept fresher. For example, it’s fine to keep texting throughout the day, but make it clear you’re doing something in the evening (seeing a movie with friends, going to the gym, doing that “Game of Throne” marathon, etcetera) and then don’t reply to any texts or messages that pop up during that specified time.

It’s really all about setting up boundaries and letting them know that while you love spending time with them, you’re not spending every waking minute by your phone, anxious for a text (even if you do a little bit). Keep them wanting without being rude or disrespectful, and you’ll be all the happier for it.

6. Don’t be exclusive (until it gets serious).

This last point is a potentially controversial one, but a thing every girl should do when dating is to remain open and non-exclusive, until the relationship has been cemented. A lot of modern dating hinges on people going on multiple dates with multiple partners until they find the person that they “click” with, and this is a valuable approach to take, if only because if a guy is truly into you, he will race to solidify the relationship.

Make sure it’s clear that you’ll see other people, and that you really like your dating partner, and then keep looking on the market. Not only will this strike at their ego and help make them consider you for a serious relationship, but if your partner agrees too readily to seeing other people, then they might not be the right person for you anyway. However, as soon as the primary person you’re dating talks about making this relationship serious, decide if it’s equally serious on your end, stop seeing any other people, and focus on having the best, most fulfilling relationship you can.

Good luck.

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