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Once upon a time, there was an HBO series that put a false illusion of hope and excitement into the heads of millions of women, (in addition to many gay men,) across the United States and the world: Sex and the City. Sure some of us may go on to be rich and successful, in addition to residing in a major city, but for the majority of us, we will teeter on the line of middle class (until we marry up for money), have roommates until our late 20's or early 30's (hopefully not any longer), and live in a mid-sized city with what appears to be slim pickings in the relationship department.

Relocating to Los Angeles and then New York City (after four years of college Buffalo), really helped me put things into perspective. Buffalo is a rust belt, mid-sized city in New York; a beautiful, yet complicated city that is typical of the American experience.

So, move over Carrie Bradshaw, I am taking over from here on out. Where I come from, it's called Sex and the Buffalo; same state, different city— where the population is drastically lower, but the drinks are stronger and a lot more affordable. Please consider these dating tips before the summer passes you by. Whether Buffalo or Pittsburgh or Richmond -- big city or small -- we all have dating issues … and sometimes living in a big city does slightly help your dating and sex life.

And, if you think it's ironic to be getting relationship advice from a gay man with many failed relationships, consider yourself in good company.

The advice in this article is both for men and women, black and white, gay and straight, and so on.

This is not 1950's suburbia people; if you are stuck struggling with the strict gender norms and societal roles, get over yourself! That being said, you should take the following suggestions and conduct yourself with good grace and decorum; by doing so, you will be showing respect for not only yourself, but also your partner.

1. Alcohol

Okay, let's say you are on your first or second date and your nerves are getting the best of you. Please, under any circumstance, do not have more than three drinks at dinner. Not only do four drinks at dinner make you seem trashy and like an open alcoholic, but I can bet money that you will make a fool of yourself by the end of the date, especially if you two plan to go on to another event after dinner.

Speaking of dinner, please follow the following tips for bill paying, depending on your sexuality. Males always pay for females. The taller of two gay men pay. Lesbians: whoever loses the game of thumb war at the restaurant picks up the tab.

These rules have been around for ages; don't argue with me. Okay, I just made them up, but it's legit advice.

2. Manners

This is the number one indicator of how a future relationship will pan out. Never be rude to your waiter or bartender, no matter how rude or disrespectful they are to you. This goes vice versa for your date. If they lose their temper when they get the wrong order, who says they won't backhand you for showing up to their house late once you are in a relationship? It's one thing to be nice to the server's face and talk crap about them when they leave. I, unlike most people, have been taught the right way to handle this by my parents: you talk about people behind their backs.

In addition, you are on the date with another real life person, not your iPhone. One of the rudest things you can do on a date is to be constantly checking your phone. If you wanted to talk with your friends so badly, why did you even go on the date at all?

3. Conversation

Bad converstion is considered to be one of the biggest downfalls when two people are in the first phase of their relationship. I would never suggest "playing games," but that is entirely different than leaving some mystery. Why would anyone want to go on a second or third date with you if they already know everything about you?  "Yeah, I went to Miami on spring break last year" is different than "Oh my god, Miami was great. It was so fun. I was there for a week and I spent so much money. We went to the beach most of the time and blah blah blah." Get my point?  Be simple—this is not a job interview. Have fun in conversation and make sure you are not the only one talking the entire time.

If you take these small bits of advice, you are well on your way to starting a healthy relationship in any city. One last thing: plan your first date on a Thursday night, so if that guy or girl doesn't call you back, at least you have the weekend to go out with all of your friends. Our generation is very unique and complicated, and by understanding that we all go through similar dilemmas, (no matter our race, gender, or sexuality,) we are one step closer to understanding each other. And just in case you are wondering, I DO kiss on the first date.

Need more dating advice? PolicyMic recommends you check out this website.