The 5 Worst Pieces of Dating Advice

Liking somebody is tense enough without well meaning or exploitative meddlers filling your head with wackadoodle dating tips. If you found this article by googling “dating advice”, you’ve probably already seen 57,000 blog posts and articles giving you all sorts of conflicting information.

The truth is that anything that guides every other human behavior applies entirely to dating as well. Be considerate, be yourself, and don’t push your or your date’s comfort level. That’s it! Easy!

So here are five really stupid things you’ll hear a lot that you can just ignore completely for the rest of your life.

5. Wait to text somebody.

Are you currently driving a car or removing someone’s appendix? No? But you want to say hi or ask someone out again, right? Then go ahead and text. Adults get to communicate whenever the mood strikes them. If you’d have no problem texting a friend to see when they’d next like to grab a bite or see a movie, you should have no issues texting the person you’re dating.

If you just got the text and are also not driving or legally removing organs from a person, feel free to text back immediately. You don’t look “desperate”; you look polite and interested. Go for it.

4. Playing hard to get creates intrigue.

Playing hard to get actually makes you look like a jerk, whether you are male, female, trans, asexual, or demi glace. If you actually don’t want to spend time with someone, kindly tell them. But if you do want to be with someone, why would you act cold or disinterested in them?

Have you ever successfully made a friend or landed a job by being standoffish? The answer on Planet Earth is no. It doesn’t work for dating, either.

3. First impressions count, so take your date somewhere expensive.

If Masa or Urasawa are usually within your budget, by all means, take your date there. If your usual splurges never rise above $20 a plate, what are you thinking? Do you want your date to anticipate this all the time? Do you expect your date to split a $200 check with you if you’re going Dutch? This is just setting yourself up for discomfort and debt.

If you’re worried about what your date thinks, ask yourself if it’s wise to get involved with someone who expects you to live beyond your means. If they do expect this of you, move on. They can find somebody else who can afford Nobu twice a week.

2. There should be sex by the fourth/seventh/pick a number date.

UGH stahhp. No, no, no. Something as intense and consequence-riddled as sex does not have a sell-by date! Holding hands, hugging, kissing, and SEX-sex are all matters of mutual comfort, values, and discussion. This is not a race, and there’s no deadline on intimacy.

Believe it or not, just a few decades ago, this wouldn’t even be a question. People knew to wait until marriage (not that everyone did), and to even wonder about this would invite arched eyebrows, if not outright offense. Now mainstream magazines tout hot one-night stands like this is what everybody wants. And not everybody wants that, not even all men (but a lot of men, yes).

The point is, any time you let somebody near your naked body before you’re ready, you are telling yourself that your comfort and safety are not important to you. Tell your partner you want to wait. Tell them why. If they don’t get it, maybe they can find someone else to badger. If they do get it, how wonderful!

If they push the issue past what you’re comfortable with, that’s the end of that. Anybody who asks you to do something you don’t feel right about doing can go. away. now.

And number 1: Just give them a chance!

Yeah, no. If somebody raises your hackles, isn’t your cup of tea, or you’re just not ready to date (again), you are under no obligation to give your time or attention to anyone. If the person is cool, it’s possible you will become friends (that happens a lot!), but if one of you isn’t attracted, dating is just forced and unpleasant.

If you change your mind later, you can always ask, “Hey, is that dinner invitation still open? I think I’m ready.” But never feel like you have to go somewhere with someone in a context that feels like a chore. This isn’t a job. Nobody is paying you to suffer.

You may also like someone quite a bit, but realize that their lifestyle, values, or career path cannot possibly allow them to achieve a lasting relationship with you. It hurts, but it’s okay to say no in those circumstances, too.

Dating isn’t meant to be a test of endurance or psychological cunning. It’s supposed to be fun, and, if we’re lucky, form a meaningful connection with someone to whom we’re attracted. If you have to follow some wacky methodology to enjoy someone’s company, you’re not dating; you’re playing games.

Playing actual games is a good date, though. May I suggest Mario Kart or wine chess…which is just chess with wine?

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