Depending on where you are in life, dating can either be a thrilling adventure or a total nightmare. No matter what the current state of your love life is, one thing you probably don’t want is unsolicited advice about romance. It’s one thing to ask your close girlfriends what they think about that dude you just started seeing, but it’s another thing entirely to have your middle-aged aunt (or worse, a friend who is smug about having what she sees as a “perfect relationship“) swoop in and act like they know everything about what you want from your love life. Good intentions are always appreciated, but trust: if a piece of advice has been said before, she’s heard it before — probably from several people, so think twice before dishing it out. Below, real twenty-something women share the advice they hope they never have to hear again.
1 You’ll be next!
“I don’t like getting prying comments about my personal life at other people’s weddings or engagement parties.” — Elle M., 24
2 Maybe if you were more [insert trait you don’t have], they would be into you
“I hate any advice that is focused on all the things I can change about myself in order to get a guy. First, maybe dating isn’t my sole goal in life and it’s healthy to be single sometimes, and second, I want to eventually find a guy who likes who I am now, not the change person that I am to try to impress him.” — Missie L., 23
3 When you know, you know
“All that phrase does is set people up to end perfectly wonderful relationships because they don’t have some mystical feeling of ‘knowing.’ No thanks.” — Sandra R., 28
4 He should always pay on the first date
“I don’t like people telling me I have to let a guy pay on the first date, and that if he doesn’t, he must not be a keeper. I get that the guy paying is a nice gesture. But if I’m on a date with him then it’s a chance to enter into a potential relationship as equals, where I am perfectly capable of paying myself, not a weird social transaction where he is showing that he could someday ‘provide for me.'” — Maggie L., 23
5 Maybe you should change your looks
“I’ve been told a few times that if I only lost ten pounds (or, my great-aunt’s favourite, if I would just bother to wear more lotion in the winter so my hands were softer to hold), I would have much more luck on the dating market. I still can’t believe people had the gall to tell me to lose weight like that! I just hate being told that changing my body is the magic trick to finding a great partner. Someone who’s meant for me won’t care about those things.” — Liz K., 21
6 Stop looking and you’ll find someone
“So not helpful!” — Sarah G., 24
7 Don’t talk about your exes
“I think your exes can cause you to develop some toxic relationship habits and it’s important to be able to talk about that with your current S.O.” — Lyn D., 23
8 With the right person, everything is easy
“A few older relatives always tell me that when I’m with the ‘right’ person, it will just be totally easy, and that because we’ll feel like ‘one in the same,’ I’ll never second-guess the relationship or have big disagreements with my partner. Sure, a relationship with a life partner should be mostly low-stress, because it would be bad if you were fighting all the time. But no relationship is perfect! And if it seems perfect, something’s wrong under the surface. I can’t imagine being in a marriage for 50 years where neither of us ever disagrees or has big struggles that affect our relationship. Sorry, life is messy. That’s just not going to happen outside of rom coms, even if you marry your soulmate.” — Priya S., 26
9 There are 9 million people in your city, so you just have to find one!
“I can’t stand that brand of rubbish.” — Vanessa S., 27
10 He needs to sacrifice to prove you’re worth it to him
“‘If he won’t do X for you (i.e. buy you that nice necklace, stop talking to all his female friends, etc), he’s not worth it and you deserve better.’ I can’t tell you how many times that advice caused me to question perfectly good relationships and wonder if the guy I was with really cared about me enough. My friend once told me she would dump a dude if he wouldn’t pay for a certain amount of dates and vacations each year, and she said it like it was a common-knowledge rule that everyone followed. Another person said she’d never stay with a guy who had any close female friends because she wanted him to ‘prove’ he only wanted her by ditching them. I was like ‘OMG, should I be asking for that too?'” Those things made me doubt my own boyfriend so much before I realised that not all couples have the same rules for their relationship. Everyone wants different things, and if you and your partner are happy, you’re probably fine.” — Liv W., 29
11 Only men have to carry condoms
“One of my friends always tells me that in hook-up situations, the guy is responsible for having a condom, and that girls should never carry them. I think that’s so ridiculous. Girls shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to buy condoms and have them on hand.” — Jane S., 21
12 You should get back out there
“As if hanging out in bed with my dog and Netflix are less appealing than a gross dating experience.” — Virginia T., 25
13 Wait three days before calling or texting
“The idea that you have to wait a set amount of days before contacting someone you like drives me crazy. If I like them, I don’t want to wait around following some random rule!” — Cait O., 24
Taken from Self. Click here to read the original.
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