Dating advice is always a minefield. Partly because you don’t need any form of qualifications before dishing out, and partly because people are so different that there’s rarely a “one size fits all” approach. I’ve written before about the bad dating advice that single people always hear. But today I decided to go down a slightly different route, and talk about the dating advice that hasn’t worked for me.
That isn’t to say it’s bad advice. For each point on the list, I know several people who have followed that advice and ended up in long-term serious relationships. I’m just saying that particular piece of advice hasn’t worked for me.
1. “Don’t look for anyone”
Admittedly, this has worked for me in the past. The night me and my ex-boyfriend got back together, literally earlier that day, I’d resigned to give up spending my life looking for someone and just enjoy the here and now. On my gap year when I went out looking for a holiday romance I didn’t find one, but when I gave up I ended up kissing someone I really liked. However, in both of those scenarios, I was going on nights out and spending time with guys in my age bracket. I’m now 26, I work full-time, and I’d rather have a few friends over for a pizza than go clubbing. So if I wasn’t actively seeking a partner, i.e. using dating apps and sites, going to dating events, saying yes to everything etc. I’d have no hope of ever meeting anyone.
2. “Make the first move”
A former flatmate asked her boyfriend out. A university friend bombarded a guy with messages on Facebook chat after a one night stand and they ended up together. The guy I liked from Thailand ended up with a girl who asked him out for a drink. And although I still feel there’s no harm in giving it a try, for me it just hasn’t worked. When I tried asking guys our on apps to cut the chat and get more dates, they’d always accept, then fizzle out on me. When I’ve messaged guys I’ve been interested in, they’d always respond initially, but then fizzle out. And the time I pursued a guy, he ended up messing me around. Anyone who really liked me pursued me first.
3. “Talk to a guy for a while before meeting”
I’m more of a meeter than a talker, but I got chatting to a girl on Bumble BFF who’d been on two Tinder dates, and both of them ended in relationships. “WHAT’S YOUR SECRET??” I demanded. She said she talks to them for a while before agreeing to meet them. I thought there could be something in that. But the only times I’ve done that have ended in either a) we’d chat loads but I could never pin them down for a date b) we’d have months of long boring conversations about how our day’s been, FINALLY get round to meeting in person, then I’d know within 5 minutes I wasn’t into it and we’d never see each other again or c) we’d have actual good conversations, I’d get my hopes up, then they’d turn out to be completely different to how I expected. So I prefer to get the first date in quick and go in with low expectations.
4. “Don’t do food on a first date”
I don’t usually enjoy drinks as a first date unless under very specific circumstances, but I can understand the appeal of having a “low investment” first date as a “screen”. However, I quickly realised that a drink or two in London costs as much as dinner PLUS you have to buy yourself some food beforehand, and it’s not as fun. Sure, you don’t have the option of walking out halfway through, but really it’s only a couple of hours, and if you don’t like the person you can just enjoy your food.
5. “Have sex quickly and it might develop into something more”
Some of my friends have had one night stands, or friends with benefits scenarios that led into relationships. However, I find I have to get to know someone for a longer period of time before I feel comfortable getting physical with them. I also found when I was younger, my friends would kiss guys on nights out and it would turn into something more, whereas for me it never did, so I was unwilling to go further on the off chance it *may* lead into something more serious. And coming back to point #2, I find if a guy isn’t super-keen from the outset, persistence doesn’t change their mind.
What dating advice hasn’t working for you? Let me know in the comments!