Lately, I’ve noticed that there is a lot of bad dating advice out there, even coming from relationship experts. While it’s all well intentioned— lots of the time the ideas keep women stuck and in pain.
Today, I want to save you from that.
Here are the 11 worst pieces of bad, tone-deaf, downright damaging (although common) pieces of dating advice given to women.
1. “Play” hard to get.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one. Be super unavailable. He will love it when you don’t return his calls. He will be driven to pursue you harder.
Not so fast. Acting uninterested is not the key to success with men. Given the opportunity, guys would rather date women who show interest in them.
However, there is a huge, life-changing difference between “responding enthusiastically to a man’s suggestion of a date” and “hanging on his every word.” Men like it when you have a full life with your own hobbies, activities and interests. They don’t like it when you turn THEM into your sole source of entertainment. I go more into being hard to get here.
2. Be ready to have sex by date 3.
I’m not sure what jerk came up with the idea that you should have sex with a guy on date three or he’s dumping you, but it’s downright wrong.
This lie is brain washing meant to take away your natural decision-making process on when you want to have sex. The whole idea is meant to make you anxious that if you don’t put out, it will your fault that he withdraws because you were the one who didn’t put out fast enough. Stop buying into this nonsense right now.
There’s no doubt about it— there is a huge, crappy double standard about “rules” for sex between men and women. Men are told to go out and get as much as they can as fast as they can, then fault the woman if they put out “too soon.” You get around this by honoring YOUR wants and needs, not some b.s. “rules” meant to make you afraid.
3. Wait months and months to have sex.
Just like the three date rule above, completely withholding sex for months artificially to “see if he’s really into you” is also a problem. You run a high risk of having him see you as a manipulative tease.
But, I just said to pay no attention to the three date rule, so what are you supposed to do? When is a good time to have sex?
Women should have sex with a man when it feels right and they truly want to. Also, if you need a solid guideline, I agree with the “no sex before monogamy” rule.
4. You’ll attract the one solely by using the law of attraction.
Positive thinking alone won’t get you a mate. The law of attraction is extremely powerful when used the right way. But there is a definite downside to interpreting it wrong. Women run into problems with the law of attraction when they don’t take action to get whatever it is that they’re trying to attract.
This includes dating, flirting, and getting out there. The doing part of the law of attraction is often heavily ignored because it’s work. Frankly, it seems easier to sit around dreaming up a mate than it does to put oneself on the line to be rejected and potentially hurt. Keeping the belief alive that he’s out there and using exercises from the law of attraction is important. Giving your power away without taking action is downright damaging.
5. You’ll meet someone when you aren’t looking.
I’ve written about this maddening idea before. I think what people really mean about this one is that you’ll meet someone when you aren’t feeling bad about yourself, but that doesn’t make it any less confusing or maddening.
Basically, get your gorgeous self out there. Don’t try to “not look while looking.” Since dating is such a number’s game, sidelining yourself because of this fantasy will simply cost you time– it won’t get you “the one.”
6. Love conquers all.
This idea is downright damaging because it can lead people to rationalize awful behavior by themselves or their mate. Believing that love is unconditional and things will work if we just love someone can make us blind to the cold, hard realities of life.
The truth is that every love relationship is not destined to survive everything that life throws at it. Relationships are delicate things. There are things that can’t be taken back and people we may love completely who are bad for us. People are flawed and make bad decisions. Love is not exempt from self sabotage, bad choices and general mishandling.
7. Find out where he stands on commitment right away.
Your biological clock might be ticking so loud it rings in your ears, but you should not sit a man down on the first couple dates and find out whether he’s “serious” about finding someone. Trying to “feel him out” on commitment is weird and scary. It can feel to him like you’re looking for a commitment placeholder— and that any marriage-minded man will do.
8. You’re too picky, maybe he’s good enough.
If you’re thinking this about someone you’re with, you’re already sunk.
Both people in a relationship should feel like they’re getting a good deal by being with the other person. If you suspect that you might be settling, then trying to talk yourself into in by using the rationalization that “you’re just too picky” will end badly.
9. Men don’t like smart women.
No, the WRONG guys don’t like smart women. Dumbing yourself down for a man is abject folly. First of all, I don’t know anyone that can hide their intelligence for long. Second, if you ARE smart, do you really want a man who doesn’t enjoy good, intelligent conversations? I highly doubt it.
Attraction, like water, rises to it’s own level. So shine on, you crazy diamond. Don’t allow yourself to believe that you’re doomed because you’re too smart to have a good relationship with a great man.
10. If you don’t feel a spark right away, you shouldn’t accept another date.
Attraction is a funny thing. Never write off a man right away who you aren’t immediately attracted to. Lots of women (including myself) did not feel an immediate spark with a certain man but ended up blissfully in love with him (and very, very attracted to him) a short time later.
Now, if you’re downright repulsed by anyone, don’t stick around, but if you’re simply “not sure,” give him the opportunity to court you and see what happens between you.
11. The best way to get over someone is to get on someone else.
Nope. You’ll just land yourself in rebound hell. The problem with getting right on someone else is that you don’t have the time or opportunity to process your feelings after the breakup. Pain doesn’t disappear when you ignore it, it loops back around with a vengeance later. Without time for reflection, you’re liable to make the same mistakes into your next relationship.