At a recent Melbourne Romance Writers Guild retreat, I played…
Let me begin by apologising to anyone hoping this article will be a humorous piece about dating mishaps. If that’s you, click away now. Today’s post is about 5 pieces of crappy dating advice everyone uses, which only serves to keep good people single.
So here they are…
1. Wait 3 days before calling, you don’t want to seem too eager.
Pardon me, what’s wrong with being eager? Sure, no one wants a loony who is likely to steal their underwear and wear it as a party hat, but a little enthusiasm never hurt anyone. Ok, I lie, maybe it did hurt someone. But who wants to date a sourpuss anyway?
Fact is, most rational people find it charming when they get a call the night after giving out their number. That doesn’t mean you should be calling everyday, three times a day, while heavy breathing down the phone. But the good old ‘three day rule’ is old and should be thrown out the window, never to return again.
If someone thinks you liking them enough to call right away is a put-off, I say good riddance. That person will probably end up boring you to tears soon anyway.*On a personal note. I had one guy call me three weeks after getting my number. No surprises I pretended to forget who he was, hoping he might one day get the lesson. My point is, in the end, no one wants a partner who plays it too cool.
2. Treat ‘em mean, keep them keen.
This flows on from my previous point. Many people worth their salt will have a ‘treat me mean, you’ll never see me again,’ approach to this rule. Generally, people don’t want to tell their future babies that when they met daddy/ mummy, they were a total pain in the ass to be around.
This applies to other sly behavour. Things such as using the opposite sex to keep your partner on jealous footing. Now the sane people out there are probably thinking “Who does that?”. But I’ve known forty-year-old men, who believed the strength of their relationship relied on their ability to keep their partner ‘on their toes’. By this I mean saying things to make their partner jealous. Do that to any self-respecting person, and I can promise you, it won’t fly for very long. If at all.
The popular Game technique to dating will have you believe that backhanded compliments (negging) works. But even the guys behind this ‘pick up artists’ movement, will admit that comments like, “Hey I like your outfit, my mother has one just like it,” only attracts a certain type. Unfortunately if you try it on a half-clued in person, you’ll likely ruin your chances forever.
And ladies, you play nice as well.
If you meet a nice man who’s interested in you, don’t treat him mean to keep him keen. In fact, just don’t treat him mean. That behavour will only lead to bitterness. If you’re being mean because you’re not interested, let him know and be direct about it. Don’t ruin a good man for the next girl who comes along.
3. Date someone with similar interests.
No, just find someone who is open to your interests.
My partner is a meat-eating, software developer. I’m a vegetarian, singing teacher/ writer. I have no idea what Cryptography Engineering is, and he’s yet to open the book of Khalil Gibran poetry I bought him over a year ago. He’s a nerd, and I’m a scatterbrain.
In the time we’ve been together he’s done more traveling than he’s ever done, and I’ve picked some basic coding skills. Sometimes I’ll even cook him a burger… That’s what we do, we compromise. Though neither of us would say we’ve given anything up. In fact, if anything, we’ve gained from each others differences.
I’ve dated men who felt emasculated at the idea of going to the ballet, who didn’t even want to leave the house. Though I don’t expect my boyfriend to let me paint his nails, what drew me to him was the fact that he embraced the things I’m passionate about. I never expected him to be just like me.
4. If you want them bad enough, it’ll happen.
No, just no!
If you want it bad enough and they don’t want you, let it go. This goes double if they already have a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. Part of becoming an emotionally mature adult comes from learning to move on. I know. There’s nothing worse than loving someone who doesn’t love you, but life’s too short. Practice believing that love doesn’t need to be that hard.
5. Trust ‘the spark’, if there’s no spark it’s never going to work.
I’m sure there are heaps of people out there who claim to have felt a ‘spark’ when they met their partner. You know, that instant feeling you’ve met ‘the one’. You’ve only known each other for a week, but it feels like you’ve known each other forever… Yeah. No. Run away… One or both of you are likely crazy.
I’m not at all discounting anyone’s experience, but I’ve seen many exceptions to the ‘spark’ rule. I’ve also watched a lot of people, waste a lot of time looking for ‘the spark’. It took me a long time to figure it out, but when I did, I reaped the benefits.
What I mean is that the best relationships take time. It’s boring, but it’s true. Time helps you figure each other out. Time gives you the chance to get to know someone who isn’t your usual ‘type’. This harks back to my earlier point about only dating people with similar interests. You just never know, until you try.
If you date only for that sense of familiarity, you’re likely limiting your own personal growth, and missing out on a whole world of interesting people.
So that’s it. Let me know if you have any common dating advice, you believe keeps good people single. In my opinion, love isn’t a game of rules and tricks. If you like someone, let him or her know. If they aren’t open to it, move on.*On my earlier comment about crazy people giving off ‘the spark’. I wasn’t kidding. It’s a well known fact that sociopaths, narcissists and psychopaths tend to be quite ‘sparky’ in the early stages of a relationship.
Hope you enjoyed today’s post. I love reading and responding to everyone’s comments, so feel free to leave a comment of your own.
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