Her Campus UCLA met up with life coach and dating expert Brooke Lewis and got answers to some of our biggest questions about dating, love, and relationships. Brooke is most well-known from hosting the critically-acclaimed dating talk show, Breaking Dating, where she shares her funny and relatable perspectives on dating in the modern world. She has also worked as a life coach for over 5 years and coaches for reality TV shows. Most recently, Brooke has released a new book called "Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess" which is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Photo Credits: Birdie Thompson
Check out our Q&A with Brooke below:
1.) What are some good ways to meet guys on campus?
Girls, I don’t claim to know EVERYTHING about guys, but I do know what they like! They like food, booze, sports and well…ya know! We all know that campus (or, nearby campus) is a great place to find all of these! Other than the obvious fraternity parties, I say get your sexy butts out to campus games and sports bars to watch games with pizza and burger shops with beer on tap. I also believe it is important to connect with a guy who you have common interests with, so join campus clubs that represent the things you love. You may just find a romantic movie or gym partner in the mix!
2.) How long in the relationship should you wait before having sex?
This is a question I get asked often by women of all ages! My answer is that there is NO “right” time, but only the “right” time for YOU! Each person and relationship is different. In my coaching, I often tell clients, “You are the only one who has to sleep on your pillow at night and wake up with yourself in the morning!” This simply means that you get to powerfully CHOOSE and you are the only one who has to live with the consequences of your choices! I want to support you in choosing what feels good and “right” to YOU! I will tell you that I have NO judgement around what you choose, but I do not encourage you to have sex the first night. I have learned that what happens too fast, often fizzles out fast too! I believe (especially for college women) that it takes time to get to know someone and learn if you are really attracted or connected to that person on many levels. The beauty of college is that it is the time to really explore, experiment and get to learn about who you are and who you want to become. As young women, you want to respect yourselves, your bodies and minds and know you are a GIFT for a guy to experience. Just make sure he is worthy and deserving!
3.) I like a guy that I work with in one of my extra-curricular activities, but I am scared that dating would ruin our friendship and working relationship? What should I do?
This is a challenging situation, but one you are bound to run into at some point. You are surely justified in feeling what you are feeling, as the outcome could go either way. I am a firm believer in communication and encourage my clients to always communicate and be true to you and your feelings. I am also a firm believer in the strength of “women’s instincts” and college is the perfect time to start tapping into them! So, first I would ask you what your initial instincts tell you. Do you feel this guy is attracted to you as more than a friend, as well? If the answer is “yes,” then I say to be fearless and tell him how you feel! If the answer is “no,” I say to either keep things where they are now and see how they play out or wait to tell him, until you eventually stop working together. If you think he feels the attraction you do and you tell him, just make sure not to have any expectations. Share your feelings and allow him to choose the direction it takes. If you try dating and it does not work out, you both want to be super mature about the situation and continue to respect one another and the work/activity you are doing together. If it does work out, you just created a magical relationship for yourself where you have it all! Remember, without risk, there is no reward! “Be You…And, Be Fearless!”
Photo Credits: Birdie Thompson
4.) What's your opinion of Tinder/dating apps on college campuses?
I think dating apps are awesome on college campuses, AS LONG AS girls use them POWERFULLY, RESPECTFULLY and with a clear AGENDA! Listen, dating apps can be fun and positive or nasty and negative at any age! With dating apps making EVERYTHING move ten times faster, I suggest college girls take their time with them and use them in a way that feels powerful for them. I think Tinder is a great way to meet people you may not run into every day on campus. I totally support you in giving dating apps a shot, as they will not be for everyone. I want to remind you, however, that a lot of guys are now using them as “hook up” apps, so be smart and mindful of your communication. If someone makes you uncomfortable in any way, trust it and move on! Although it is an accelerated way to meet guys and date, I do not want you to feel you have to accelerate! If some guy is inviting you to his dorm or apartment right away, move on! If he is sending the notorious “d^*k” pics or “sexting,” move on! Remember, ladies, we set the tone with dating early on, so make sure that dating app on your phone only downloads love and fun for YOU!
5.) I've been seeing this guy, but I'm not sure if it's just a "thing" or if I'm his girlfriend. How do I DTR (Define the Relationship)?
This is another challenging issue for college girls! These days I am seeing more and more young men and women choose to NOT DTR!!! I realize college is a time to have fun and be free, but, again, I will always coach you to follow your heart and do what makes YOU feel good. You have to be true to yourself, so if you want this “thing” to be defined or have a title added to it, you want to address it! If I were coaching you in person, I would want to know if your guy has ever said or done anything to make you believe you are his “girlfriend” or in an exclusive relationship? Does he ever bring up or get jealous of other guys? Is he the one who usually contacts or makes plans with you? Does he go out of his way to spend time or do romantic things with/for you? Or, does it seem to be a casual “hangout” or “hook up” type of thing where you get together when you are both free or at his convenience? If you are being sexual, have you ever had a conversation about you not sleeping with other people? Again, there are so many questions I want to ask you to answer effectively, but for now, I support you in having the courage to ask your guy! If you do not get the answer you are looking for, then at least you have an answer and you can choose if you want to stay in this casual “thing” or if you want to move on to a guy who wants you to be his girlfriend.
6.) Do you have any advice for long-distance relationships?
Yup! DO NOT HAVE ONE!!! Okay, KIDDING! Kind of. My honest answer is that long-distance relationships are difficult in many ways! I understand how painful it can be when you leave your high school sweetheart to go to college across the country or fall for that hot guy over summer break and he lives by the beach, while you fly back to college in the big city! Although I am a hopeful romantic and diehard believer in true love, I know how much work and commitment “local” relationships can be, so another layer is added to that with long-distance. In college, an LDR can be very distracting, when your focus should be on classes, activities, friends and fun! I remember a girlfriend in college who was in an LDR. When the rest of us would go to a fraternity party or a bar, she would stay home to talk to her boyfriend for three hours on a Saturday night. We would take weekend trips or day trips to visit friends at other schools or head up to NYC to party, while she would visit her boyfriend every other weekend. It made me sad to see her missing out on all of our fun and girl-bonding! And, let’s not forget the financial expense of an LDR! Better have frequent flyer miles! Since I always want to point out the positive in a situation…if you are in an LDR and he is your soulmate or forever true love, I believe you can work to make it happen. Just make smart choices and take the time to create memories of your own on your campus! If you handle your LDR with mutual respect and understanding, you can embrace your time apart and completely experience all college has to offer. Trust me, college goes fast and I still have some of my best memories and friendships from there!
Photo Credits: Birdie Thompson
7.) Do you think an undergrad dating a grad student is a good idea? How should one handle this type of relationship?
Again, I think each person, relationship and set of circumstances is unique and should be handled as such. I would also respond differently, if we are referring to an 18-year-old freshman dating a 26-year-old grad student vs. a 21-year-old undergrad dating a 23-year-old grad student! I think there would be too much of a college life gap for the former! I think throughout the freshman and sophomore years of college, you should embrace every chance and experience you get to be fully present to your new college world! Be young, fun, crazy, wild, free and give yourself permission to make mistakes and fall flat on your face! You do not need the responsibility of a serious relationship or a relationship with a guy in his mid-twenties. Although still in school, you will more than likely be in very different places at this time. As far as the latter scenario, I think it is totally cool for an undergrad to date a grad student, as long as they support each other through the different stages of schooling and lives they are in!
8.) Do you have any tips for girls dating older guys?
I don’t have an issue with girls dating older guys, as long as both parties are on the same page and honest about what they are seeking and whether or not the relationship has a possible future. Girls, if you are dating a guy who is ten years older, I just want you to be yourself and not try to be someone you are not! Let’s be honest, there is a big gap and usually a difference in life experience between the ages of 19-29! I realize dating an older guy can be exciting, but I want you to be clear and realistic about your reasons for doing so. I have had many 21-year-old women share with me that they are dating 35-year-old men, because they want to be wined & dined and receive gifts. Again, I will not judge you, but know that these things can come with a price. Make sure the guy always treats you with respect, as his equal and does not try to control or manipulate you (and, this goes for guys of any age). Most relationships will not last forever, so just enjoy it for what it is.
Photo Credits: Birdie Thompson
9.) Can you tell us a little bit about your experience and your new book?
My work and dating life from New York to Hollywood in the entertainment business has been crazy! There have been so many times in my life when I worried about making mistakes and not being “perfect”! So, in 2016, I chose to embrace my "crazy" and use my blessed and beautiful bedside table book, Coaching From A Professed Hot Mess, to profess..."I am a HOT MESS!" Yup...I said it, ROCK IT and OWN IT! I cannot tell you how good it feels to be self-aware enough to admit and embrace my "flaws." Along with my strengths, my "flaws" and weaknesses make me vulnerable, special and unique. I also believe that by sharing my HOT MESS quirks with you, it will support you in embracing your HOT MESS quirks, too! Let's break the 'rules' and stop chasing "perfection." It gets tiring trying to be "perfect" all the time, doesn't it? I have felt a great sense of joy and accomplishment writing this book and I only hope that something I share on the pages helps, supports or inspires you in some way.
10.) Any other advice for college girls?
Embrace it. Enjoy! Speak your mind! Do not judge yourself. Do not judge others. Be authentic! Make powerful choices! Eat junk sometimes! Think about the other person before you speak or act! Be loyal. Balance work and play. Stay true to you! “Be You…And, Be Fearless!”
For more information on Brooke Lewis, check out her website here and her new Rock Your Hot Mess clothing line. Also, make sure to keep an eye on our social media for a special Brooke Lewis giveaway ;)