PSA: This Piece of Dating Advice Changed My Life

There is nothing more annoying and worthwhile than dating. It’s an emotional rollercoaster rush of highs and lows that somehow only make you come crawling back for more. We tend to pick up on a few helpful tips and life lessons through our own experiences that we carry with us from one relationship to the next. As the saying goes: you live and you learn.

However, it seems that with every new fling people chime in to give their advice. Sometimes it’s desperately needed and other times it was never asked for, but regardless, it’s given. Usually unsolicited advice is counterintuitive and comes from people outside of the situation, like your grandma or the class gossip. I’m a firm believer that you have to make mistakes to learn what you like and don’t like about love, so I usually just shrug off any advice I didn’t ask for. But a while ago I received a piece of dating advice that completely changed my perspective.

Two summers ago, I was hopelessly crushing on one of my cute coworkers. He was, at least in my mind, perfect. He had a toned climber’s body, light brown hair, and a bright smile that made all the girls weak in the knees. I remember gushing about him to one of my office friends, telling her the little details about the most recent date I had with him. As I sat there scrutinizing every little detail and trying to decode it like a scene in National Treasure, one of our other coworkers, who I did not know was in the room, popped over to our cubicle and chimed in.

Initially, I thought I was screwed. I thought he was going to run and tell the entire office about my little crush. I scratched that, remembering that he wasn’t the gossiping type. The next worry that popped into my mind was that he was going to try to mansplain every guy’s actions and intentions when it came to romance. I sighed, thinking I was done for either way.

“I couldn’t help but overhear,” he started, “but can I ask one question?”

I nodded, even though I secretly wished he wouldn’t.

“Why are you so attracted to someone who makes you doubt their emotions towards you? I’m not judging or anything, but I think if they’re really the one you’d never have to question how they feel about you.”

This stopped me dead in my tracks. For years, I’d overanalyzed text messages and body language from guys that ultimately ended up disappointing me. Because of the rom-com culture I grew up in where everything was a subliminal message, I believed the stereotype that guys were always hiding how they were really feeling. I was searching for meaning in places there wasn’t any. Sometimes, a flirty text is just a flirty text. Sometimes, a kiss was just a kiss. Nothing more, nothing less.

Courtesy: Tom Phan

This old coworker of mine had no idea how his one piece of unsolicited advice would change my outlook on romance, especially when it came to my expectations. I deserve someone who doesn’t make me question if they love me, and I deserve a love that doesn’t feel like one giant Rubik’s Cube. When I catch myself getting caught up in the oh-god-what-does-this-mean stage of a new relationship, I always go back to the idea that if he liked me, he’d show me. If he really wanted me, he’d prove it. Ladies, I know this isn’t a revolutionary concept, but it sure as h*ll weeds out a lot of the heartbreakers. 

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