Why I Believe That Most Dating Advice Is Bad

Over the years, articles in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Teen Vogue and countless self-help books claim to have the end-all and perfect advice when it comes to dating. Of course, most of this advice is about changing who you are or to assume that anyone you are interested in is dying to date you. In the magazines especially, the pressure is on the performative side of romantic relationships, both in terms of acting suave and smooth and in, ahem, sexual matters.

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Books, blogs, videos, articles and even movies assume there is a “right” way of dating. They assume there is a “correct” way of texting, using words and “proper” behaviors that will bring success to a budding relationship. Such advice assumes a tone to say, “Don’t lose the power” in a relationship. Time and time again, the recipient of the advice hears things like, “Don’t text back right away, wait a longer amount than he did to respond” or “wait 3 days or more before texting them after a date."  These so-called rules treat romance as though it is merely a game with the other person and you make that impression for a prize. But we have to ask ourselves, is this a healthy way to view dating? Plus, if you are acting differently than yourself, how long can you keep up that facade? And how do think you will feel when you find out the other person was following that type of advice?

The only true good advice in dating is to just be yourself. If you are normally not one to keep texting someone because the person is not being responsive to you, why act any differently when starting a romantic relationship with another person? If a person likes you when acting as you would around friends, that creates a better foundation than trying to be someone you are not, and then tripping up and showing your true or normal self in what may be a bad moment. We all get cranky. We all mess up. We all make mistakes.

People are more forgiving if they can trust you and know who you truly are. It may be cheesy to say, but being yourself, and working on being your best self in an honest, open way may be an easier way to face the world and to face the dating scene. When all is said and done, dating remains a personalized experience. There is no recipe for a perfect romantic relationship. Love is about living with the other person and, most importantly, living with yourself. And that is more likely to happen when each of us is honest with ourselves and with those around us.