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Sex + Relationships

I Took Dating Advice From My Teenage Brother & Here’s What Happened

If you know me, you know I’m single. It’s just part of who I am. In fact, the other day at my cousin’s wedding, one of my relatives asked if there’s “anyone special” in my life. Before I could even answer, another relative chimed in and said, “Oh, you know Hannah. She’s dating her books.”

I couldn’t even bring myself to be offended by that because it’s so incredibly true. I realized, maybe I should put myself out there a little bit. Try dating, just to see if anything happens. So, naturally, I turned to my 15-year-old brother for advice.

Now, if you know me, you know my brother’s the last person to whom I would usually turn for dating advice. Actually, if you know me, this is the point where you’re probably saying, “Wait, she has a brother?” Yes, I have a brother. His name is Sam and he’s a sophomore in high school and you haven’t heard of him because he’s always either working out for soccer or doing recreational math, so he doesn’t have much time for me. Rumor has it he’s pretty suave with the ladies, though. (Okay, I 100% made that up.) Regardless, he was thrilled to be my love doctor, as is evidenced by this text message:

Step 1: Meeting someone

In order to fall in love with someone, you have to find someone to fall in love with. I go to a school with almost 50,000 students. It should be easy enough to find someone, right?

Sam’s suggestion: “Comment on Michigan’s page on ESPN that you’re looking for a date.”

I was not thrilled about this idea, because ESPN requires you to use your Facebook when commenting, meaning everyone who checked the page would see not only my comment, but also my first name, last name, and profile picture. But, what can I say, I guess I’m a fool for love.

Sam told me to add some personal characteristics, so I replied to my comment, “I’m a mediocre height, usually wear my hair in a bun, vegan.” Unfortunately, even this didn’t do the trick. Nobody replied to my comment to ask me out. Nobody even liked it. And we ended up losing to Penn State. Absolute heartbreaker, all around.

Step 2: Learn to play 2K

Obviously, the second step in every relationship (after meeting the boy) is playing 2K with them. If you didn’t know that, then that’s probably the cause of all your relationship problems. Sam made it clear: “Learn how to play 2K and FIFA and throw around a few names and act like you know what you’re talking about. Never call it NBA 2K. That’s weird. It’s just 2K.”

I took this deep advice to heart, and decided to call upon my closest friends for help. “I need someone to teach me how to play 2K for an article,” I said in our Snapchat group chat. I should have known better. The trash talking ensued immediately. Who’s the best at 2K? Who’s the most worthy of teaching me?

The trash talking continued for what felt like days, and nobody ever did teach me how to play 2K. Thanks, boys. You’re the reason I’m single.

Step 3: Go on a date

Because of the failure of the first two steps, when Sam gave me advice for an actual date, I didn’t have anyone who I could actually treat to a date night. Luckily, though, I have four wonderful roommates. So, naturally, I texted my roomie group message and I asked if anyone wanted to eat a romantic candlelight dinner with me. Lili hit me with the “I think you’re a nice girl but I’m really not looking for anything right now.” Allison just said, “Please don’t light all the candles because with the number of candles we have, that will look more like a cult ritual than a romantic dinner.” But Isabella and Shannon were in. I had my dates. I quickly had Sam text me all the details of what I needed for an A+ date night.

Food: On my way home Monday night (date night!), I stopped to pick up our food. Unfortunately, upon looking at my bank account balance, I realized that pizza would not be an option (note to self: can I even afford a relationship??). I did, however, like his suggestion of chips and guac. I even made a stop at Chipotle to pick them up.

The reactions to the chips and guac were okay:

Isabella: I really like these appetizers.
Me: Those aren’t appetizers. Those are the meal.
Shannon: Hannah, you need to remember that you’re trying to wow two girls who just got out of very serious relationships.
Isabella: And, honestly, it’s working.

Sam also said to put some fruit on the table, but we didn’t have any fruit, so I poured them some mango fruit punch. This was an absolute hit until they realized it wasn’t white wine (at which point they asked, “Wait, we’re drinking chasers?”).

Music: I stuck with Justin Bieber’s Christmas music. This was definitely a solid choice, and I really impressed them with my ability to rap every line of the Busta Rhymes part from “Drummer Boy.” 10/10 will remember to do that next time I’m on a date (IF and ONLY IF I’m okay with the guy falling in love with me on the spot).

Conversation: Sam gave me a list of questions to ask so that I would seem cool but also get to learn a lot about who my dates are as people.

Me: Who’s gonna make it to the NBA finals?
Shannon: Wait...that’s basketball, right?
Me: Yes.
Shannon: Okay, just wanted to make sure it wasn’t baseball. What’s baseball again? PGA?
Me: No, PGA’s golf. Baseball is the MLB.
Isabella: Modern Languages Building?
Shannon: No, baseball.
Isabella: Oh, well, anyway, the winner at basketball is gonna be LeBron James.

Clearly this conversation starter wasn’t the smartest move on Sam’s part. But then again, if I were dating a guy, maybe it would have worked out a little better. Maybe he had assumed I wasn’t going to be dating my roomies.

Me: Is Jordan the GOAT?
Isabella: Jordan who?
Shannon: Yeah, is he that quarterback you told me about?
Me: No, Michael Jordan.
Shannon: Oh. No, Michael Jordan’s not the GOAT. Michael Phelps is.

0 for 2 on the questions, Sam. Luckily, third time’s the charm.

“Is Drake better than Kanye?” I asked. This one stirred some real conversation. Shannon said that you have to respect Kanye because he’s built such an empire, but Isabella argued that Drake is more talented. The conversation continued for some time. Make a note of that one. Drake versus Kanye is a solid conversation starter.

Overall, here is my summary of taking dating advice from my brother: I am still single and I still don’t know how to play 2K. To any of my ladies out there who are looking for that ~special someone~ I highly recommend that you do not consult your 15-year-older brother. Might I suggest Bumble? You’ll thank me later.

Hannah is an editorial intern for Her Campus and the editor of the High School section as well as a chapter writer for the University of Michigan. Achievements include being voted "Biggest Belieber" (2010) and "Most Likely to Have a Child Born Addicted to Starbucks" (2016), as well as taking a selfie with the back of Jim Harbaugh's head.  Goals for the future include taking a selfie with the front of Jim Harbaugh's head.  She's also an obsessive Instagrammer, so hit her with a follow @hannah.harshe
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