No matter how many Her Campus articles we read on the topic of L-O-V-E, we still find ourselves giving our friends the most terrible, clichéd love advice when it comes to dating, relationships and flirting.
As much as we’d like to think that we’re romance experts who have all the answers to the universe’s most puzzling love problems, it’s time to realize we need to cut some of our favorite, go-to love “knowledge” from our dating-advice repertoire.
Next time your friend comes to you with a love-related conundrum, don’t give this terrible love advice!
When your friend goes on a first date…
Bad advice: “Don’t seem too eager! Play hard to get.”
Yes, it’s true—you shouldn’t tell your friend to start off the first-date dinner conversation by asking him how many children he wants to have, asking what his ideal color palette would be for their wedding or dropping the L-bomb, but that doesn’t mean she needs to act colder than the polar vortex.
As fun as playing the “maybe-I-like-you-maybe-I-don’t” game is, guys aren’t always the most receptive to mind tricks, and they may take her faux indifference as a simple sign that she’s just not that into him. Of course, she shouldn’t throw herself at him like an obsessed Harry Styles fangirl at a One Direction concert, so the “don’t be too eager” part holds some merit, but “playing hard to get” might just be insanely counterproductive.
Better advice: “Don’t play hard to get, play hard to forget.”
When you encourage your friend to leave behind her coy, mysterious first-date flirting techniques and showcase her wonderful personality instead, she’s bound to make a longer-lasting impression.
When her crush isn’t texting her back…
Bad advice: “If he doesn’t text you back for 20 minutes, then you have to wait 40 minutes to respond.”
It’s doesn’t matter if he fell asleep or he fell off a cliff; if it takes a guy more than 20 minutes to text your friend back, you’ll probably find yourself saying something along the lines of, “how rude of him; you better not text him back right away.” Just admit it: you’re totally guilty of this.
While we have no way to tell what a guy’s doing at every given moment in the day, we seem to always assume he has a plethora of free time to sit around and text us endless amounts of cat emojis (a girl can dream, right?), which is why we get so angry when we don’t get an instantaneous response to our ever-so-carefully crafted “What’s up?” text. There could be a million different reasons why your friend isn’t getting a text back, so there’s no need to make her overthink her empty inbox.
Plus, if she’s countering his hour-long response time with a two-hour-long response time of her own, their conversation is going to be far from productive or worthwhile.
Better advice: “Don’t stress about it. If he really likes you, he’ll text you back eventually!”
If the guy is actually into your friend, he will text her back sooner or later. Before you jump the gun and assume that he’s totally blowing her off or take his longer-than-normal texting-response time as a sign of indifference, give him the benefit of the doubt and make sure your friend does, too. You may also want to check and make sure she didn’t commit one of these serious texting faux pas…
If she’s not sure he likes her…
Bad advice: “Of course he likes you, who wouldn’t? Just go for it!”
We think our friends are the greatest things since the invention of at-home Panini makers, so we automatically assume that everyone we know finds them just as fabulous as we do. That’s why when they ask if we think a dude is into them, our automatic response is, “Duh, who wouldn’t be?”
The problem with this is that we may be giving them false hope for a guy who’s just never going to come to the realization that your BFF is the greatest person on the planet (aside from Beyoncé). Before jumping to conclusions and assuming that your friend’s crush is just as head-over-heels-obsessed with her as she is with him, it may be in her best interests for you to get the facts straight before you send her out into the world to capture the heart of her possible admirer with that giant ego boost.
Better advice: “Get the scoop from his friends. If he likes you, I’m sure he’s told them by now!”
No one knows a guy’s secret crushes better than his best friends, so they’re definitely the people you should go to when you want the inside scoop. Plus, his guy friends will want to help their buddy get the girl if he likes her, so if you approach them, they’ll definitely be willing to assist you in a little game of matchmaker if he’s really interested!
When her boyfriend makes her mad…
Bad advice: “Post that picture; it will totally make him jealous!”
When your friend’s boyfriend does something to upset her, it’s hard not to give her that extra nudge she needs to do something that will provoke a little jealousy out of her Prince Less Than Charming. That’s why when she’s elbow-deep in a pint of ice cream and debating posting an obvious subtweet about her anger-provoking boyfriend or a picture of her and a guy friend that will definitely make him jealous, you may be inclined to egg her on and give her the go-ahead.
While it may seem like a good idea at the time, creating social media drama is only going to cause more problems for your friend in the long run. It’s probably best for her to ride out the storm and take a little time to breathe without starting a heated game of “he-tweeted, she-tweeted” that will only end in a series of passive-aggressive hashtags.
Better advice: “Don’t do anything you’ll regret! Wait until you’ve cooled off a bit before you and your boyfriend talk it out.”
Be the bigger person and encourage your friend to lay low for the time being. Posting a totally jealousy-inducing Instagram may be satisfying to her in the moment, but you’ll be the one dealing with your emotional friend when her boyfriend sees it and it turns into an even messier blowout. It’s best for everyone involved to calm down and have a mature, civil conversation.
When she asks for flirting tips…
Bad Advice: “Boys like it when you’re ___.”
Fill in the blank with whatever adjective you use most often to help your friend attract that dreamy guy at the party: confident, forward, reserved, funny, coy, shy, outgoing—the list is endless!
The worst part about this advice is that not all guys are looking for the exact same girl, and no girl should ever change herself to attract a specific guy. As cheesy and clichéd as it may sound, the best way to attract the right guy is to just be yourself, so telling your friend to act like something she’s not isn’t going to do her any favors!
If your friend wants a guy to like her for who she really is, then you’ve got to let her flaunt what she’s got.
Better advice: “Just be yourself and the right guy will come along eventually.”
Being herself will definitely help your friend attract the right guy. You may have to help her through a few tearful rejections, but it will be worth it in the end when she finally finds the Ashton Kutcher to her Mila Kunis!
As much as we love being the supportive friend whom everyone goes to for love advice, we seriously need to update our list of helpful how-tos. We’ve all been caught doling out some terrible love advice at one point or another, but it’s time to put those love clichés to rest!