I've read three dating advice books in my entire life:
He's Just Not That Into You -- which after I read it, made me think no guy I dated was actually, 100 percent, into me.
Why Men Love Bitches -- which also, made me feel as though any guy I dated after was not really into me.
And, Patti Stanger's book, which the only advice I actually remember from it had to do with her saying that guys don't want to date girls who air their relationship stories out to the world. So, as a dating blogger and author of the e-Book, All My Friends Are Engaged, it looks like I'm doomed. Thanks, Patti.
So, do me a favor. Will you? Take your stack of worn-out, tear-stained, dating advice books and throw them out. Toss them in the recycling bin, use them as coasters on your living room table, glue them on top of each other and make them into a sturdy step stool. Just don't read them anymore, okay?
All they'll do is twist your thoughts, your judgments and your actions around like a tangled computer chord, leaving you acting like some kind of robotic monster who says and does things completely out of character.
Remember, only, these tips:
1. If you want to meet new people (potential dates) you need to actually try. Stop letting your couch cushions and your Netflix account and your Saturday girl's nights (where you ONLY dance and talk to each other) keep on inhibiting you from meeting people. Go to a meet-up event. Start shaking hands with strangers. Set up an online account on a website you're open to giving a try. Just start by stopping to look down at your phone all the time while you're out in public and say hello more.
2. If it's not passionate, I-can't-stop-thinking-about-you kind of love, what's the point? Too many things in life are just mundane and blasé, love shouldn't be. The person who latches onto your heart should make you feel extraordinary. There's absolutely no point in settling down just to settle.
3. Write down a list of things you love in this world and a list of things that bother you. Start to understand who you are a bit more and then, after it's spelled out on paper, begin to love yourself in such an unconditional way. Own up to the quirks and habits and hobbies that make you, you. That way, when someone enters your life, you'll be able to dazzle them with confidence.
4. Find an example. Your parents. Friends of yours. The 96-year-old couple in matching burgundy sweaters splitting French toast at the diner across the street, looking at each other like they just met for the first time. Find comfort in knowing that that crazy little thing called love does, in fact, exist.
5. If it doesn't feel right, it's not. Don't ignore the red flags that wave frantically at you, like a teenager trying to catch the attention of a member of One Direction, on dates 1-3.
6. Never say you're too busy for love. Because you're not. It's an excuse. It's one of those things we tell ourselves because we desperately want to believe it. If you want something bad enough, you'll somehow find the time to do it, to have it, to hold onto it.
7. Treat love like you do books. When it gets boring, or too complicated, put it down. Skip to the end.
8. If by date #4, you're questioning your interest in a person, call it quits. Don't waste time letting something drag on that's not meant to be -- likewise, don't force something that's not meant to be.
9. Don't hold back. Talk about whatever you want. Order your favorite dish of chicken parm and eat it on a first date. If you put on a costume and adopt someone else's personality, you're just delaying the inevitable: the person getting to know the real you. If you're not sure who the real you is, that's okay, please refer back to #3.
10. Do only what feels right. If you want to text the person after the date to say thank you for the nice night out, or after the third date give them a smooch goodbye, do it. The worst part of doing a case study on shredded love is having your memories corrupted by all the things you wish you did.
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Note: The recipient of this message isn't a mom and is in her 20s.
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