Friends, family, celebrity autobiographies, movies – everyone loves to give us the same advice when it comes to love.
And there are some dating clichés that, no matter how many times they’re proven wrong, just won’t die.
Some of these pieces of dating advice are said with good intentions – like when your best friend tries to console you over a break up – but others are destructive beliefs that people pass on simply because they’ve had their own bad experiences and are trying to pass them off as universal laws of relationships.
So, to prevent you ever falling for one of these useless phrases again, I’m going to reveal the top 9 pieces of relationship advice you must ignore at all costs:
1. “You’ll just meet him when the time is right”
Perhaps the most repeated mantra of them all. Sometimes this is said purely out of an attempt to comfort, but more often than not it’s a lazy way of your best friend saying, “Well, I met someone. So I guess you will eventually too.”
Well, what if that person got lucky? Or what if they had to meet 100 guys before they met the right one?
Fate is very unlikely to throw a great guy in your lap.
If we want someone amazing, we may have to meet a ton of people and learn what we like and dislike before we see that person who blows us away. That’s normal. It takes work to find the gold in dating (as in every part of life!).
Most people in life spend too much time waiting for opportunities, instead of creating them. Don’t be one of them.
2. “If he liked you, he’d come over and talk to you”
I don’t know who started this piece of classic dating advice, but it’s one of the great fallacies about men that is fed to every young women.
Truthfully, most guys find it harder to approach the women they really like, which is why you need to take steps to give him permission to speak to you, through doing things like getting proximity, making eye contact, or even asking for a quick favor so that he knows you’re happy to talk.
Give him an opening, and then let him pursue you.
3. “The sex will eventually fade”
Sadly, this warning is given as if it’s a timeless truth, and it becomes every couples way of justifying why they no longer make an effort in the bedroom.
I don’t have time in this article to go into all the way to keep sex alive in your relationship, but I will say that it requires paying attention to other’s needs, the ability to be open-minded, and be able to create anticipation so that you keep up the desire for your partner.
Bottom line: Sex isn’t always going to be the same throughout the relationship, but there’s no rule that says it has to disappear and become stale once you’re seriously committed. Keeping each other sexually satisfied takes work, but it’s worth the investment if you really care about your partner.
4. “Wait three dates until you have sex”
This is an “old-school” rule that has somehow become common knowledge as a solid piece of dating advice.
The reason why this remains so popular is because it’s meant to be giving the advice to not be desperate, and it’s no bad thing to make a guy wait a while before you get physically intimate.
But is there actually some real reason why it kills your chances with a guy to sleep with him before the 3rd date?
Of course not.
Many wonderful relationships have begun from couples that had sex within 6 hours of meeting, whilst others have sprung from couple who waited 6 months.
When it comes to intimacy the only rule should be: Do it when you feel good about doing it.
If, for example, you only want to have sex with a guy when you know it’s going to lead somewhere serious, then wait as long as it takes for you to know what he’s looking for in terms of a relationship before getting intimate.
Don’t follow someone else’s ridiculous pre-prescribed notion about sex. There’s no universal law where this is concerned.
5. “Stop being so picky”
Ah, the old mantra to lower your standards and stop aiming so high.
While it’s true that there are people with ridiculous standards for a partner that involve a checklist of things that don’t really matter (e.g. some ridiculous height, a huge bank balance, perfect skin with no wrinkles) or that are ridiculously demanding (e.g. always being super-positive, never having difficult moments), there’s nothing wrong with having high standards about the things that matter.
Whether it’s kindness, sexual excitement, or loyalty – these are areas where it is usually a huge mistake to settle, and where being picky totally pays off when you’re with a partner that makes you truly happy because they share your values.
So yes, do be extremely picky. This is a potential life partner you’re choosing after all, not a college roommate!
6. “Play hard-to-get”
“Hey, why don’t you pretend like you’re barely interested in this guy and are completely indifferent to his charms. Then he’ll come running!”
Hard-to-get never goes away.
And the women who embrace it end up in a world of game-playing, manipulation, and end up attracting only the most persistent, low self-esteem guys who can be bothered to keep chasing in the face of rejection.
Hard-to-get is popular because it works on faking having value, instead of just being a woman of high value (i.e. a woman with an exciting life, great friends, and a strong sense of who she is).
Ditch this stale advice and spend the energy on actually attracting a man who’s worth your time, instead of one who wants to mess you around with games.
7. “When it’s right, it will be easy”
The first three words of my book (Get The Guy) are simply: “Love is hard.”
I wrote that five years ago and nothing I’ve experienced since has convinced me otherwise. Thankfully, love is also totally worth it.
The problem is, people think that having the right person will suddenly solve all of their biggest problems. Or they believe that because they’re in a great relationship, that they won’t have days where their partner infuriates them, or when they feel jealous, or when they have to make difficult decisions about whose family to spend the holidays with.
Part of the beauty and challenge of relationships is the work it takes to truly share your life with another person.
Yes, it will be amazing, but if we expect it to be perfect and easy we are setting ourselves up for a major disappointment later on.
Be ready for love, but be ready to also keep growing and learning hard lessons about yourself. It’s all part of the fun.
8. “If he can’t accept you at your worst, he doesn’t deserve your best”
This quote gets trotted out all the time, as if it’s profound relationship wisdom.
But what if our worst is an unbearable nightmare of neediness, jealousy, and cruel behavior? What if we’re at our worst 80% of the time, and our best only 10% of the time?
The fact is, how we are at our worst does matter.
We should always be working to improve our weakest links, and often it’s people’s worst characteristics that can hold them back for years in love because they’re so hard to deal with.
I’m not preaching against self-acceptance, but nor am I saying we should let ourselves off the hook from self-criticism. It’s much better to be with someone who says, “these are my worst aspects, and I’m not proud of them, but I’m working to get better at dealing with them”.
9. “As long as there is love, that’s all that matters”
How I wish this one were true.
But unfortunately, we can be madly in love with someone who makes us completely miserable, damages our self-esteem, isolates us from our friends and family, or all kind of other destructive behaviors that make it better for our happiness to leave in spite of whatever passion we have for that person.
We can care about someone with all our heart, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore all the rest.
The fact is, we can fall in love with many people in this world – and some of them are much more likely to make our time on this earth happier, healthier, and more fulfilling than others.
Follow your heart, but don’t forget to take your brain with you and know when it’s time to leave!