Everyone is an expert on relationships and dating. Whether they’re single (by choice or otherwise), in a relationship (happy or otherwise) or dating just like you, everyone is an expert.
Here is a list of some of the advice, reflections (by no means exhaustive) that people share with me on a regular basis:
- If you are looking for a relationship you won’t find one.
- Put yourself out there.
- Don’t hook up.
- If you sleep with them too soon they will lose interest.
- Don’t go on too many dates.
- We met once overseas and were long distance for two years. He’s the love of my life.
- Make sure you don’t appear desperate.
- You cannot be looking for love, once you stop looking it will just come. It’s so easy.
- There are plenty of others out there.
- We started off a fuck buddies and now we’re married.
- I told him we were just friends and after a year I realised he was what I was looking for.
- Long distance never works.
- I rushed in because he seemed like the right choice and ticked all the boxes but that wasn’t it. He wasn’t what I needed.
- Hooking up is fine.
- I had zero interest in going on a date with this person at first. But after a few times hanging out I realised there was something special.
- Don’t use dating apps, meeting people from real life is always better.
- If you’re not feeling it on the first date, don’t bother going on a second one.
- Fuck men!
- Why do you want a relationship for?
- I would never go out with someone who approached me in person. So weird.
- Not everyone finds someone.
- No one person will tick all your boxes, compromise is important.
- Love isn’t enough.
- If they’ve been single for too long, it’s a red flag.
- I will never do a relationship again.
- Maybe I can find someone for you.
- But you’re happy by yourself. You don’t need anyone.
- You’re too independent, guys won’t feel like you need them.
- Monogamy is a lie.
- Half of the people in relationships are miserable and only stay in them because they can’t stand being alone.
- You need to learn to ne happy on your own before you will find someone.
- Smile more.
- Stop putting up walls.
- You need to look more approachable.
- We fell in love when he was still married.
- Don’t just tell someone you’re interested in them, they’ll freak out.
- Maybe you still have feelings for your ex?
- It just kind of happened. We did nothing ‘right’, there are no rules.
- People who say they are only looking for a serious relationship are often the least ready for one.
- Never go for someone who is in a relationship or married.
- He was a drunken hookup, we have been together since.
- No one is too busy, you’re just not a priority.
- If they cancel without rescheduling, move along.
- Give them a chance. You never know what they’re going through.
- You aren’t going to find someone with that attitude.
Everyone is right and wrong at the same time. Reflections on one’s own experience can be helpful, even comforting.
Most advice comes in the form of regurgitated, broad brush statements which are generally terrible and unwarranted.
Is there a right way or a wrong way? Probably not.
Every one of the above statements would be accurate in some way. They would be true to the person making them but potentially irrelevant to anyone else.
Why am I writing this? It’s so common sense is it not? Well, for me it is cathartic and it helps clear the noise in my head.
You date and have all kinds of bizarre and disappointing encounters and eventually you begin to question yourself. You begin to wonder if you are the problem. So you put everything out in front of you and you realise, no – it’s not me. I may not be perfect but I’m doing my best and I’m learning each time.