The Bad Dating and Relationship Advice You Should Avoid

There is a lot of bad advice out there. When it comes to unhealthy dating and relationship tips, they seem to be everywhere, often disguised as “the secret formula to the perfect love life.”

There’s no magic formula when it comes to love, yet too many people buy those “secret recipes” that promise to help seduce anyone. And they’re still out there, wondering why they haven’t found their soulmate yet.

Years ago, I started dating a guy who captured my attention with his sense of humor. He was nice and funny and it was pleasant to talk to him. But on our second date, something made me lose interest in him almost instantaneously.

He started talking about a love advice blog he was following. In particular, the core message of one popular article on the website was this: “If you want to be attractive and make any woman fall for you, you should wait at least three days before calling her, after you get her number. This way, you trigger her insecurities and she starts wondering if you really like her.”

Then, after sharing that wise piece of advice, he said he was using those tips with me, as they had worked pretty well with other girls. I was shocked.

Not only was the advice unhealthy, but the funny guy I was dating was also using it incorrectly since he was revealing all the little tricks and mind games he was using in hopes of “easily hooking” me.

But I was glad he shared his “interesting and useful dating tips” with me. So I immediately understood I was not dating my exact type — and ran for the hills.

As you can imagine, after that fascinating conversation I stopped dating him.

See, with all the content available online, if you don’t learn to recognize the bad relationship advice and use your best judgment to select good and reliable information, you develop the wrong relationship mindsets and habits and you don’t even realize it. This prevents you from truly connecting with someone.

Out of all the wrong love advice out there, the worst I have ever come across with — and that I want you to avoid — can be summarized with the following.

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“Arguments mean your relationship is in trouble. Especially at the beginning.”

Many people say love is supposed to be easy and pleasant, especially at the beginning. They also say if you argue with your significant other in the early stages of the relationship, you should probably walk away.

Well, not necessarily. According to experts, conflict and arguing can be very beneficial to the health of relationships.

Also, let me tell you this: the healthiest and best relationship I’ve ever had began with a period of frequent small arguments. The fact I call that relationship “healthy” might sound weird or even crazy to you, but there’s a logic behind that.

We came from two different countries and cultures. So misunderstandings were always right around the corner. However, that didn’t mean we couldn’t get to know each other and build a stronger bond. And most importantly, it didn’t prevent us from doing so.

All our disagreements were the result of our differences. At the same time, they were an opportunity for us to get to understand each other and grow as a couple. In the end, after every argument, we were always able to communicate healthily and sort things out.

Over time, we learned to understand each other, and we built a healthy bond also through our fights, which became less and less frequent.

See, if you argue with your partner, it might simply mean you come from very different upbringings, have had different trajectories to your emotional development, or even speak different love languages. These things can easily escalate into fights.

Disagreements are inevitable and are not necessarily a red flag. What you should focus on is how you handle them and if they make you grow as a couple. The important thing when it comes to fights is to communicate healthily and see them as opportunities for improvement.

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“Act busy and they’ll be more attracted to you.”

“When she texts you, it’s a good habit to wait for at least one hour before replying. Act as a busy man, and she will find you more attractive.”

“When he asks you out, tell him you already have plans. It will turn him on!”

Yawn.

Remember the funny guy I was telling you about? Well, this type of advice goes hand in hand with the tips he was proudly sharing with me.

Now, it’s true that you don’t want to come off as desperate, so always keeping your phone in your hand and replying after two seconds is not the best option.

However, acting busy or forcing yourself to wait a few hours before answering a text doesn’t benefit anyone. See, healthy relationships aren’t built on gaining emotional power over people by making them wait.

If someone has to wait two hours to get a reply because you are busy doing what you love and forget to check your phone, then it’s completely fine. Time flies when you focus on your passions, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you wait two hours before replying to a message, and you do it on purpose to “keep someone on their toes,” you might have developed a toxic mindset, which is probably holding you back from building a meaningful relationship.

Acting busy and make someone wait on purpose is not what makes you attractive. It’s being busy doing what you love that makes you special in someone else’s eyes.

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“Be mysterious. Don’t talk. Just listen.”

I’ve often come across dating tips such as, “On a first date, you should just nod and let him talk” or “If you want to seduce her, be mysterious, ask her questions and reveal almost nothing about yourself.”

Ok, revealing everything about yourself — like your childhood trauma, your psychotic ex, or your last counseling session for example — isn’t the best idea. But you don’t want to go to the other extreme either.

Years ago a friend of mine — Laura — went on a date with a guy who just wouldn’t talk about himself nor answer her questions. If she asked him what he was passionate about, he would reply by asking her another question. She said it felt pretty weird.

Laura talked a lot about herself that night without even realizing it, but at the end of the date, she didn’t know much about this guy. She didn’t know if they had things in common or what he did in his free time.

Did she feel attracted to him after that date? Well, she described how she felt with one word: bored.

If you force yourself to be a person you are not, because you are following some “smart dating tips”, it’s going to be hard for people to see your uniqueness and appreciate you. In fact, you are hiding your real value.

When you talk about your passions and what fulfills you instead, you let your authentic and inner beauty shine through. Combine this with giving your undivided attention to your date and boom, you are letting them see the best version of yourself.

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When it comes to bad relationship advice, it’s easy to spot it. It’s all about acting as a person you’re not to control someone else’s attraction or feelings. It’s about acting instead of being.

But we always have control over the information we choose to select, how we interpret the message, and how we make use of it.

If we were all able to select the right healthy love advice and use it wisely, we would live in a much better world. Wouldn’t it be great?

Previously published on Medium.com.

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Photo credit: Erriko Boccia on Unsplash