Let’s face it: Anyone can give dating advice — they often do! Bad advice can be repeated without thought because it’s been around for so long. Sometimes people give bad advice because they don’t know it’s bad advice, or because the bad advice worked for them and they are genuinely trying to be helpful. And sometimes, bad advice sounds good in theory, but it falls apart when you try to put it into practice.
Here are the top three pieces of terrible dating advice that you need to stop following right now.
You will find love when you stop looking for it.
There are countless stories about people who have completely given up on the quest for love, only to find that they meet the perfect person after they stopped searching. This is a lovely story, but the fact of the matter is that the people who have experienced this found love in spite of quitting. They key to finding love is not, in fact, giving up on it.
When you find Mr. Right, you’ll just know.
This is a fallacy, and a dangerous one at that. Having that butterfly feeling of new love is wonderful, but seeking it out might be keeping you from understanding a deeper, more real type of love. Just knowing that you’ve found the right guy is a fantasy — a beautiful one, but a fantasy all the same. And if you are with someone for a few weeks and you don’t feel that feeling, you may duck out of what will turn out to be the perfect relationship for you simply because it doesn’t fit into your preconceived notion about falling in love.
Don’t reach out to someone you’re interested in.
In the world of online dating — which is how many couples get their start these days — some bad advice has been circulating about who should initiate contact. There is some long-standing dating advice that says a woman should not pursue a man, but it’s bogus: A man cannot pursue someone he doesn’t know exists. Don’t be afraid to reach out to him and make him aware of your interest. Make a joke about something in his profile, point out something you have in common, ask him a question about something in one of his photos. Whatever it is, don’t hesitate.
There’s a lot of bad dating advice out there, and it’s very easily confused with good dating advice. Whatever you do, don’t take any of the advice listed above if you are in an earnest quest to find love in a long-term, fulfilling relationship.