1. 95% of the time, they didn’t lose their phone. They didn’t drop in the toilet or the bathtub. It wasn’t shut off. They just didn’t want to text you. If not, why aren’t they Facebooking or tweeting you right now?
2. If you’re looking at someone’s online dating profile and there are multiple people in their photo and you say, “Who is that guy? He’s hot!”, the person will never be that guy. He will always be the person standing next to that guy.
3. No one’s ever “too busy” to hang out with you. Lots of busy people still date. Taylor Swift makes time for a new boyfriend every other day.
4. Everyone is allowed to make the first move. We put so much emphasis on seeming detached and unavailable until the last possible moment, worried we might scare them off by actually seeming interested. What if, heaven forbid, we showed them how much we like them? It’s a revolutionary thought, I know.
5. If they’re talking about their ex all the time, they are not over their ex. Did they just break up with someone? Then they are most likely not ready to date, even if they say they are. If they are actually ready, they are a serial monogamist. Don’t go to there.
6. You don’t have to rush into anything. It’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t call you his girlfriend right away. Neither of you are stricken with the bubonic plague. There’s no bomb in your chest that will go off if he doesn’t say, “I love you” in X amount of months. Slow and steady is just fine.
7. If the person you’re dating is dating you as a project or dating you to change you, they are not interested in you. They’re interested in an idea of you. For instance, an article from a couple years ago advised men on how to “subtly” tell their girlfriend she’s getting fat. If your partner subtly tells you to lose weight, subtly tell them they are single.
8. How quickly they text you back says nothing about how they feel about you, unless it’s legitimately a long time. If it takes a week, that’s a problem. But there’s no difference between 26 and 27 minutes. One less minute doesn’t mean true love.
9. Every guy isn’t going to be “the one” — and maybe no guy will. We need to stop asking every person we date to fulfill this singular role. Why not look for “the one who is good right now?” If that person ends up being “the one who sticks around,” great.
10. Your parents are not responsible for your dating life. We’re all fucked up, but we need to stop letting that be an excuse. If you don’t want to get married, don’t get married for your own reasons — not because of other peoples’. Your parents’ marriage says nothing about how yours will turn out.
11. Sex with another person always means something — whether you are dating casually, non-exclusively or are married. You are inside someone. How is that not a big deal? Even if the two of you are open, sex is an inherently meaningful act. Treating it like its nothing is just an indication of how you’re treating your partner — like it’s nothing. No matter your status, be honest and respectful of the other person’s feelings.
12. Their looks don’t correlate with anything else. Hot guys can be jerks, who clueless dorks who live in a bubble of their good looks. However, they can be well-adjusted people, especially if they don’t know they are hot. This, my friends, is what we call a unicorn. Hold onto that horn and never let go.
13. Did they break up with you because they “don’t want to date?” They just don’t want to date you.
14. Do all of your friends hate them? Does your mom hate them? Do people who don’t even know you hate them? Behold the red flag.
15. You’re not going to trick someone into liking you or wear them down. Pining for someone or helplessly waiting around for your mate to get interested in you never got anyone the girl. If you’ve been put in the friendzone, you need to recognize that and move on. It sucks, but the sooner you deal with the suckage, the sooner you can start getting jiggy with someone else. Even DJ Jazzy Jeff found a life after Will Smith.
16. Being nice doesn’t get you anything. There’s this weird idea that if we just put our head down and be “the good guy,” we get rewarded with Shooky-Shooky Time. However, you’re never entitled to anything. The only thing the object of your affection owes you is honesty. If you think that acting a certain way means they have to have sex with you, you’re honestly an asshole.
17. The other sex isn’t as complicated as you think. Almost all problems in this area stem from our lack of communication, our inability to just be honest or let the other person know when we feel like we’re not on the same page. People are pretty simple. You’d find out if you just asked.
18. Potential mates don’t care about your Gucci bag. Designer brands might give you personal confidence, but if we’re talking guys, trust me: they don’t care. They just want you to feel sexy and beautiful, whatever you are wearing. I personally have a thing for girls in boy shorts. I can’t help it. It’s sexy.
19. They won’t fix what your ex did to you. Don’t ask them to. You will bring your emotional baggage into the relationship, but they should not be the one unpacking all of it.
20. Also, your exes weren’t evil, and everything wasn’t their fault. They were good people (for the most part) who just weren’t right for you, just like you weren’t right for them. Taking responsibility for your share of the past will help you take responsibility for the future.
21. You don’t control your dating life. The saying goes that all women have the love life they want. I’m sorry, but that’s bullshit. I know a lot of people who are fucking miserable, and they didn’t ask for that. They just don’t know how to ask for more. We’re lost, and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Do we just become a spinster? Do we go the mail-order bride route and just sell ourselves into a life of quiet matrimonial slavery?
No, you just get comfortable with the fact that you can’t control everything. You don’t have a crystal ball that tells you if he’s the one — or even if he’ll call you tomorrow. (You can always call him!) The only thing you can do find out for yourself, trusting in your ability to believe this one will be different. That’s the beauty and terror of dating: there’s no map and few certainties. You have to learn to go your own way. Embrace the journey.