I’ve always been a fan of seeking advice whenever I’m doing anything important. I watch a million YouTube videos before I attempt any home repairs and I even look up stuff like ‘how to pick a ripe watermelon’ when I’m at the store. Nine times out of ten, seeking advice makes sense and it improves my life. But recently I’ve started to think the one place it could be doing more harm than good is in my love life.
I’ve always been an avid reader so, growing up, I picked up more Sex Ed through magazines than I ever did at school or through the painfully awkward conversations my parents tried to have with me. I read everything from Cosmo to Maxim and filed away all those sex tips long before I ever became sexually active.
I decided to make a list of what I had learned over the years and what I applied to my dating lifer personally. Part of me hope the exercise would convince me it wasn’t really that magazine advice but that wasn’t the case. Once I sat down and wrote out what I had picked up from these magazines over the years, it was like a blueprint on how to have a screwed up dating life.
1. Every One Could Be THE ONE
When you read relationship advice from any kind of trashy magazine it pretty much makes the assumption that the person you’re dating is likely the person you’ll marry. They’re in it for the long haul and their advice shows it. But that’s just not the case in real life. You’re more likely to be dating someone who will be a footnote in your dating history, so approaching your relationship too seriously is a surefire way to throw a wrench in the works.
2. Keep It Exciting ALL THE TIME
Since these magazines assume you’re at the start of a long term relationship, there’s a lot of emphasis on “spicing things up” or “keeping it fresh”. The more you read on improving relationships, the more it starts to sound like a recipe instead of a way to maintain a human relationship. Doing different things and going out of your way to “spice things up” may be a good idea when you’re several years into a relationship, but throwing curve balls from the get go does nothing but land you back in Singlesville quickly.
3. Label EVERYTHING
Want to know how to end a relationship in no time flat? Take a million relationship quizzes from trashy magazines. Start talking to your partner about whether or not your relationship has “healthy dialoging” or which Games of Thrones relationship I’m mirroring. Look, there’s nothing wrong with healthy communication and identifying issues before they become problems, but those quizzes will have you analyzing every word, every movement, every gesture until you’re absolutely cracking-up crazy – and probably breaking up too.
4. Have Porn Sex CONSTANTLY
There is more than one kind of sex when you’re in a relationship. There’s hot porno sex you usually have right at the beginning and there’s make-up sex, of course, and there’s also just normal sex. It’s the sex you have 99% of the time once you’re comfortable with someone. It’s the sex that is comfortable, not demanding and still really good.
There’s nothing wrong with normal sex … unless you start reading trashy magazines. Then you start feeling the pressure to have earth-shattering, squirting orgasms each and every time. Let’s face it – sometimes normal sex is what you really want and trying to bend over backwards (literally!) to maintain XXX rated sex will turn your sex life into an extension of your work life.
So what did this little experiment teach me? Well for one things, I’m done with the trashy magazine addiction. From here on out I’m taking a common sense approach to my relationships and my sex life. After all, what I need from a relationship isn’t going to be found in those glossy pages – it’s something only I can define and I think I’m finally ready.