15 Different 20-Somethings Reveal The One Piece Of Love Advice They Wish They’d Totally Ignored

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nenorenberg

1.

“I wish I hadn’t listened to my best friend when he told me to keep chasing after my ex because we were ‘definitely supposed to be together.’ I always thought that my ex was pushing me away because she was scared to really open up, or because she needed a break, but that we would get back together in the future. I was wrong. She just plainly didn’t want to get back together, and I could’ve saved myself a lot of time and pain by not listening to my friend.”

— Matthew, 26

2.

“I think ‘don’t date someone you work with’ is advice that I wish I had ignored. Honestly, I’ve had some co-workers I really liked in the last few years, and I’ve always been very hesitant to approach them because I wanted to keep it professional. It’s especially hard as a woman — I was adhering to that rule because I wanted to be taken seriously, and never allowed myself to be tempted. But it seems silly, and I feel like a man would not have been nearly as conscious of any of that.”

— Rachel, 25

3.

“I wish I had ignored everyone who told me it wasn’t okay to talk about money with my S.O. I can’t believe people still think like that — how can we be that uptight? My mom used to tell me not to be too forthcoming about my finances, which is fair, I guess, but if I’m getting serious with someone, I think they really need to know that I have loans, and I have a plan to pay them off. Similarly, I have a right to know if they have credit card debt, or what their relationship to money is.”

— Tera, 24

4.

“I wish I’d ignored all my girlfriends at happy hour who would be like, ‘OMG! play hard to get!’ Like, that’s bullshit. If I like someone, I’m just going to say so. And then if they don’t like me back, at least I’ll know sooner rather than later, and won’t waste my time pining for them. Being elusive and hard to get isn’t something I have time for in my late 20s.”

— Mariana, 29

5.

“I wish I’d ignored the advice ‘don’t go to bed angry’ — sometimes you really do need to start fresh on an argument the next day, even if it means going to bed angry. Not everything can be solved before bed. Especially if you’re in an ongoing fight, sometimes you need to just take a breather and rest, before things get better.”

— Simon, 27

6.

“I wish I’d ignored any notion of love, proposals, or first dates, that I got from romantic comedies. Like, you don’t meet someone because you spill pennies at the exact same time they’re bending over to help a small child out of the road. A proposal doesn’t have to include 800 roses and a string quartet. And first dates aren’t always perfectly scripted.”

— Catherine, 23

7.

“I went to Catholic school, but my parents always told me not to take the extreme religious teachings too seriously. I should have listened, but ended up getting really influenced by all the crazy stuff they told me about love in Catholic high school. Going to college, I was so freaked out about love, and what people’s ‘true intentions’ were and I was really scared of sleeping with anyone — even people I really cared about — or doing anything physical, even things I really wanted to do. I just feel like the education really messed with me and made me feel guilty about things I shouldn’t have berated myself for.”

— Theresa, 25

8.

“My ex once told me that despite all of the problems we had, and despite the fact that we wanted completely different things, we were going to last. That was advice I should NOT have taken. He pushed to stay with me, and I really believe him. I should’ve ignored him, but he made me so convinced that we would find a way to make it work. But we couldn’t, and it took us six years to get out of that relationship.”

— Mary, 28

9.

“‘Don’t sleep with someone on the first date.’ I got that advice, and I wish I’d started ignoring it sooner. I now feel strongly about being able to sleep with people whenever I want. Sex is important to me in a relationship — how will I know if I want to be in a relationship with them if we’re not compatible in bed?”

— Kayla, 24

10.

“I love my girlfriends, and I know they are just trying to be nice and supportive when they’re like, ‘girl, of course he likes you! he hasn’t called in two weeks because he’s been sooooo busy.’ I appreciate that they’re trying to build me up, but I wish I had been more realistic and just realized when someone wasn’t into me, instead of taking my friends pitying advice at face value. Not everyone is made for each other, and while ghosting is shitty, it’s okay for things to fizzle out. That’s the only way new things can start.”

— Sanjana, 23

11.

“Definitely ignore the ‘wait three days before calling or texting’ rule. That is bullshit. My now-wife and I went on our first date when we were in college, and I texted her 15 minutes after I dropped her off asking if we could go out again. She had felt the same spark I had, and said yes. We’ve been married for four years.”

— Samuel, 29

12.

“Ignore the friend who tells you that you need a wing man/woman to score. Honestly, the only person’s instincts you can rely on are yours. While I think it’s nice to have friends around when you’re trying to meet people, sometimes it’s easier if you’re on your own because you can get to know someone one-on-one.”

— Eric, 26

13.

“I was taught that the guy should always, always pay for the first three dates, no matter what financial position each of you are in. I should have ignored that from day one, but it only recently occurred to me within the last couple years. Right now, I have a steady job, but my boyfriend is still in college (he’s a senior). I pay for more things because I can. Maybe when he graduates, we’ll split things or he’ll even pay for more, but it shouldn’t just be because he’s the man.”

— Laura, 22

14.

“I 100% should have ignored the people who encouraged me to stay in my relationship because it was ‘comfortable.’ That’s never, ever advice you should take.”

— Jamie, 25

15.

“I wish I had ignored anyone who advised me to meet someone in college, or in my early 20s. You could tell so many people were shocked that I was a 20-something that wasn’t especially interested in meeting the love of her life. Ignore anyone who says you need to ‘get out there and start dating,’ if you don’t actually want to. You need to start dating when you want to, not when someone else says to. That’s the only way you’ll be truly open to people.”

— Cara, 27 TC mark

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