The 12 Worst Dating Tips We've Been Told

'Play hard to get so the guy will want you more and respect and value you more.' NOPE.
PHOTO: Nick Onken

Even if people who give us dating advice mean well, sometimes their words just don’t help us deal with this guy we really, really like. Sometimes, their advice is confusing, illogical, and fallacious—or they just give bullshit dating rules that complicate things. Below are such kinds—sorry, tita!

1. “Play hard to get so the guy will want you more and respect and value you more.”

Women who are “easy” were (and are still a bit) frowned upon in our society. When they say “easy,” people mean women who are frank or honest, who won’t hide their feelings, and yes, even flirt with the guy they like. So what if they do? The problem with that kind of advice (and thinking) is that 1) it makes you earn respect when it should be freely given; 2) it makes you untrue to your feelings, desires, and wishes; 3) it puts down other women who don’t do that; 4) it somehow makes a plaything of the guy you care about when you ignore him sometimes, when you’re hot and cold—it’s not called “PLAYING hard to get” for nothing.

The logic behind this is the adage “Easy come, easy go.” If the guy didn’t work hard to get you, he wouldn’t care much if he lost you, which means he doesn’t really love or care about you. But that saying or advice doesn’t apply in all cases. We still love with all our hearts the people we didn’t even work for, like our best friends! How is a potential boyfriend different? His fondness and love for you depends on him—if he makes them grow deeper by spending more time with you and letting you into his life. It’s not for you to control, just like a guy can’t just make you like him when you don’t want to let him in.

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If you want to be more scientific about how this piece of advice is likely to affect your love life, you’ll be happy to know there’s actually research on it, published in 2014 in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. Researchers found that playing hard to get does increase someone else’s desire to pursue you—not necessarily you as a person. More to the point: Playing hard to get also decreases someone else’s liking for you, especially when he’s not yet committed to you. (The style only works when the guy likes and is invested in you.)

2. “Guys like girls who _______.”

Some men want us smart and frank, some want us passive and gentle. Some want us pretty, some want us cute. Some are attracted to skinny girls, some are attracted to curvy girls. The truth is that different guys are attracted to different kinds of girls, just like different girls are attracted to different kinds of guys. Hence at least one person somewhere in the world would like you just as you are. You don’t have to box yourself to be liked. And who says people can’t make exceptions when the heart speaks?

3. “Ask your crush’s best friend/barkada to know if your crush likes you back.”

As tempting as this may sound to some people, this isn’t entirely wise. Even if your crush trusts his best friend and his kabarkada with his secrets, people have the tendency to twist words whether they intend to or not. The best way for you to know if your crush likes you back is through him alone: Has he asked you out on a date? Did you ask him out on a date and he said yes? Has he held your hand? That’s when you know.

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4. “The guy has to be doing everything in the relationship to prove his love for you.”

A relationship works when the parties give and receive. One can’t just keep giving and the other can’t just keep taking and demanding—that sounds abusive! Your love for him should compel you to express it too, pride aside.

And when it comes to proof, what do you need to believe that he loves you? If he’s trustworthy yet you can’t trust his words and actions that tell you he loves you, how will your relationship go deeper, and how will your love grow?

5. “Only date someone with the same hobbies/interests/field as you. That’ll make your relationship last.”

Any person who’s dated and broken up with someone in the same field is probably laughing at this advice. Breakups happen for a bunch of reasons, some of which include: being cheated on, the partner turning into an abusive asshole, the partner having no time for you at all, or you falling for someone else. Someone who has the same interests and hobbies as you can break your heart in the ways just listed.

What makes a relationship last? A lot of love, a lot of patience, a lot of understanding, a lot of time connecting with each other. Similar, if not the same, values and principles.

6. “The guy has to pay for all the dates.”

We now live in a time when women work and earn money, so it’s not fair of you to demand that a guy pay for all the dates!


7. “Don’t have sex in the first three dates or else it will never be serious.”

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Serious relationships can start from more playful set-ups like friends with benefits. If a guy truly likes you or has even fallen for you, sex on the first three dates shouldn’t change his feelings for you or make him treat you any less seriously. It might be hard to say early on how invested he is in you, so if you want to keep your legs closed, feel free to do so.

8. “Wait at least six months after your breakup before dating someone new.” Or “Wait at least six months after his breakup before dating him.”

The reason behind the six months is that it would’ve taken people that amount of time to get over their exes. Well, that’s not true. Some people take a year, some take a few weeks to get over their past love. It all depends on the circumstances, like how invested he was or you were, if his/your previous relationship was a toxic one. It’s safe to assume that if the previous relationship were toxic for him, most likely he wouldn’t take as long as six months to move on. And if it were a magical relationship, it might take longer than six months. Even so, it’s best for you to know if he’s moved on from him alone.

9. “Better to start as friends first; that will make the relationship solid.”

Friendships can lead to solid relationships, but not all solid relationships started with two people being just friends. Solid relationships can happen between you and your crush (who might not be your friend), or you and someone you don’t like (not at all your friend, and maybe even your bully).

People usually give this advice when they caution you about the dating speed—when they want you to take things slow. Girl, it’s your call. Whatever you’re comfortable with, and whatever makes you happy.

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Also, there’s a reason why some people fret about getting together with their good friends—they might lose their friendship if they break up. So you don’t always have to start as friends!

10. “Never fall in love with your best friend/kabarkada/blockmate.”

This somehow contradicts with #9—you can date friends, just not your best friend/kabarkada/blockmate? We all know the risks of being in a relationship with someone that close to you—the possible loss of friendship if you guys break up, or the barkada or block splitting up as some of them take sides between you and their other friend, your ex. But some relationships between best friends, magkabarkada, and blockmates do succeed, and part of it is because they’ve known each other so well for a very long time. If you really like your best friend/kabarkada/blockmate, why not take a chance if you trust yourselves to be mature about your relationship no matter what happens?

11. “It’s not the real deal when you meet someone online.”

In the age of Facebook, Tindr, Grindr and what-have-you, meeting people online and going out with them is part of our generation’s social life. Especially when some of us are out of college and have a hard time looking for someone to date, looking for people online is not only inevitable but is totally normal. Online dating is only unconventional to people who didn’t go through it or didn’t know anyone who went through it—which is to say our elders. But it’s just like a setup, which they know about! Sure, some guys just want to get laid, but some guys also want to find love.

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12. “Don’t open up to the guy too soon about your issues. You’ll scare him away or give him things to use against you.”

Most of us will keep our issues to ourselves and confide them little by little to someone special to us—someone who’s gained our trust, someone we can talk to about anything and everything. Although it sounds wise, hiding your issues or your “ugly” side from someone you’re seeing beats a concept of dating, which is getting to know each other. If you do hide them, you run the risk of wondering if he’s fallen for you or just his idea of you. Anyway, if he’s a good person and friend to you, he’ll be someone you can cry to and he’ll help you get through or deal with your problems.

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