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14 Things I Wish I Knew About Dating When I Was Younger

Yes, asking to hang out after 10 p.m. is in fact a booty call.

1. You don't have to date only one person at a time. In the past, if I liked you, you were the only person in my world. But then I started dating a couple people at once and it did give me some perspective. It was easier to say, "Well, whichever one works out works out." I'm not saying it worked for me long-term, but I'm glad I tried to do things differently.

2. It's OK if he's very, very nice, but you still do not like him. It does not mean you are broken! You don't need to have 400 signs he's an asshole to just not be that into someone.

3. If he makes you feel shitty about your body, he's a monster. End of story. I am right about this.

4. If he ever makes you feel scared, for whatever reason, it's time to move on. I don't care if he kind of, sort of raised his voice at you one time, or made you feel like he was going to hit you but he didn't do it, please leave or talk to someone who can help you leave. Which brings me to another important point...

5. Trust your instincts. They're right. If you feel like he's being too pushy or not listening to you, or he seems strange, or he's making you uncomfortable, I trust you and your instincts, and you should too. Leave and don't say why. You don't owe anything to anyone who is making you feel weird.

6. If you think "hanging out" instead of "going out" is bullshit, that's totally reasonable. That instinct you have that the guy who always asks you to "hang out" instead of admitting that the two of you are dating is kind of a child is spot-on. He's not a horrible person for using the term, but come on, man, just admit it's a date.

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7. Yes, asking to hang out after 10 p.m. is in fact a booty call. Even if you just cuddle. Also, am I the only one who has legit received cuddling booty calls before? Hmm. OK.

8. If the kissing is bad, all the other stuff will be even worse. And no, you cannot "train him." I'm sorry, but no.

9. If the date is going horribly, leave as soon as humanly possible. Don't stay because you're trying to be polite, don't stay because it might get better; this is your life! Just leave and go home and watch Inside Amy Schumer because it's so much better than talking about fiscal expenditures while drinking watery whiskey with a lawyer named Ted.

10. If you really don't want to go on a date, just cancel. You're not doing either of you any favors by sleepwalking through a date you know for sure you don't care about. If you change your mind, you can always reschedule.

11. If you feel like you have to convince him of how cool you are, he's clearly an idiot. This makes me cringe so, so much. Anyone who knows me personally knows I'm the coolest, funniest, cutest little weirdo on the block, and yet I have spent way too much time trying to make sure the guy I have a crush on knows that, instead of picking the ones who can see it before I have to say a word.

12. Seriously, stop looking so hard for The Guy. Just for a little while. I've spent so much of my life wondering if This Is It and eventually it just gets so exhausting. It took me ages to finally let that go and realize if it happens, it happens. It's so much easier said than done, but if you can let go of that rope for a bit, you'll be saner.

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13. Your ex-boyfriend is your ex-boyfriend for a reason. No, you didn't mess things up with a really good guy. Yes, he was a med student, but he was also the jerk who stole your iPhone. Case closed.

14. Let yourself enjoy really, really liking him! Sure, he might turn out to be a total nightmare person in a few weeks or months or years. He might. But right now everything he says sounds like rain water moving outside your window, he smells like fresh cotton and possibility, and he looks at you like you're the only woman in the world. Keep this feeling as long as you can without worrying when it'll be over. Because this might actually be the one time that feeling lasts.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.