Bad Dating Advice

15 Nov

This post could alternately be titled “You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You Read on the Internet” because there is some seriously inaccurate stuff floating around out there. I wasted years of my life reading Cosmo, and my brain bled after somehow stumbling upon Yahoo! Shine. Yesterday I had the privilege of reading the worst post on dating advice I’ve come across in quite awhile.

women's magazine, bad dating advice, cosmo magazing


I didn’t comment on the post, nor will I link to it here. I understand and accept that other people are allowed to write what they want. That’s precisely what gives me the liberty to lambast that post here.

I assume that breakups are a dating blogger’s bread and butter because people are falling out of love all the time, and searching for ways to cope, and get back out there. Most of the time it’s pretty standard advice like keeping busy, and finding yourself.

Yesterday I read a post written by a guy who is trying to help women get their exes back after getting dumped. Here is the abridged version:

Step 1: Men want what they can’t have so stop letting him know you like him

Step 2: Don’t contact him because it’ll make him wonder why you don’t miss him

Step 3: Take care of yourself, and think about the relationship, and why it ended (the single piece of sanity in this hot mess)

Step 4: Contact him, but don’t come across needy, or like the crazy ex-girlfriend you were. Don’t talk about your old relationship because you’ll make him think you want him back, and that’s bad.

Step 5: Now you can date him. Don’t sleep with him before solid commitment because if given the opportunity, all men will use you.

rage, mad, angry, fuck you

My exact reaction. I may have flipped over a table.

What in the…

There are only three reasons you should ever listen to this: you are 13 and haven’t yet learned how to be a mature adult in a relationship, you’ve just had a lobotomy, or you are an asshat.

I am not a dating guru. I am not a dating blogger. I don’t even actively date. However, I do know fuckery when I see it.

The post bothered me on so many levels, but I’ll just highlight my top complaints:

  • Mind games and emotional unavailability are what it takes to get a man interested in you
  • Men will use you for sex if given the chance
  • If a man breaks up with you, it is 100% your fault, and was due to the fact that you were crazy and clingy
  • Don’t tell him you miss him or like him because that’s needy
  • Don’t bring up the stuff that happened in your relationship before because who wants to work on problems?

As I said, I am not an expert in this field, but I can say with absolutely certainty that these mind games will either leave you very, very single, or in a very, very destructive relationship. This is bad advice at best, and a road map to emotional manipulation at worst.

I would never want to be with a man who thought I was clingy and needy because I told him I missed him. I would never want to be with a man who didn’t want to talk about our old problems before getting back together. I would never want to be with a man who I thought would use me under any circumstance. And I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be with the guy who wrote this post.

Relationships are supposed to be about trust. They are supposed to be about communication. They are supposed to be about finding someone who doesn’t make you feel crazy for wanting to be close. Relationships are about being on equal footing, and not like a dog begging for its master’s scraps at the dinner table.

Word to the wise: don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

95 Responses to “Bad Dating Advice”

  1. Tinger Woods 11/26/2013 at 6:27 pm #

    interesting, you know a lot about dating ehh
    even your not actually a dater, intelligent 🙂

  2. shreejacob 11/22/2013 at 3:17 pm #

    Ha! I’m so glad I’m not dating…actually…I never really dated…kinda..I just upped and got married to my drinking buddy..bahaha

    • Jen and Tonic 11/24/2013 at 1:34 pm #

      You did?! Have you written about it before?!

      • shreejacob 11/24/2013 at 4:41 pm #

        Write about my, what I love to call, backward love life?
        Actually no…hehehe. It’s not a secret…I tell whomever wants to know…but nope…never actually wrote about it. Why?

        • Jen and Tonic 11/24/2013 at 5:21 pm #

          I think it’d make for a great story.

          • shreejacob 11/24/2013 at 5:22 pm #

            Hehehe..hmmm…something to think about! Thank you 😀

  3. Christopher 11/22/2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I like reading through your websites. Thank you so much!

  4. writerwendyreid 11/17/2013 at 11:10 pm #

    I absolutely agree Jen. Don’t believe everything you read or SEE on the internet. I swear they were photoshoppped.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/20/2013 at 9:08 pm #

      No kidding. I need to learn photoshop, turn myself into a Brazilian supermodel.

      • writerwendyreid 11/21/2013 at 5:32 pm #

        You are great just the way you are. Seriously. That “mug shot” you posted on facebook is tres sexy. 😉

        • Jen and Tonic 11/21/2013 at 5:58 pm #

          HAAAAAA! Oh god, that picture is terrible…but also pretty indicative of what you’d be getting with me.

          • writerwendyreid 11/21/2013 at 6:10 pm #

            Exactly…morning sex would be awesome 😉

  5. bloggerau 11/17/2013 at 10:32 am #

    That Cosmo picture made my day!

  6. javaj240 11/16/2013 at 11:25 am #

    Relationships are about lots of things —- none of which THAT guy knew anything about. Some days relationships are about the big stuff —- commitment, money, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll —- other days? They’re about peanut butter, how long uncooked meat can remain refrigerated prior to cooking it without ending up in the ER, and moving furniture. Guess which kind of day my relationship had today? LOL!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:33 pm #

      HA! You poor thing. Hopefully you’re having a MUCH better day today.

      • javaj240 11/17/2013 at 6:28 am #

        The funny thing is, and what I’ve learned from my very long-term relationship is this: Most days are like this — they’re not necessarily bad, they just are what they are. You have to look for the humor in them, that’s for sure. What they also are is the rhythm of your life. And, really, who would want to spend their lives talking constantly about the big stuff ALL the time? Not me. A few conversations about toilet paper spread out over the course of the year are, ultimately, just fine with me. LOL!

  7. skinnyandme 11/16/2013 at 6:27 am #

    I always get super annoyed when men provide dating advice to women. It comes across like we’re the only ones that do things wrong, are clingy or needy and that’s not the case! I’m so tired of getting “dating game” advice…will waiting 10 minutes to not text him back really, I mean really get him to realize he wants to date me? I think not.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:32 pm #

      YES. This is my main point of contention. Why are WE the problem? It could just be me, or it could just be him, or it could be both of us. But why is it that I’m the one who needs to modify my behavior for him?

  8. Twindaddy 11/15/2013 at 5:02 pm #

    I will be following your advice by not following your advice.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Smart man.

      • Twindaddy 11/16/2013 at 2:32 pm #

        Well, I haven’t been called that in ages.

        • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:34 pm #

          Probably because you hang around this blog. It has been proven to lower IQ points.

          • Twindaddy 11/16/2013 at 2:35 pm #

            Well, have you seen mine? It’s not much better.

          • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:42 pm #

            True. I guess we cancel each other out.

          • Twindaddy 11/16/2013 at 2:45 pm #


  9. girlseule 11/15/2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Ugh! Imagine dating this bloke, ‘don’t be honest about how you feel because then boys won’t like you’ puh-lease! And yeah, ‘don’t have sex even if you want to because the boys will use you’, cause ‘y’know like sex isn’t something women also like to do just for the pure enjoyment of it.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:31 pm #

      HA! Excellent point. Not everyone is looking for a guy to put a ring on it.

  10. Kylie 11/15/2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I read a whole load of those dating books when I was getting divorced. I never would’ve read The Rules and its ilk when I was younger…they rubbed my feminism all wrong. BUT, the takeaway I got from those books is that it’s important to be yourself, to value yourself, to have a rich, full, interesting life on your own, with your own friends and interests, and that if a man is interested in you, give him a chance to step up and show you what he’s made of. I don’t know… I don’t exactly have the world’s best dating track record, but when I was younger, I definitely gave off the “desperately chasing you” vibe to guys I liked, and May or may not have written them explanatory letters or arranged confessional heart-to-brick wall talks with them. Didn’t work so well. My perspective has changed a bit, especially since I found a wonderful husband–not by playing hard to get, but by very intentionally going slowly.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:30 pm #

      I absolutely agree with you that it’s about being interesting, and living a full life that is completely your own. I’m just not sure I like the idea that someone does it as a means to attract a mate. Are we really independent and living for ourselves if we have a hidden agenda? I guess that’s why I can’t even handle reading books like The Rules. It seems like a way to be underhanded without seeming underhanded.

      Having said that, I am glad it’s motivating people to get out there and live life!

  11. quinndien 11/15/2013 at 12:42 pm #

    This makes me want to cover my teenage cousin’s eyes and ears until she’s grown out of Cosmo’s target demographic.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:28 pm #

      If you have some time to waste, and like making yourself angry, you should see some of the crap that’s posted on their website. It’s even worse than the printed version.

  12. mollytopia 11/15/2013 at 12:12 pm #

    Amen. That is some fantastic horseshit that dude is pushing – wow. Also? I love love love: However, I do know fuckery when I see it. It’s like we grew up together!


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