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. totallytk 11/15/2013 at 12:09 pm #

    He missed Step 6: Get dumped by the same loser for the same reasons and proceed to repeat Steps 1 through 5 ad nauseum as your self esteem swirls down le toilette. Great piece!

  2. Soul Walker 11/15/2013 at 10:51 am #

    I promise not to believe this post… especially if it happens to be sane. Also, fantastic reaction illustration– did you do that or grab it off the unbelievable internet somewhere (if it is some super popular meme pic I definitely won’t know– I try to stay near the cat part of the internet– it’s safer and cuter there).

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:26 pm #

      Oh, I grabbed both of them. I’m not nearly genius enough to come up with them on my own.

  3. CrazySmartClueless 11/15/2013 at 9:57 am #

    Paging Dr NerdLove…. at least one guy is giving out fairly reasonable advice. But generally… UGH. And don’t even get me started on the ‘Player’ manuals out there…

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:26 pm #

      I am sure that there are plenty of people who give out decent advice, this guy just doesn’t happen to be one of them.

  4. The Modern Day Fairy Godmother 11/15/2013 at 9:40 am #

    Reblogged this on The Modern Day Fairy Godmother and commented:
    Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  5. vm2687 11/15/2013 at 9:38 am #

    It’s funny you said you didn’t like his blog. I loved it. I’m 26, and I went through a break up with the man that I am now engaged to and had I not “separated” myself from him, his choice to leave me, my internal desire to want to shake him and scream that I loved him, we probably wouldn’t be together now. The guy who posted that blog may have chosen poorly on how he explained it but I totally get it. Separating myself from my emotional attachment to him was honestly the best thing for him and me! About 3 months later he purposed and it was on his terms, not on my desire to win him back. In the end it was perfect because HE decided without me flooding his mind with my feelings/emotions. Just my tid-bit on it. 🙂

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:24 pm #

      I guess my question is, why is the burden on women? Why are we the problem in these relationships? The assumption is that if a guy breaks up with us, it’s not because he’s a jerk or simply not ready for a relationship, it’s that women are clingy, needy psychos. It wasn’t that his explanation was poorly worded, it’s that there is an underlying assumption that women are crazy.

      I am happy it worked out for you though!

  6. sistasertraline 11/15/2013 at 9:25 am #

    Haven’t seen the post but it sounds oh so drearily familiar…..

    The other night a friend told someone I was ‘off men’ to which they all practically applauded and muttered about ‘bastards’, ‘wankers’ and what not, which kind of irked me as unless one is hunting them down via internet dating sites, or making some other superhuman kind of effort, then you are ‘off’ them and a bit of a man hater and then the topic moved into the ‘how to play them at their own game’ forum.


    I would still like to meet my best friend/other half but am done with mind games so whilst I am open to this, I am doing my thing, getting my shit together and if someone along the way decides they like me AS I AM, with and without make up, skinny or fat, and I like them that would be boss. If not then it wasn’t meant to be.

    But I have to say men like this only make me cuddle my cats a little harder.

    Which kind of makes them squeak and their eyes pop :-s

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:21 pm #

      I’ve seen this a lot too. Where, if you’re single for awhile, you’re obviously completely disgusted and turned off by dating. Isn’t there a happy medium? Living your life while still being open to the possibility?

  7. Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth 11/15/2013 at 8:56 am #

    You must read a book called “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” by Adele Waldman. There is definitely some inspirational and blog worthy material related to what you have written.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:19 pm #

      I’ve heard of this book before! I’ll have to check it out.

  8. daniheart21 11/15/2013 at 8:56 am #

    At least it gave you something to write about… sighs… lol I once read an article in a magazine in a doctors office that stated that women should be willing to try anal sex just because the guy wants to, like her feelings about it whatever they may be didn’t matter..she should just do because he wanted to. I remember thinking to myself would most men do it if the roles were reversed… I think not! Most everything we read these days is just somebody’s opinion.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:18 pm #


      Why is the burden always on the woman? Why can’t the advice be that if a woman doesn’t want to do something her partner should understand? The idea that we have to fully submit to our partner to be a good girlfriend/boyfriend is ridiculous.

  9. Calamity Rae 11/15/2013 at 8:16 am #

    There is really no comment I could say here that would aptly portray the rage that boils inside of my body when I read such neanderthal blathering. And this is why I own a gun. And probably shouldn’t.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Just make sure the safety is on when you wave it around.

  10. Katie 11/15/2013 at 8:15 am #

    What a complete tool. I’m sure he’s in Roosh V’s fan club, too.

  11. omtatjuan 11/15/2013 at 8:05 am #

    I love the Cosmo parody cover. “Give Him What He Wants” Oh brother… Now that I am older I know what I want and it doesn’t require that tongue movement. It is spending time with the person you love. It’s listening to the one you loves incident while standing in line at Staryucks. When you’re young the tongue thing means everything now not so much… Oh well…

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

      It really is about quality time, right? And how can you build that kind of foundation when you’re playing mind games with another person.

      • omtatjuan 11/16/2013 at 2:29 pm #

        Yes! but as a man your don’t get it till later but by then you’re old and no one wants you… When you’re young the urge for boom boom supersedes everything; Caring, Passion (I mean out of the bedroom) and even love. Weird huh. That’s exactly why I’m stuck here with 2 cats and a few chickens. Isn’t there that song, “if I knew then what I know now…. When I was younger” about sums it up.

  12. La La 11/15/2013 at 7:36 am #

    Love this. What I learned is that the men and women who do need these games are anything but men and women, as it is a very immature approach to life and relationships. Building something on false ideas can’t really result in a solid structure. You need to be able to be yourself.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:14 pm #

      “…men and women who do need these games are anything but men and women, as it is a very immature approach to life and relationships.” SO MUCH THIS.

  13. herschelian 11/15/2013 at 7:09 am #

    ” 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.”
    You are absolutely right – no girl/woman need this shit (pardon my language).

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Oh, please. Say what you want on this blog. Shit, fuck, damn, dickhead. See? No harm.

  14. girlychristina 11/15/2013 at 7:09 am #

    This is so true! My years of reading Cosmo and Cosmogirl! have brainwashed me into thinking that that was how to date. Blurg! Reading that magazine as an adult makes me LOL at their advice. So crazy and such bad advice!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Right? I look back on all the “How to please your man” and “Ways to get his attention” articles and think, “The fuck? What about ME?”

      Using our heads and hearts will always lead us to where we need to be better than any fluff magazine can.

  15. RFL 11/15/2013 at 7:09 am #

    Saw it also, and I agree.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Thank goodness common sense prevails among my readers and friends.

  16. Brother Jon 11/15/2013 at 7:06 am #

    I saw this somewhere yesterday, but decided not to read it. Looks like I didn’t miss anything.

    That last sentence is is an Abraham Lincoln quote, isn’t it?

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:12 pm #

      Actually it wasn’t, but now that you said it, it is reminiscent of that! This entire piece was actually a nod to this quote: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” (attributed to Buddha)

  17. MissFourEyes 11/15/2013 at 7:02 am #

    Mind games make my head hurt. It’s a wonder there are people out there who can actually keep them up. How do they not explode from all the crazy?

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:09 pm #

      A guy friend of mine recently told me he was excited to call a girl, and was anxious for the three days to pass so he could. I asked him why he didn’t just call her now, and he said, “Because that’s the rule, what people have to do.”

  18. michellestodden 11/15/2013 at 6:54 am #

    Read it, too. Same take.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:08 pm #

      That actually gives me a sense of relief. I wondered if I was just overreacting…

  19. rachealizations 11/15/2013 at 6:39 am #

    He’s trying to get women to get back their exes? What?? It’s distressing that this point would need to be verbalized, but how about recognizing that if some schnook dumps you, he probably doesn’t love you, and you should actually move on? Egads.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Yes! That wasn’t even something I touched on here, but with so many people out there, and so many ways of connecting to them, why are we trying to actively win someone back? I do think there are exceptions to the rule, but I’m a “one chance” sort of gal.

  20. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher 11/15/2013 at 6:00 am #

    I don’t know – Fuckery seems like a lot less work for the boyfriend – isn’t it about how to make him feel like he doesn’t have to make an effort? And I think we should think about our relationships, if and only if, it’s about how to make ourselves more ‘perfect’ for him.
    Sheesh – you seem to be intent on finding a relationship with mutual understanding and communication…haven’t you reviewed the popular magazine literature??? 🙂

  21. NotAPunkRocker 11/15/2013 at 5:59 am #

    Every so many years, “The Rules” get re-worked from a different point of view. I just do whatever I want and to hell with it if it doesn’t work in the end.

    And this is why I have cats.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:06 pm #

      The Rules…how could I have forgotten about that bird cage liner?

  22. Melanie 11/15/2013 at 5:41 am #

    That is a shitload of fuckery right there. I agree with you, completely. His message is destructive, promoting a dangerous level of passive-aggressive behaviors on both sides. In the background of his words I hear advocating a kind of abusive behavior as well. His intended audience may have been those poor lovelorn women he imagines heaped in a ball on the bathroom floor contemplating ending all attempts at dating because Johnny Smallcock dumped them, but he’s also telling male readers that to get a woman to change her behavior and beg for sausage dinner, he should dump her and remain aloof until she has navigated whatever emotional maze he decides to set up in order for her to prove her worth in his life.
    Yes, I have a view that isn’t all together common, throwing in the abuse card and all, but I don’t like the kind of nonsense this dillweed is spewing.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:05 pm #

      I think his intended audience are those people who have confused “tough love” with “dumbshittery” because there were people on there (women) who were applauding them.

      I agree that although the intended reader was women, that it could be geared towards anyone looking to emotionally manipulate a partner.

  23. nobodysreadingme 11/15/2013 at 5:33 am #

    I think the blogger you’re taking to ask has it absolutely right.Not.
    And here’s how to do it from a man’s point of view.
    I’ve seen more insight from a babbooon than from this dork.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:03 pm #

      Wow, that guy also had no clue. Are we sure this isn’t actually the same guy?

      • nobodysreadingme 11/16/2013 at 2:12 pm #

        It didn’t occur to me but it’s possible. whoever it is is a hairt arsed trucker in some midwest state who has webbed fingers and a cat with club feet.

  24. infoviniti 11/15/2013 at 5:18 am #

    Wow. You are absolutely right!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 1:59 pm #

      Thanks, Info! And thanks for sharing on Twitter yesterday.

  25. Three Time Loser 11/15/2013 at 5:14 am #

    So. Wrong. It sounds exactly like a 20-year old guy who has never had a serious relationship just watched every bad Rom-Com out there (but missed the lessons within them) before writing that piece. Kudos for not linking to it to promote it any more than it already has been.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 1:58 pm #

      Rom Coms piss me off because they feed this idea that real love needs to hurt, or be some big dramatic thing. I know some people who believe something is wrong with their relationship when they’re not always fighting.

      • Three Time Loser 11/16/2013 at 2:22 pm #

        I am one the few people who hated Bridesmaids. Why? Because the heroine wasn’t happy until she had man. I wrote a post about it called Bridesmaids vs. Larry Crowne.

        • Jen and Tonic 11/16/2013 at 2:36 pm #

          Interesting take on the movie! I happened to like a lot of the humor in it, but I agree with the point you’ve made.

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