Quite a lot of dating advice is either irrelevant when applied to modern relationships, or outright harmful. We don’t intend to discredit or bash traditional values or anything — just some harmful societal expectations that don’t necessarily apply anymore. Everything else changes with the times; why not dating advice?
Here are a few of the biggest outdated tips that we found, with help from an article in Best Life and a book called The Rules:
- Let the man make the first move. Not everyone’s relationship will involve a man, not to mention this teaches women to be more passive instead of actively engaging in what they want.
- You’ll find “the one,” they’re out there. This is problematic from a polyamorous perspective, of course, but even for those who aren’t non-monogamous, entering each relationship with the goal of finding “the one” can often backfire.
- Play hard to get. There are serious communication issues with playing hard to get, and in a society where consent isn’t always prioritized, this too can backfire or be harmful.
- Never go to bed angry. Absolutely go to bed angry if you need to HALT! Returning to a topic that caused upset when you’ve got a clearer head, aren’t under the influence of anything, and aren’t tired or hungry or sick is much better than trying to work everything out immediately.
- You can change your partner. This just largely isn’t true. And even if it were, it does not fall on you to change your partner for the better. Partners are not therapists.
- Opposites attract. This one is a common saying, but we’ve also found that it’s not always true. Sometimes, sure, but more often, you’re going to want someone you can at least relate to a little.
- Jealousy means they love you. This is a big one, especially within the non-monogamous community. Jealousy is a normal feeling to feel, but it does not mean love. Unless your they are actively working to manage jealousy, it can be a big red flag.
- Kids can fix a relationship. Absolutely not. Avoid making huge life decisions (such as having kids, opening a relationship, etc.) when you’re in a time of turmoil.
- No more than casual kissing on the first date (no sex on the first date) if you really like them. Generally speaking, it shouldn’t make a difference how far you go with someone on the first date, whether you really like them or not. By all means, don’t feel like you must have sex with someone on the first date, but it shouldn’t be an indicator of the potential length of your relationship with them.
Relationships just aren’t the same as they were twenty, thirty, fifty years ago. Without adapting to meet new criteria, we can’t have fulfilling connections with the people we love.
Give the full episode a listen to hear some statistics on relationships and marriage, as well as some expansion on these outdated relationship tips.