From self-help books to listicles on the World Wide Web, the amount of relationship advice out there seems endless. While some of these tips may be helpful, a lot of them are either contradictive (make the move first … no, wait for him to make a move), or simply don’t apply to you and your love life. Indeed, lots of popular advice may leave you feeling even more confused and discouraged than when you started looking for love.
Although there is no perfect answer or how-to for relationship building, there is some popular dating advice out there that may actually be preventing you from getting the relationship you want.
Here are 12 bad pieces of relationship advice you should stop following:
“Wait three days to call or text them back.”
If you treat dating and love like a game, there is always going to be a loser (and sometimes, there is no winner at all). If you want to see the person again, call back within 24 hours of seeing them, Simon Marcel Badinter, host of “The Rendezvous with Simon and Kim” on iHeart Radio, told Fox News. “It has to be honest and spontaneous if you want to be respected and start a healthy relationship.”
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“Don’t reveal too much too soon.”
Everyone knows a little mystery can be sexy at first, and of course, you don’t want to reveal too much off-putting information too soon (bringing up your ex on the first date is a huge no-no!). But when it comes to interest in your date, don’t be afraid to let your guard down and demonstrate that you’re into him or her. In fact, research suggests playing hard-to-get makes you less likable.
“Lower your standards.”
No one’s perfect (no, not even you!), but you should never lower your standards to the point where you’re seriously compromising your values. “We are all imperfect and we all have flaws, so maintain your three most important standards, but learn to compromise also,” Badinter said.
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“Make a point by playing the silent treatment.”
Whether it’s purposely waiting to text back or not speaking to your partner, the silent treatment isn’t just bad advice, it’s also immature. “Communication is important to any relationship,” relationship expert Michelle Crosby told Fox News.
“Change to become more likable.”
Here’s some better advice: Take all the dating tips that tell you how to become a love magnet and throw them out your window. This approach “will only make you more insecure,” relationship psychotherapist and author of “Deeper Dating” Ken Page told Fox News. “Your goal is to be you and to only look for someone who loves who you are.”
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“Wait for him to make the first move.”
It’s 2017, and whether you like it or not, women have the power — and right — to make the first move in a relationship. If you’re a woman and used to being approached by him first, think baby steps. “There are many ways for women to make the first move, like just looking at a guy in the eyes for a few seconds,” Badinter said.
“Don’t have sex until after the third date.”
Where did this number even come from? Have sex when you and your date are comfortable. This could be after the third date, third month or third hour. Experts agree the key is to follow your heart rather than being swayed by society’s or anyone else’s expectations or standards.
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“Become a master at flirting.”
Flip your hair, bat your eyes and meet her gaze — popular relationship advice suggests trying those tactics and other cheap tricks to increase your chances of finding love. But in reality, flirting this way may actually backfire, Page said. “Mostly the skills of seduction involve projecting an inauthentic type of ultra-confidence, which most don’t have — nor do they need to,” Page said. “Don’t waste your time on the skills of seduction. They’ll actually keep you from [finding] love.”
“Withhold sex to punish them.”
“Sex is not and should not be used as leverage because intimacy should be natural and spontaneous to both of you,” Badinter said. Remember, make love, not trade deals!
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“Men: Don’t be too sensitive.”
This bad advice comes from the idea that a man will look like a wimp if he sheds a tear or posts a cute panda meme on Instagram. “These are old sexist messages in new containers,” Page said. “When your dating advice makes you feel like you need to twist yourself into a pretzel, it’s the wrong advice!”
“’Happily Ever After’ means marriage.”
Crosby said a common remark from unhappy couples she has seen in her practice is they felt pressured to get married because they felt it was the “next logical step” to take. But that’s bogus. “Forget the ‘Happily Ever After’ script and write your own to suit your needs and expectations in life,” she said.