About one millisecond after your break-up, be sure to brace yourself for a flood of dating advice . Whether it’s a daily email from the online dating guru you signed up for during that first 24 hour sob-fest, the barista who knows when you ditch your decaf chai for a double espresso it means you’re single again, or your well-meaning besties…. its coming.
This advice is informed by the provider’s own life experience, values and emotions – none of which precisely mirror your own. So how do you sort through the good, bad and the ugly?
Here are the top four friendly dating tips to avoid:
It will happen when you least expect it.
No. It won’t. This statement implies that all you need to do is sit back and relax now and the next love of your life, drawn in purely by the fact that you now give off a ‘single’ vibe, will appear on your doorstep, coffee shop or run into you during school pickup. Your first car, house and job didn’t just manifest themselves – you had to take a little action to make those happen didn’t you?
By all means, avoid investing every waking moment in a quest to find your next partner to the point you become a wild-eyed desperado with the next 27 online dating candidates prioritised and calendared, but don’t think you can simply sit on the sofa waiting either.
Don’t be the one to make the first move
Closely affiliated with ‘don’t be too available’, this advice is primarily directed at women. Although we’ve now broken glass ceilings, run countries and steered multinational conglomerates we should apparently avoid asking a man out or texting too often for fear of appearing needy.
Whether you are male or female, apply the level of confidence you have in other realms of your life to making the first move when it seems logical, or being responsive when the impulse takes you. Ditch the rules.
Anything that starts with ‘Sounds like he/she……’
Fight with every fibre of your being the temptation to do the first date post-mortem with your friends within 24 hours of a date. Nothing quite takes away first-date glow like a word-by-word dissection, which will almost always reveal one small comment that can be blown out of all proportion.
Your closest friends can apply a well-honed reality check if they see that you are again repeating past poor patterns, but insert a lag before the first date forensics so you train up your own instincts. That way you’ll also proceed with a second date without well-meant comments flashing like neon warning signs in your brain.
Try being single for a while
Almost always delivered by your long-married friends, it certainly makes sense not to rush into dating while you are still having thoughts involving bunny-boiling or drive-bys of your ex’s house.
However, anyone who has been single for a period of time knows that it is not in itself a redeeming state. It’s also a bit hazy about what ‘a while’ means. A month? A year? The non-parole period of a violent crime?
Take a sense-check to see if you are over the worst of the break-up but don’t feel compelled to let a ‘being single’ period stand in your way.
Above all, remind yourself that dating advice is coming from those that want to see you happy and secure. Acknowledge it gratefully, but apply it with flexibility.Header image courtesy of FrameAngel / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Body image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net