"People Review Men's Dating Advice Books" Video From BuzzFeed Demonstrates How NOT To Woo The Person Of Your Dreams — VIDEO
Self-help books are often maligned, although sometimes unfairly so. But the “dating guides” featured in BuzzFeed's “People Review Men's Dating Advice Books” video? They are worth every piece of criticism you can lob at them, because they are, without a doubt, some of the worst books to hit shelves. Ever. And it's not because they're cheesy or whatever; cheesiness is usually laughable, but it's also forgivable. No, these “guidess” are full not only of bad advice, but — worse — advice that actively harms people. And the responses of those brave souls reviewing them? They're just as shocked as you probably think they are — maybe even more so.
The video features two different books: The Shy Guy's Guide to Dating and Forever Alone Guy to Ladies' Man. The Shy Guy's Guide to Dating was published in 1998; as such, it's not exactly the most modern of romance guides. However, even allowing for its advanced age, the video also makes it abundantly clear that The Shy Guy's Guide to Dating is not, in fact, a guide to dating for introverts. It's a guide to dating for assholes, full of “tips” that range from sort of creepy to downright damaging. It's therefore somewhat gratifying to know that there are a huge number of previously owned copies of it available for purchase on Amazon for one cent, because that is exactly how much this terrible “advice” is worth. And no, I'm not linking to it, because frankly, I don't want to give it any clicks — if you're curious about it, go look it up for yourself.
But the publication date doesn't even seem to matter that much, because much of the "advice" in The Shy Guy's Guide to Dating is not only still in circulation, but even worse, it's got a new name: “Pickup artistry.” That's the kind of stuff that the second book, Forever Alone Guy to Ladies' Man, contains, and it's sickening. Published in 2014, Forever Alone Guy to Ladies' Man is what happens to The Shy Guy's Guide to Dating when it's allowed to stew in itself for almost two decades — and the awful, demeaning, objectifying "tips" espoused within it are anything but the stuff of romance. They're the stuff of abusers, and no one should ever, ever follow them. They hurt men; they hurt women; they hurt everyone. Everybody loses.
Want an actual guide to dating for shy people? Check out Paging Dr. Nerdlove. The site is geared primarily towards straight men — its tagline is, “Helping nerds get the girl” — but pretty much every piece of advice on it is applicable for anyone and everyone, no matter how they identify or who they dig. Why? Because it's basically a guide to being a not just a decent human being, but being a good one. Nothing is more attractive than a guy or gal who is actually nice — but not a "Nice Guy."
Here's a taste of what lies ahead for you in three GIFs: The “advice” given by The Shy Guy's Guide to Dating, how BuzzFeed's reviewers reacted, and some more on-the-ball advice we should probably think about following instead. Scroll down to watch the full video, including the horrifying gems from the second of the two books, Forever Alone Guy to Ladies' Man. If you ever needed an example or two to follow of how not to approach dating? This is definitely it.
1. “A persistent guy keeps a picture of her in his wallet for inspiration.”
Real people's take on it: Responses ranged from “WHAAAAAAAT? That's so creepy! Never do that!” to “I don't even have a photo of my girlfriend [in my wallet].” It's worth noting that this particular piece of advice definitely dates itself — these days, the equivalent might be keeping a photo of your crush stored on your phone — but either way... uh, yikes.
Actual advice: If you're in an actual relationship with someone? Sure — go ahead and keep a photo or two around. But if you just wish you were in an actual relationship with someone? Don't do it. It does not demonstrate persistence; it demonstrates creepiness.
2. “Hunt the easy prey.”
Real people's take on it: Responses ranged from “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what?!” to "Goodbye, I am moving to space." One person simply tossed the book in the air and gave up, because seriously, WTF. By “hunt the easy prey,” by the way, the book means, “Go after the one who's not as hot by society's arbitrary beauty standards as everyone else, because they will be so starved for attention that they will be all over you.” I can't even. I just can't.
Actual advice: Do not treat romantic or sexual partners like “prey.” Treat them like human beings.
3. “So keep trying. You never know when a 'no' is going to turn into a 'yes.'”
Real people's take on it: Responses ranged from “This is garbage” to “Put this man in jail. This man has perpetuated sexual assault and rape.” Accurate.
Actual advice: If a potential partner — sexual, romantic, platonic, whatever — does not give you their express consent with regards to anything that involves you doing something with them, stop whatever you're doing immediately. “No” does not mean “yes.” “Maybe” does not mean “yes.” “I said yes initially, but now I don't want to do this anymore” does not mean “yes.” Being incapacitated or otherwise unable to consent does not mean “yes.” The only thing that means “yes” is enthusiastic consent. This should not be that difficult a concept to grasp.
Watch the full video here. Wouldn't the world be such a nicer place if we all agreed not to follow these horrible pieces of "advice?"