The Dating Advice You Need To Hear

You don't need me to tell you that dating isn't easy. And while people are full of dating advice, they're not always full of advice that works for you. But there are some words that stick with us. So, I asked people for the best dating advice ever. If it's helped them, maybe it can also help the rest of us.

Of course, though, since everyone is different, not all of this may apply to you. In fact, the best advice I've probably ever gotten is to make decisions in relationships according to what my values, desires, and deal-breakers are. This empowers me to make decisions others may disagree with and even be baffled by, like breaking up with someone my friends like or staying with someone my family hates. And it forces me to stay in touch with what I want rather than taking the easy road and doing what other people want me to do.

Why am I sharing advice, then? Because, using your own goals as a guide, you can read through it and decide what can and can't help you get what you want. And then, you can follow the advice that's helpful to you.

So, here are some of the best pieces of dating advice people have ever received.

1. Christina*, 47

"Date yourself before you date anyone else."

2. Jade*, 47

"If someone has non-negotiable that bug you, don't waste their time or yours in meeting. There are some problems that can't be overcome and if they are already an issue before you've met, you're starting out with big problems. A Republican being OK with dating a Democrat is one thing. But someone who hates dogs and/or is very allergic to them and someone who is a dog lover are going to be incompatible and it will be an endless source of tension."

3. Stef Safran, Owner of Stef and the City

"Don't assume that you have to be completely attracted on the first date to fall in love. Every time I have been in love, I've never been 'wowed' by the guys. They all grew on me because I realized I thought they were funny, ambitious, and quirky (in a good way) and I began to like the freckles, odd gym shoes, or spiky hair that I thought was 'interesting' on the first date."

4. Deidre, 27

"The best dating advice I have ever received was from my dad. He always tells me to outweigh the LONG-TERM pros and cons of dating someone — advice I never stuck to in college but now at 27 find myself following. If the cons are small (maybe he snores every night, but that is something you can live with in the long-term) and the pros are much bigger (he treats me very well and his long-term plan includes me), then don’t rule him out right away. If his cons outweigh his pros (maybe you can’t stand that he smokes cigarettes or isn’t serious about getting his life together) then don’t try to be the girl who thinks she can change him and that he will come around. That’s something they’ll do on their own… without you."

5. Asha, 38

"Be completely honest about who you are, what you like, and what you don't like because if you have to be someone else to be with a person, they should be with someone else and not you. If you are lonely, it is better to get a hobby, or focus more on self-development or your business than to casually date. When you are lonely, you are more likely to settle for less than you deserve, forget about yourself, abandon your goals,and mess up your life trying to get someone else to fill a void in your life from a place of desperation. You are looking to take rather than to give."

6. Jeremy, 28

"'If you want sunlight, you have to draw the shades.' It's a folksy line. But experience has proven it wise. We're often more worried about rejection than happiness. We want all the good things that come with natural light and fresh air. Yet we hide ourselves. We avoid risks. We wallow. And it kills us. Sure, the shadows may keep us safe. But we can't grow there."

7. Jo, 31

"The best dating advice I've received is: Approach the date without having any expectations about the outcome. It's easier said than done, but I try to just have an interesting conversation with the person."

8. Allison, 26

"Honestly, it is to trust your gut. Don't try to make it work if it's not working. And also, go on a few dates without alcohol. I think, especially for people around my age, alcohol is always involved. And sometimes people give a different impression."

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