13 Love Experts Share The Worst Dating Advice They've Ever Heard
Finding relationship advice is hard — scratch that, finding good relationship advice is hard. The truth is, relationship advice is everywhere. It's all over the internet, it's in so many magazines, and you're probably getting it from your family and friends — maybe even from people you hardly know. But just because someone is putting relationship advice out there, doesn't mean it's worth taking. Even when someone means well, they don't always know or understand what's going on in your life.
"Friends can be a great source of relationship advice so long as you recognize that their 'wisdom' has its limits," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. "Everyone is in a unique situation. What worked for your friends might not work for you. So, while you can certainly try the suggestions of your friends, don’t assume that theirs is the only way."
And while some bad relationship advice can be laughable, bad relationship advice can also do a lot of damage. If you're inexperienced or vulnerable, it's natural to trust the advice of someone who seems more experienced or just more sure of themselves. But before you take it at face value, it's important think long and hard about whether it actually makes sense to you. It's important to see things through fresh eyes and listen to the people who have your best interests at heart, but you don't necessarily have to act. Ultimately, you're the only one in your shoes.
And some of the bad dating advice out there is truly terrible. Here are dating experts on the worst piece of dating advice they've heard — it's a good reminder of why you need to trust your instincts.
1. "Don't Text Back Right Away"
2. "It Will Happen When You Least Expect It"
"'It will happen when you least expect it': This is possibly my least favorite piece of dating advice. The verbiage renders us powerless in the process." — Relationship & Dating Coach Jessica Elizabeth Opert
"'Love will just come to you when you least expect it.' Love isn’t just some magical feeling that happens randomly, it’s built on dedication, connection, and effort. Likewise, people don’t just fall in love after a certain period of time. That’s why love doesn’t come when you least expect it, in truth, it’s the product of a shared existence and commitment to similar values." — Caleb Backe, Health And Wellness Expert at Maple Holistics
3. Age Is The Same Thing As Maturity
"Age being a determinant of maturity — '[they're] eight years older than you. [They'd] be good for you. You've always been very childish.' — Relationship Counselor and Clinical Sexologist Dr. Martha Tara Lee of Eros Coaching
4. "Act Like You Don't Care"
"'If you like [them], play like you don't care.' This is a go-to position for most people giving advice. Certainly we don't want to be a chump or pathetically chasing someone. But we do have to give a solid green light to let this person know that we're interested." — Susan Winter, NYC Relationship Expert and Bestselling Author
5. "Be Your Best Self"
"While the intention might be pure, I don’t like when people encourage others to be their best selves when dating. People who are dating in a version of what they perceive to be as their ideal self versus their real self might be harming their chances at maintaining a long-term relationship. The reality is that we are not going to be able to maintain the idealized versions of ourselves for long, so after a while your partner is going to learn about your real self. You want the person you are with to love you and accept you as you are, not as the person you’re pretending to be. People who find themselves in this type of relationship often find the walls of security that they found with their partner come crumbling down in front of them." — Lisa Hochberger, Holistic Sexologist and Sexuality Educator
6. "Lying In Your Online Dating Profile Is OK"
"'Lying is OK' — I've had several clients who have been told by other experts that a little dishonesty is OK in your profile because either everyone else does it, or you can correct yourself immediately with the excuse that you had to do it to get people to look at your profile. — the reality is that this advice is complete garbage. Justifying anything by saying that others do it is a great way to fail. Beyond that, the second you are caught in a lie, everything else you say comes into question." — Eric Resnick, Owner And Lead Dating Coach at ProfileHelper.com
7. "Someone Will Come Along"
"Some of the worst advice I've ever heard is 'just be yourself, someone will come along'. It's such a disempowering statement. Just be yourself someone will come along. It's really like a way to dismiss someone and not get into though the real meat of what's going on. It's like putting your child in front of the TV all day so you don't have to parent them or deal with them." — John Keegan, Dating Expert
"‘Don't worry about finding a partner; the right person will come along’," Bennet says. “While worrying is never a good idea, if you don't actively focus on finding a good partner, one isn't going to magically pop into your life. People who find quality people aren't sitting back waiting for someone to enter into their lives.” — David Bennett, Certified Counselor, Relationship Expert and Co-author of Seven Self-Help Books
8. "Just Be Yourself"
“The worst dating advice I’ve ever received is to ‘just be yourself,’ If you're constantly dateless or always end up with the wrong person, then "being yourself" isn't working. We coach our clients with the advice "be your best self" instead. Work to become the best version of yourself so you can date the highest quality partner possible.” — David Bennett, Certified Counselor, Relationship Expert and Co-author of Seven Self-Help Books
9. "You'll Feel Butterflies When It's Right"
“[The] worst dating advice I’ve heard is that you’ll know when they're right for you because you’ll feel butterflies immediately. Butterflies are a sign of lust, not compatibility.” —Sandy Weiner, Chief Love Officer of Last First Date
10. "Play Hard To Get"
"'Playing hard to get is endearing.' Who dreamed up this junk? Don’t do it. It can make you look difficult and really doesn’t serve any useful purpose. If you like the person let them know. If you don’t… let them know.. Whether online or in-person, responses aimed solely for 'playing hard to get' are a waste a time and will likely ruin any chances of a good thing. Don’t play games — just be honest." — Justin Lavelle, Relationship Expert and Chief Communications Officer for BeenVerified
11. "You Need To Feel A Spark"
"'You have to feel that “spark” or it just won’t work'. This isn’t really true. While the spark is mostly related to a real strong physical attraction, there are many other traits of a relationship that people connect on. Maybe you are really in tune with someone on a mental, spiritual, or emotional level. These are solid and some would argue that they create a more solid foundation than just pure physical attraction. So don’t despair if you don’t feel that spark. You may still be on to something good." — Justin Lavelle, Relationship Expert and Chief Communications Officer for BeenVerified
12. Wait 3 Days To Call & Have Sex On The 3rd Date
"'Wait three days to call and be prepared for sex on the third date". Throw it all out the window. In the same vein as 'be yourself' just do what feels right for you. If you want to call 10 minutes after a great date… call! Basically, don’t set yourself up for games with timeframes and deadlines that somebody told you years ago. Go with the flow and do what feels right." — Justin Lavelle, Relationship Expert and Chief Communications Officer for BeenVerified
13. Build A Dating Profile You Think Others Will Like
"'Build an online profile you think others will like' — just be yourself. You will have a much better chance of having a successful match if you are honest up front and stay away from old tips that say you need to tip the scale this way or that way. Put your best information out there and look for a true match." — Justin Lavelle, Relationship Expert and Chief Communications Officer for BeenVerified
14. “Be Mysterious"
"“Be mysterious'. My advice: Games are for kids. Mystery has no place in an adult, healthy relationship." —April Beyer, Professional Matchmaker & Dating Expert
15. "It's OK To Lie About Your Age"
"'It's OK to lie about your age'. Some people advise fudging your age a little bit if you need to seem a little older or younger to match the requirements of someone you fancy. After all, they reason, saying you're 32 when you're really 30 is hardly a big deal, right? This is totally the wrong approach. Relationships survive only when there is trust and honesty. Starting off the relationship with a lie, no matter how small, is going to come back to bite you in the long run. Don't do it." — Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C, Couples Counselor and Director Of The Baltimore Therapy Center
A lot of people who give relationships advice really, really are trying to help, but that doesn't mean what they're saying is true for you. So when you get relationship advice that doesn't sit right with you, it's important to not get too upset or be suspicious of the person. They're probably trying to help — but you don't have to listen.