Dating Advice That Seriously Needs To Die

If I have one gripe about writing in the dating niche, it’s that there’s rarely ever new ground covered. It’s the same thing over dead-cupidand over again. And the most frustrating part is that nothing ever seems to change. Certain topics gets discussed month after month after month and there isn’t an ounce of progress.  Six months later, people are still debating the finer points of these tedious arguments or dispensing the same advice shared by everybody else. Few people in this space are original or innovative.

Even more annoying are these people who write about dating-relating topics who have literally ZERO experience with the very topic on which they are speaking. I took part in a Hangout yesterday about dating and technology and the explosion of various apps. Out of the seven people on the panel, only ONE of them had actually used any of the apps being discussed.

You are OWNING this Hangout @mandystadt you’re the only person who has used the majority of apps discussed and did research

And this, in a nutshell, is one of the major problems with most dating advice. The people giving it have little to no actual experience with the mediums and methods being deconstructed. They either don’t use these platforms “because they don’t need to” (translation: I’m better than you losers) or they’ve been in a relationship since before apps even became a thing. Or they have an agenda. I’ll say this: nobody gives dating advice because they just want people to be happy. Sorry, nobody is that altruistic. If they’re not getting paid for it, they either are trying to level the playing field for themselves or have a burning desire for attention or bragging rights. Those are the only reasons why anybody would devote themselves to disseminating dating information on a regular basis without getting paid for it.

All of that said, there are certain pearls of wisdom that get a lot of play in this space. Every single one of these topics needs to be put down for good.

Discussing “your number” - Sharing your number of sexual partners is not, nor has it every really been, a thing. We’ve been led to believe that it is because people won’t shut the fuck up about it. It’s a trick question used to discern something else. But the joke is on the person asking because unless they are a human lie detector, they won’t have  a clue if they’re being told the truth.

Who pays on a first date? – If people would stop regurgitating the same biased information over and over, we might actually get to a point some day where it come naturally for people to, like, pay for the food they ate and the drinks they drank without being offended. The fake reach would no longer exist. Know why the man paying is a social expectation? Because people keep repeating this fact over and over. Wouldn’t it just be easier if everybody went into a date and treated it like any other social meet up with a friend? You don’t sit there and let your friend pay the check. You kick in your share.

Profile photos are, like, super important – No shit?

The three date rule - This is another one of those things that exists solely because people won’t let it die. Have sex when you want. The end. If someone does or doesn’t want to wait a certain number of dates, they aren’t for you. Move it along.

The differences between being single and being in a relationship – Ever notice how these are NEVER written by anybody who has been with their partner for longer than, like, a year?

Anything to do with sex - I love me a mature and insightful discussion about sexuality. I loathe bull sessions where each person participating knows less than the next or purports to be oh so naughty when they clearly aren’t.  I can’t stand when sex is used to be provocative or to get attention, because 90% of the time, there isn’t an ounce of depth to the discussion. It becomes a pissing contest over who has sex more and subversive slut shaming. “Oh, I only do that if I’m comfortable with someone or in a LT relationship.” Translation: you don’t do it.


Women need to be patient. Create space for a man to invite you out, or take the online interaction to the next level. – See more at:
Women need to be patient. Create space for a man to invite you out, or take the online interaction to the next level. – See more at:

Any advice that involves the sentence “well, when I met my boyfriend/girlfriend” – That’s your cue that the “advice” being shared is really just a humblebrag or written for the benefit of the significant other. Just because something happened to work for someone that one time doesn’t make it a thing.

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15 Responses to “Dating Advice That Seriously Needs To Die”

  1. Vandellish Says:

    Excellent piece! I share your opinion on just about all of these but you’ve organized them and articulated them so beautifully. I personally think a lot of dating issues would be solved if we as men would be more honest about what our actual experiences and expectations are as opposed to trying to come across as ‘Alpha’ while at the same time feeling that we have to subscribe to outdated and even bogus traditions.
    My worst dating advice actually came from my married sister (she was a newlywed at the time). She told me that I needed to ‘date as many people as I can while I don’t have a girlfriend’ because I’d been limiting myself according to my ‘type’. Ughhh. Not only did that result in a lot of unspectacular dates but I almost broke the bank! The logistics of dating are still very different for men and women and when dispensing dating advice we should always be aware of the other gender’s perspective.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8

  2. LostSailor Says:

    I agree that these same topics come up over and over again, which is why I haven’t been commenting on some posts since I really have nothing new to say that I haven’t said many times before.

    But, the topics come up again and again because they are the ones that people are struggling with or bothered by and there are still differing opinions out there.

    I agree with Moxie’s list and commentary. With the exception of “who pays on a first date.” The real answer is “whoever wants to.” If a woman wants to kick in when the check comes, she will (and not just the fake reach). Unfortunately, in my experience, it’s not necessarily a good omen for a second or third date, though perhaps not as predictive as a shiv to the kidney or a facefull of mace. But for the foreseeable future, men will still be expected to pay for dates, especially early on. Fair or not, accept it with zen-like calm and plan dates accordingly.

    Now, let me impart the lesson about when I met my girlfriends…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  3. M Says:

    I agree with most of these. I don’t agree with the one about paying on the first date because that’s how the word gets out. It would be great if we could go on dates and not have to worry about who pays and not be offended if the wrong person does. However, that’s not reality in 2014. There are still plenty of people out there who think that the guy should always pay, and because of that, keeping the discussion alive puts idea in your head that that is an outdated idea.

    As for the last item, sometimes is just somebody giving context what they’re about to say. Not everybody has an agenda behind everything that they say when giving dating advice.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

    • tasia Says:

      Try eing the girl who actually does pay her own way. So far it seems to have made dudes super uncomfortable. Even when I try to soften it by saying the can get the next one if they like (you know assuming there will BE a next one).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

      • Nicole Says:

        I started to type a reply to this, because I have had the same issue and found a couple of ways around it…then I realized my second sentence was “when I met my boyfriend”…

        Moxie, you’re right – same shit, different day, lol.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      • Goldie Says:

        I had a guy friend tell me once that, if a woman pays her way on a first date with him, there won’t be a second – that he’d take that as a sign that she is not interested in him romantically.

        I guess the answer to “to pay or not to pay” would depend greatly on location, age group, social/cultural group, things of that nature. So it all boils down to paying attention to the signs the man gives out on your date, and to maybe not running up a $100 bill on a first date.

        I don’t do the fake reach – it’s an honest reach – I just do it very cautiously because I am afraid to hurt my date’s feelings. Sometimes they let me throw in a $10 or a $20 or what have you and I’m happy to do that. Other times they’re like, No way, I’ve got this. I’m not going to argue with them if that’s the case.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    • AnnieNonymous Says:

      I agree with your second paragraph in very limited circumstances. Occasionally you’ll find someone whose advice is coming in the form of “I don’t know how this works either, so I can only tell you what worked for me.” That’s fine, and sometimes there are even things to learn in those types of conversations. The key point is that they’re not acting like they’ve uncovered the solution to every dating problem ever.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. Tinker Says:

    Unless you are quoting a study, all dating advice is personal. I don’t see anything wrong with ‘this is how I met my girlfriend/boyfriend’ especially if the advice seekers can relate to the advice giver and/or are seeking a similar relationship

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

    • C Says:

      I feel that hearing individual stories has been invaluable to me because its taught me just how unique and arbitrary every journey is. Just when you think you’ve discovered a “dating rule”, you hear a story that blows it out of the water.

      Not every personal account is intended to self aggrandize and slut shame. Sometimes, the best way to relate and connect with others is to share personal experiences.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. Steve From The City Next Door Says:

    Many dating problems are not generally solvable…particular to a individual’s desire. Many situations keep happening because they will inherently occur in dating (at least in the current setup) — perhaps not for each individual but many. Each persons situation is different…some drastically so.

    Any advice given usually has a lot to the givers situation…not so much the receivers. If the advice is general…from a study or stats…well they also don’t take in to account the advicee’s situation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. JulesP Says:


    Yes, we are all collectively going to keep asking those same frustrating dating questions, over and over and maybe in different combinations – never mind every 6 months or so.. more like every few weeks :-) because we’re human and we err and fail and fuck up pretty much all the time.

    And sometimes, when things go right for us.. yes we might just say those words “when I met my partner” or “the guy who I’ve just started dating”.. it’s not necessarily because we are bragging but mostly because it’s a little whoop of joy (and why not).

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  7. Mark Says:

    “Rules that need to die.”

    In all fairness, if you believe this to be true then I have no qualms with that line of thinking. Especially if it works for you.

    Having said that I would be more inclined to think along these lines:

    Rule #1 – There are no Rules. Only Rules of Thumb and rough and ready guidelines. Very little is set in stone about dating or relationships in general. Period.

    Most attemps to follow some pre mixed recipe according to some notions that may or may not be either true or even accurate will more than likely result in more confusion and subsequent trouble than you want or need in your otherwise busy and hectic life. Simplicity is key. Simple but not simplistic.

    Instead use the what would a normal reasonable person in a similar situation think/feel/do. Don’t under think it and don’t over think it. Then act so that your position is understood. If in doubt, try your best to communicate things not so that you are understood, but rather you can’t be mis understood. Be pro active, not reactive about your situation.

    Blunt? Yeah, I’m afraid so. But all you have to do is skim some of the questions posed in this blog (or others) and think about how much angst, confusion or even misery could have been avoided if someone didn’t bend themselves into a pretzel about some supposed rule that they thought they had to adhere to in some way.

    Oh…. BTW. Relax. Try to enjoy things. Dating or otherwise. If you aren’t enjoying it at least moderately, it isn’t clear to me that someone should try to enjoy it for you.

    In any case, enjoy the Holiday weekend with those close to you and best of luck in the future.

    Rule #2 – See Rule #1

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  8. Speed Says:

    It’s true that many of the OPs bring up the same issues, with the “unicorn-chasing” man or woman being a staple. To Moxie, maybe it seems like she is a drug rehab counselor: dealing daily with the same people with the same problems day in, day out.

    However, there are many other dating issues that have been dealt with on this blog: technology, race, self-awareness, reading people and social cues, money, culture, divorce, family issues…the list goes on.
    There are have been many strategies posted on this blog that have been useful to me, most importantly: 1) focus on people interested in you and 2) improve yourself (for us guys, that usually boils down to growing your wallet size, confidence and appearance) as much as possible.

    People who say “there are no rules” or “do what feels right” are idiots. Every social interaction is full of rules, both written and unwritten. How could they possibly be absent in dating?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • C Says:

      People who say “there are no rules” or “do what feels right” are idiots. Every social interaction is full of rules, both written and unwritten. How could they possibly be absent in dating?

      There are no rules in part because the social rules around dating are fluid and ever changing, because expectations and wants vary, and because even when a rule can be identified, there are so many exceptions that I think you are far better off, as Mark said, calling them guidelines then rules.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Damien Says:

    “Certain topics gets discussed month after month after month and there isn’t an ounce of progress.” Questions, advice and opinions don’t change for a lot of things: investing, health & fitness, parenting, workplace HR issues, pick your topic.

    My friends used to all read Men’s Health Magazine. How many times can they run different versions of how to work out your abs? Same goes for Cosmo Magazine. How many different ways can they teach women how to rock their guy’s world? They’ve been running those for decades.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

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