• dating donts

Dating Don’ts: How NOT To Discuss Love

Between the Internet, blogging, and social networking, the concept of courtship can seem pretty antiquated. Depending on how Web-present you are, with the push of a button a guy could potentially access everything from your videotaped colonic to your SAT scores to mortifying details of your most recent heartbreak. All this before you’ve even met him in real life.

Once, I was regaling a new date with a funny story — only to have him interrupt and finish it for me. It wasn’t a case of sudden onset Alzheimer’s. I’d never met him before. He’d Googled me and read a piece I’d written that contained the anecdote. I was busted for plagiarizing my own material.

With any luck, your online presence isn’t as loud and embarrassing as mine. Still, living in a post-privacy world begs the question: How much information is too much information? Negotiating the privacy line becomes especially crucial when dating someone new. So here are some guidelines for what to reveal and what to leave unspoken. For now, anyway. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: Five Ways Not To Argue

I never trust couples that claim they don’t fight. I don’t believe them, and even if they aren’t lying, who wants to be with a guy who agrees with everything you say? How boring would that be? The best part of being in a relationship is exposing yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking. If you don’t have any conflict, you’re probably not going to have many sparks.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but one of the most important things a couple should figure out early on is how to fight fairly and effectively. Here’s what not do when you’re engaged in battle…. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: Relationship Anxieties To Quit Worrying About

A good friend of mine recently reminded me of some advice I’d given her back in college. She was about to sleep with a new boyfriend for the first time and had been fretting about some body part. Apparently I shrugged and told her, “Please—boys are just happy to have a naked girl in the same room as them.”

I was kind of surprised and impressed when she told me I’d actually said these words. Over the years I have had pre-sex panic attacks over (in no particular order): my eyebrows, nasally voice, bad breath, body hair, belly roll(s), teeth, table manners, inner thighs… basically if I had it, I wasted valuable lady hours worrying about it. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: Four Reasons You’ll NEVER Get Dumped

Writing about dating is my full-time job, so, naturally, I hear a lot of pretty deranged tales of love gone wrong. But last week I received a letter from a woman who was convinced that men wouldn’t go out with her because she was just too … beautiful.

She fully believed her breathtaking attractiveness was anything but a man-magnet—as one might expect. Instead, she said, her beauty acted as a Romeo-repellant, causing suitors to run screaming from her. Obviously, I explained the situation to her (perhaps it wasn’t her gorgeous outsides, but her narcissistic insides that were doing the damage), but it did get me to thinking about all the other ridiculous reasons that women—myself included—come up with when they get dumped. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: Four Horrible Ways To Get Him To Pop The Question

Maybe it’s because we’re forced to deal with our families more than usual during the holidays, but these can be trying times for women without rings on their wedding fingers. Aunt Esther’s annual grab at your left hand and subsequent clucking over your naked ring finger is annoying, but you write it off because she’s senile and will die soon. When your cousin Myrna gasses on about her impending nuptials over eggnog, you actually feel a little sorry for her because you see the way her betrothed keeps eyeing her sister. But when your baby sister flashes the rock that her professor-turned-paramour put under the tree, you succumb to a little condition called “The Ring Tizzy.” Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: How Not To Become A Party Pariah

Though I can’t remember his name, I can still recall the face of the guest who whipped out a handful of Ziploc bags as a long ago Christmas party was winding down. “Do you mind if I take some of these cheese puffs home with me?” he half-asked, shoving the leftover snacks into a bag. “What about these tortilla chips?”

Too shocked to do anything but nod, my acquaintance left with a stash of snacks and a permanent place on my own personal Do Not Call list.

When I first started writing this piece, I figured it would be about not making a fool of yourself at the company holiday party. But the more I researched, the more it seemed that pretty much every business on the planet has cancelled their annual soirees. I get that you can’t lay off half your staff and then ply the other half with six-foot sandwiches and cheap booze, but I think a lot of companies are using this financial downturn as an excuse. Bah humbug! Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: How Not To Handle Gifting Situations

Have you ever gotten a gift so ugly, so utterly not you, that you can’t even fake a kind response? That’s how I felt opening a box that contained the silver-plated, faux-turquoise-encrusted bracelet my then boyfriend gifted me one Christmas.

“Santa Fe fake?” I asked, slipping it over my hand, and removing it before it could turn my wrist green. I could tell that he was a little hurt, but c’mon. I had fire engine red hair and a pierced nose. He may as well have given me a beige mu-mu and a hairnet.

How does that old adage go? ‘Tis better to give than to receive? Generally, I disagree with this sentiment (after all, who doesn’t like presents?), but in that particular case it rang true. Gift giving and receiving introduces a whole new element of tension in even the most established relationships. Will it fit her? Do you think it’ll cover his bald spot? So I’m here to help you negotiate this treacherous terrain by making sure you don’t do the wrong thing. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: How Not To React When You Get Dumped

Last week, we covered how to avoid being a bad heartbreaker, so this week we’ll tackle the other side of things. Coincidentally, it’s a side of dating I’m far more familiar with: how to accept being dumped with dignity.

Just as there are myriad ways to screw up breaking someone’s heart, the possibilities for botching a “getting-broken-up-with” are limitless. Here are some behaviors to avoid so you won’t compound your heartache with a total loss of self respect. Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: How Not To Be A Bad Ex

There are two sides to almost every breakup — the dumper and the dumpee. (Sorry, I don’t buy those “mutual” decision splits. I’m sure they happen, but they’re as rare as a fat cell on Madonna’s rear end, so they don’t count.) While it’s ideal when both sides leave the relationship with dignity, it’s much easier to be the Gracious Ex when you’re the dumper. After all, it was your bright idea to break up. You’ve had time to wrap your head around it, and really, who are you kidding? You probably have a replacement lined up already. So, we’re going to start with you, the breaker-upper, because your list of “How Not to Be” is a lot shorter. Without further adieu, you definitely should not … Keep reading »

Dating Don’ts: Six Things Not To Do On A First Date

The unthinkable has happened. He asked you out. The only guys who renders you speechless. The guy so smart, handsome and unbelievably hot you can do little more than blush and stutter in his presence. And now you’re going out with him. Tomorrow. Hooray?

Your friends think it’s cute that you’re in such a panic, but you can’t see any humor in the situation. Not only do you have to lose ten pounds, grow an extra cup size and somehow talk your mousey mop into looking like Jennifer Aniston’s—you have to do it all by tomorrow. Oh, and you should probably also think about regaining your powers of speech. What to wear? What to smell like? What to do?

Okay, I can’t really help you with that, but here are a few things you definitely shouldn’t do, after the jump… Keep reading »

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