The annoying thing about dating advice, generally speaking, is that it tends to be 100% based on other peoples’ opinions. And if you’ve ever engaged in polite conversation, you’ll know that most peoples’ opinions fucking suck. I’ve read countless times that showing up late and mentioning horoscopes is a guaranteed dealbreaker, but my Scorpio boyfriend (tragic, I know) was kind enough to overlook all that, and we’ve been thriving ever since. So, I’m not here to give advice on dating specifically, an activity at which everyone unabashedly sucks. Instead, I’m here to make sure you actually make it to the point where you can decide whether or not you want a second date, rather than taking yourself out of the running with a too-soon friend request or some other amateur bullshit. Here are three ways you’re scaring guys off before you get a chance to reject them yourself. Take notes.
Overusing Social Media
Social media is tricky. You need a distraction from the all-consuming task of not triple-texting, so you decide to post an Instagram story that happens to highlight your breasts and/or totally raging social life. And which you then go on to update every 30 minutes. Totally harmless right? Wrong. If triple-texting is unattractive because it looks like you’re too into him, non-stop social media is unattractive because it looks like you’re way too into your phone/yourself. (Which like, you are, but let him find that out on his own.)
Social media stories typically fall into two acceptable categories. If they’re actually interesting/entertaining (what the kids refer to as “quality content”), post away. Keep in mind that this typically requires you having an interesting job or life, such as interacting with celebrities. Just my two cents. If your stories fall more into the “day in the life but my hair looks good” category, you’re going to really want to limit it to the highlights. ONE selfie er day. ONE meal pic every three days, and the sunlight better be hitting your avocado toast JUST right. You get the idea.
Guys watching a story you updated every two minutes aren’t admiring your fun, cool life. They’re picturing you standing in the middle of that scene with your eyeballs glued to your phone. More importantly, they’re picturing dating you as an unpaid photographer gig with a side of watching you scroll through filters. (Again, this is accurate, but it’s also a reality that men need to be phased into slowly. If they’re aware of what’s happening before it’s too late to stop it, you’re doing it wrong.)
You’re not Kim K. You can’t get away with this.
Planning Out Every Last Detail
On average, it takes me and my boyfriend maybe 60 texts to nail down a dinner date. I reject the first 15 restaurant suggestions, he suggests between seven and 12 different meeting points, I get preemptively snarky about his outfit, and the fun rolls on. Fine and good when you’ve tricked someone into you’re in a committed relationship. Early on, though, anything above a single-digit number of texts to make a plan is going to be off-putting. This includes everything from the first “when should we get together” text to when you’re actually, physically speaking. Which means you should leave room for one “I’m here” text when you arrive, and should absolutely not be texting “do you want me to get a table or meet at the bar? LMK!” once you do arrive.
Texting back and forth over every detail makes you seem like you can’t make a decision without outside input, and runs the risk of exhausting him so much that the idea of meeting you in person no longer seems fun. This includes texts moving around the meet-up time, suggesting more than two locations (or including more than a five-word description of either one), or in any way reiterating the plans you’ve literally just made. (The boy can both scroll up and read, right? If not, get higher standards.) If you’re taking the initiative to make the plan, actually make the plan. And if he’s taking charge, either agree to something quickly or decide his suggestions all suck and just cancel altogether. Anything else will just breed irritation when your name pops up on their phone.
Your crush if you don’t ease TF up:
Taking The “Cool Girl” Thing Too Literally
Congratulations, you are a grown-ass woman. Everything in your life falls perfectly into place, seemingly without effort. You don’t need this man’s validation, and you won’t be crushed if this date doesn’t go well. You’re down for anything that comes up, but you’re just as down to walk away. You are the perfect embodiment of everything men are supposed to want women to be. Well—SURPRISE, BITCH! This is 2018, and perfect is no longer good enough. While I maintain that the above is a great attitude to hold internally, there are two glaring issues. One, this is true for exactly no one; you likely try very hard for everything you’ve achieved, and care at least a little, and hiding that is dumb. Two, it leaves very little room for you to make a meaningful connection. If someone’s going to get to know you, you have to show some vulnerability.
That means you can’t just be “fine with whatever” when it comes to spending the night, going out again, or picking your first vacation spot. You have to be honest about what you want, even if that means maybe not getting it. While being the Cool Girl might keep a guy interested in chasing you for a decently long time, maintaining the Cool Girl virtually guarantees that he’ll never be actually interested in dating you. In fact, he has no idea who the fuck you are beyond a girl who answers his texts less quickly than his other matches, and is therefore intriguing. Somewhere, some bitch who probably has an adorable Southern accent will outplay you by answering his texts just as slowly but then confessing that she’s getting attached on date three with a giggle that makes him feel like a Big Special Man. It’s all about balance.
This is where being a Cool Girl gets you. Covered in blood and hugging Ben “I specialize in on- and off-screen adultery” Affleck. Don’t be the Cool Girl, ladies!
Once you’re on the actual date, everyone has a million highly specific preferences for what person they want you to be. (You do too, don’t lie.) But with these tips, you’ll hopefully at least make it on the date before you fuck it up. Good luck out there!
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Everyone has a slightly different opinion about how much dirty talk is acceptable. Some people have a strong preference for non-verbal cues; others want spoken word poetry performed about their bodies until completion. (Don’t believe me? Attend Wesleyan for four years and get back to me.) So, while the best recourse is always to check with your partner about what they prefer, dirty talk is not a science. There’s no one-size-fits-all on what people are turned on by hearing. There is, however, a fairly definitive list of what people are turned OFF by hearing. Here’s a list of the top 5 things you should never say in bed.
1. “Are You Close?”
“Are you close” is the sexual equivalent of “are we there yet,” and both are equally annoying. Obviously, when you gave up on an orgasm came 20 minutes ago and they’re still going at it, this thought will be on loop in your mind along with “oh god I think I’m starting to chafe” and “I think I can feel myself getting a UTI.” But when you basically announce “I wish this were over, can we wrap it up?” you’re setting both partners up for a shitty experience. You’ll either feel like a martyr for allowing them to continue or resent them for not offering to stop. They’ll feel embarrassed and hurt for not realizing you were no longer into it. (And they’ll also probably be way less close than they were a second ago, because they’re now self-conscious AF.)
In all fairness, this question can be asked with good intention. If you think of sex as a workout, hearing “I’m close” can be the equivalent of the burst of energy you get when you hear “final set” from your trainer. But odds are, they can’t predict the exact moment of their orgasm any better than you can yours. So save yourselves both the embarrassment, and just be upfront when you have to stop. A simple “this feels amazing, but I’m getting really sore. Can we pick this up later?” is much more effective. You may have to deal with a few minutes of blue ball-induced grumpiness, but anyone worth your time will understand.
2. “My Ex….”
If you’ve scored a second date at any point in your life, you know not to talk about exes. But there is truly no worse time to do so than in bed. Even if you consider it a compliment, saying “you give much better head than my ex did” will only ensure that both you and your partner are now thinking about your ex giving you head. And your partner will start wondering how long you’ve been thinking about your ex giving you head, and why you’re thinking about him at all, and you’ll be thinking about all the fights and weird avoidance strategies you employed with your ex because he was bad at giving head. Congratulations, now no one is enjoying themselves. Save this kind of talk for brunch with your friends.
Remember the episode of Friends where Rachel keeps bursting out laughing whenever Ross tries to make out with her? Granted, Ross is a man-child for the ages, but his reaction isn’t all that unfair. Sure, weird shit happens during sex and it’s actually a healthy sign if you and your partner can laugh together. But the key point there is that a) it’s together and b) it doesn’t kill the mood. If you bust out laughing while your partner is making a genuine effort to be intimate—like doing a sexy striptease—it’s super hurtful and unlikely to be something you recover from. (If they fully fall over because their clothes got stuck over their eyes, I give you permission to giggle quietly. Then go make sure they’re okay.)
As a general rule, if only one person is laughing, the other probably feels pretty shitty. And unless you’re actively trying to discourage someone acting sexual with you, don’t make them feel like it’s hysterically funny that they thought you were actually turned on.
Don’t pretend you don’t know what “whatever” means—you probably use it 16 times a day. It means “I don’t care,” “I wasn’t listening,” or “I’m too tired to explain it to you.” While wildly useful in other circumstances, it’s the worst possible response to any question asked in bed. If your partner is asking “what do you want” or “does that feel good,” that’s GOOD. (Actually, the former is a mixed bag. But “I’m not sure” is way better than “whatever.”) “Whatever” is the verbal equivalent of starfishing. It indicates that you’re not into it, that you’re only there to wait it out until they finish, and that there’s nothing they could possibly do to change that. Assuming you’re not fucking someone who’s cool with those terms, you just ruined the moment, HARD. But TBH, if you’re saying “whatever” during sex, you’re probably looking for an out.
5. “Does Daddy Like That?”
Yeah, I’m sure there are some cases in the Trump family where this is a major turn on. But please god, let your partner bring it up before dumping them giving it a shot. The thing about calling someone “daddy” is that if they don’t like it, they REALLY don’t like it. Like, dry-heaving, reduced blood flow to the genitals, and serious questioning of how deeply rooted your daddy issues are don’t like it. Maybe they called their own father “daddy” as a child and are now thinking about that. Maybe they one day hoped to have children of their own who refer to them as “daddy,” and they don’t want it sullied in advance. These are all legitimate reactions.
IMO, there are just too many gross interpretations for this to be a risk worth taking. I can’t speak to the people who do like this, because I don’t know any, but it’s possible that this is a high-risk, high-reward move. For now, though, I can only say with confidence that it’s extremely high risk, and if this isn’t a NEVER, it’s at least an extreme “proceed with caution.”
(^acceptable here, since she’s probably fantasizing about Hiram Lodge)
As I said before, the easiest route to successful dirty talk is always finding out what your partner wants. But since actual conversation delivering the sex equivalent of an HR survey can be daunting, the above list should ensure that you at least don’t embarrass yourself or hurt anyone’s feelings—no awkward discussion required. You’re welcome!
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