Love is a many strange and wondrous thing. It’s also spawned more clichéd bits of dating advice than I care to count. We’re all going through life looking for love, so there are few things more maddening to a singleton than being told that “your time will come”. When? Where? How? Old adages like “love will find a way” are the province of the happily coupled and are singularly unhelpful to those of us still looking for romance. With that in mind, here’s a few more platitudinous dating phrases that should be banned.
“You can’t help who you fall in love with.” This is a big one. It’s often used as a bit of cold comfort when we find out that our sweetheart wasn’t so sweet after all. Maybe they had a drug habit or were cheating on us from the get go, but we couldn’t help falling in love them. Sure, we’d heard all sorts of stories and their coming home at 4 am every night was a bit suspicious, but it couldn’t be helped. They were the partner that almighty Love had selected for us and we were powerless to resist. Nonsense. No matter how attractive or appealing someone may be, one can always choose to walk away; should walk away if it looks like the relationship is heading for disaster.
“Follow your heart.” The heart is a fickle, fickle thing and giving it too much of a say can get one into all sorts of embarrassing situations. Your heart might tell you that they’ll take you back if only you visited right now. In reality you’re probably drunk and lonely and showing up on your ex’s doorstep at 3am is certainly not going to charm them back. Your heart might tell you to ditch your current partner for that new, charming individual that’s setting off fireworks and butterflies in your gut. It won’t seem like such great advice when Mr. Fantastic isn’t returning your calls and the old boyfriend is too hurt to take you back. Getting passionate is all fine and well, but listen to your head as much as your heart.
“When it’s true love, there’s nothing you can do to ruin it.” Actually yes, yes you can ruin it; you can ruin it very easily. Just because you’re both completely head over heels about one another is no reason to be anything other than your best self. Even if she is the stars and the moon to you, she won’t be impressed if you quit your job and become a total slob. A fantastic relationship is still a relationship, and like any involvement, it can sour if one party stops trying to make it work.
“Love happens when you’re not looking for it.” This is my personal bugbear, because we’re all looking for it, all the time. Even if we’re not actively trawling dating sites and hook up spots, we’ve got an eye open for potential romance. What’s more, not acting upon the potential for romance isn’t going to net you any partners. One has to look for it, and seize the opportunity when it presents itself. One can’t simply sit back and expect life to deliver a dreamboat to one’s doorstep.
Much as I love the Beatles, one needs a little more than just Love. You need perseverance and a hefty dose of common sense.
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