Relationship advice can get us through some rough times. However, there is some pretty horrible advice out there. Not everyone is qualified to give sound advice when it comes to matters of the heart. The Cheat Sheet reached out to a few top relationship experts to ask them to share some of the worst relationship advice they’ve ever received. So listen up and learn what not to do in your next relationship. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Say what you’re looking for (as in the end game) on the first date
I tried that advice a couple of times, casually saying I was looking for a long-term partner or husband, and each time it made for a pretty awkward date. I’ve talked to women who have tried the same advice. One friend said that after saying “I want to be married next year,” her date said, “check please.”
2. Be yourself
I took the advice for years and it left me constantly single and frustrated. Lots of people who are single, especially consistently, act in ways that keep them single. “Be yourself” often has the effect of saying “keep doing what you’re doing.” So, telling someone who has been single and lonely for a long time to “be yourself” is actually cruel advice because it keeps them single. It gives them false hope that simply doing nothing is an effective strategy to get into a wonderful relationship.
My advice is to”be your best self.” Keep the core of your personality, but pursue what you consider to be excellent while also getting rid of bad habits. If you want to date someone attractive and excellent, then be willing to become attractive and excellent yourself.
Jonathan Bennett, certified counselor and co-founder of The Popular Man
3. Don’t worry, it will happen
Nothing just happens. It only happens if you work at it. Saying this sort of thing absolves anyone of any personal responsibility. If you want something to happen, you have to devote some time to the problem so that you can improve. It reminds me of Einstein’s quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you change nothing, nothing will change.
Hunt Ethridge, certified dating coach
4. You can always get divorced
At the time I received this advice, I was young, naïve, and idealistic. I thought because the woman I was with was incredibly smart and beautiful, the externals of our lives would justify our internal differences. I was wrong. My subsequent divorce was one of the most difficult experiences I ever went through. I couldn’t understand how something that looked so perfect from the outside could be so emotionally wrong. What I learned is that you need to trust your instincts in intimate relationships. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Divorce is incredibly difficult and painful. Enter relationships with as much honesty and integrity as you possibly can.
5. Things will change
Many people cling to the hope that a fundamental difference or problem can be changed, but unless both members of a couple are committed to that change, it rarely does.
Matt Morgan, co-founder of dating/matchmaking service Cuplin
6. Don’t give all of your heart at the beginning of your marriage
The worst relationship advice I ever received was to protect yourself at the beginning of your marriage for a potential divorce in terms of how much of your heart to give. Why is this bad? If you are already planning for the worst and you don’t enter the relationship with 100% of your heart and a full commitment, the relationship will suffer.
Dr. Greg Kushnick, clinical psychologist, blogger, and founder of techealthiest.com, a how-to guide for health and happiness
7. Don’t go to bed angry
One of the worst [pieces of] marriage advice I received was to not go to bed angry. That caused my husband and I for the second half of our first year to not get any sleep! Soon I realized we both needed sleep and that nothing would be accomplished late at night. Instead we learned to pause, set another time to reconvene, and pick it up when we were both in a better place.
Judith Rapley Waterman, life and business coach
8. Treat women like you don’t care and they’ll want you more
A sports jock in high school told me that. I took the advice. I was reluctant, and I tried both sides of the advice. Being rude and indecent got me cursed out. Talking like a gentleman gave me much better results. Even though she had a boyfriend and declined, she mentioned that if she didn’t, she would have considered me for the position.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo