Bad Dating Advice That People Think Is Good

love u podcast

Let’s face it: anyone can become a dating coach. All you need is an opinion and a website. The problem is that, when you’re relying on “experts,” it’s hard to distinguish good advice from the bad advice. If you can’t even trust your own judgment, how do you know what to believe? I’m excited to dive into this Love U Podcast where you’ll learn to see right through the bullshit, clichés, and wishful thinking that are so prevalent online.

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  1. 1

    I’ll listen to this later but i heard one piece of advice that I think is questionable:

    “you have to happy alone before you can be in a healthy relationship.”   not sure I quite agree with this.

    Evan- btw, this morning i got an email from you saying that your latest podcast was about needs and being needy.   your emails are out of sync with your podcast schedule.

    1. 1.1

      Scott, I have to agree with you there.   I was personally not happy being alone–but still managed to get the healthy relationship I’m in now.

      I followed all the advice I heard about being happy alone–filling my time with work, with family, with friends, with girls’ nights out, etc.   But as much as I tried to be happy alone, I never really was.   Deep down inside, I always felt like there was something missing.

      But being unhappily single didn’t hinder me from finding a healthy relationship.   If anything, it might have actually helped me find one.   Since I didn’t like being alone, that motivated me to keep going out on dates and do everything I could to not be alone anymore.

      This isn’t to say that I don’t think anyone can be genuinely happy being alone–I know some people who are and more power to them.   I never quite managed it so I admire anyone who does.   It’s just that I don’t think it’s some prerequisite to a healthy relationship.


      1. 1.1.1

        ScottH and Christine.



        In that context, I believe that what is meant by that saying is, another cannot create happiness in you, they can only increase what is already there. So we should date people who are happy within themselves.


        There is a difference between  a person who is unhappy about being single and a person who is just unhappy?


        It is something I can’t explain, and you won’t fully understand  unless you have experienced it; having another place so much pressure on you to make their life better emotionally is not fun.


        The attention, love, sex,  and willingness to please you seems great at first, but it  will becomes  draining; and woe is the day that this person discovers that you are human; with human flaws, wants and needs.

        …           …           …


        Have you noticed in our society that to admit that you are not happy being single or that you are lonely, or that… you “Need” some companionship/love is the new taboo!


        I have lots of friends, I have a good, supportive, loving family, I have a good career, I have good healthy self-esteem,


        the moment I admit that I “need”  the love, the closeness, the  companionship,  the intimacy,  and  the touch of a  women…


        You would think I just said that I though about committing suicide. (o_O)

        1. Christine

          Adrian, I have also noticed that taboo.   It can be just as bad for women to admit to being lonely.   I’ve often heard how “empowered” women are not supposed to “need” a man.   The moment I admitted to “needing” the intimacy of a man…you would think I had said that I wanted to become a brainless Stepford wife setting back the women’s movement by 100 years!   But my guy really enhances my life and I really wouldn’t trade my relationship with him for the single life again.

          But I’m careful to have realistic expectations from him too.   I think of us as two imperfect people, who are perfect for each other.

        2. Jewel


          One of my exes wanted me to make him happy, not happier. All that happened was him slowly trying to suck all the life out of me. I told him be had to make himself happy and I would be there to add to it.

          My ex after that was unhappy too. He was much better though because he liked seeing me smile and made it happen. He was able to enjoy the time we spent together. Not the misery loves company BS my other ex put me through.

      2. 1.1.2



        I am glad that you wrote this.   I agree with you as well.   Also, Adrian’s comment’s really good.   But, yes, I think that you might not be happy completely when single, and that provides some sort of encouragement for finding someone.   However, as per Adrian’s comment, I don’t know as though there is a big difference between being unhappy single and being unhappy.   There kind of is a difference and there kind of isn’t.   I think that people that are happier single are less likely to want to meet a partner   in the middle.   If someone is really busy single and happy, what is going to make them be more available within reason to a partner?   And a lot of people seem to not have this balance anyways.   So, how do you know what is right?   Well, shouldn’t it be someone that really wants the relationship with the other person, and there doesn’t need to be a struggle for essential relationship needs, such as SOME time available to spend together?

        1. Angel

          Every person gets to decide for themselves what brings them happiness. Forget “what is right” and focus on what is right for you. Everyone has different reasons for wanting a partner.

          The reason many people advocate for being happy within yourself is because it makes your approaches to finding a partner healthier. You won’t be looking for someone desperately and therefore won’t settle for crumbs from the first fellow who shows up; you won’t be pushing potential partners away with your anxiety-ridden attempts to make them like you or want to be with you.

          When you are happy within yourself, you know what your needs are and you find healthy ways of having them met by yourself and others. You learn to have healthy boundaries and you are more attractive to people who are also happy and healthy. It does not mean you don’t want a partner, it just means you feel good about yourself, you care for yourself and will be open to someone who can share that with you. Being happy within yourself is accepting everything about yourself and making peace with whatever you don’t necessarily like about yourself. Being happy is not dependent on having a partner or not and it doesn’t mean you won’t desire more things than the ones you already have.

        2. Sarahk



          Angel, part of your comment is interesting,   however I don’t happen to see all that you’re saying.   It still didn’t address that part of the population that is so filled and (happy?) single, that they don’t seem to need a relationship, yet are actively seeking one.   What is someone thinking saying or acting in that way?

          I didn’t say that a person shouldn’t be happy, but there are different definitions that   a person uses I suppose for that word.   Who is going to be interested in someone that is happy and single and spends a few evenings a week with their friends out?   I mean sure that person might be happy, but they aren’t being honest either with who they are meeting.   Especially when they aren’t open to allowing the person to meet the friends for a while (per their timeline).   So, I think that sometimes broad statements like being happy can be completely misinterpreted and further exploited by those that would choose to use it against someone they deem “less happy” than themselves.   When really that other person wants someone to make the effort.

    2. 1.2

      Scott and Christine,

      I agree with both of you and it makes me wonder if people who say that are really being honest with themselves, or it’s just some psychobabble they’ve half way bought into. If we were truly happy alone why would we be seeking a relationship in the first place? Why would we have that desire deep within us to couple up? I think denying that desire is what is unhealthy. I’ve always been happier when I’m in a loving relationship.

      1. 1.2.1

        KK, sometimes I’ve wondered the same thing.   As the cliche goes, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?   If anyone is completely happy being alone, then why change that by getting into a relationship?

        If anyone else is happy alone then really, that’s great–but I’ve just never been one of them.   Believe me that I tried and I tried to be happy alone, but just couldn’t get there.


      2. 1.2.2

        try this…

        imagine a person who is pessimistic, neurotic, cynical, angry, etc.

        its likely that person is going to be pessimistic, neurotic, cynical, angry, etc. in a relationship.

        Their inherent personality doesn’t change because they’re dating another person.

        It’s really not a difficult concept to understand.

        what you are saying KK is that you need/expect another person to validate your self worth by being your boy/girlfriend. How unfair is that to him/her? I’d never be with someone who didn’t love themselves first.


        1. KK

          Silly said something pretty silly:

          “What  you are saying KK is that you need/expect another person to validate your self worth by being your boy/girlfriend. How unfair is that to him/her? I’d never be with someone who didn’t love themselves first.”

          Is it silly to make up things? I’d never be with someone who had such poor reading comprehension. Don’t be so silly.

        2. silly

          “If we were truly happy alone why would we be seeking a relationship in the first place?”

          That’s not what you said KK?

          You are either

          a)  confusing being happy/unhappy about  your state (single vs in a relationship) with being an overall healthy well adjusted happy person

          or b) you really do think being in a relationship automatically makes you a happy well adjusted person. It doesn’t. That’s something each of us has to work on for oureslves, lest we put in on someone else in the position of being responsible for making us a happy well adjusted person. A disaster waiting to happen.


          Got it now? Or do you also need to work on YOUR reading comprehension?


        3. KK

          Oh there you go again Silly, telling me what I think.

          Is it possible an overall healthy, well adjusted, happy person is even happier when they’re in a healthy, loving relationship?

          Is it also possible that  an overall healthy, well adjusted person can actually admit they’re not so happy when they’re single?

          If you’re so silly, I mean happy, Silly, what value does a relationship bring? If you’re so whole and happy in you’re singleness, just stay single and happy.

  2. 2

    I have to agree with Evan that in the age of the internet, anyone with a computer, can claim to be a relationship expert and milk thousands of dollars  from lonely people or promote their mistrust of the opposite sex.


    To get to Evan, I had to  sample dozens of so called experts, both men and women, he was the first I found that openly spoke “against” game playing from either gender.


    My father once said, “A good lie, always has  the  truth mixed  in it or people would not believe it” He also said that,   “A drowning man will even reach out for a straw in his desperation”.


    In my opinion, lonely people are more willing to believe in products that promise you that you can “win any man/woman’s heart” or “the guaranteed method on how to get your ex to fall  back in love with you,” etc.


    This is not me bashing relationship and dating experts, this is just my observations from what I have seen out there.

    …     …     …

    Oh I almost forgot! The advice that tells women that if they act feminine, and show a guy she desires him, he will take advantage of her and play with her emotions.


    The advice that tells men that women  crave bad boys;  women  want   men who don’t show that they openly  desires a relationship with  them; so he should start  negging her and  act like an aloof jerk.

    1. 2.1

      Who gives that advice to men?   Does that actually work?   Personally, when a guy didn’t show me he wanted a relationship with me, I always moved on.   I thought, if he doesn’t want me in his life, I’ll respect his wishes by not being a part of it (while freeing myself up to find someone else who does want me).

      That reminds me of a hilarious youtube video I saw, with “Ken’s Dating Tips” (with the Ken doll from the Toy Story 3 movie).   One of his tips was to play hard to get.   Then they show Barbie asking him out.   He plays “hard to get” and says no.

      So then…Barbie shrugs, says “oh, okay” and walks off, LOL!

      In this day and age, even a fictitious little plastic man can give dating advice on the Internet. 🙂

      1. 2.1.1


        You remind me of myself from 3 years ago; before I ever heard of the PUA community or their advice.


        Now of course it seems silly to me now  but at the time it made since, after all, women do seem to love bad boys.


        Maybe we should ask Ken about this? (^_^)

        1. Christine

          LOL–or maybe we shouldn’t ask Ken.   Hey, he had a break up with Barbie.   Maybe he’s not that great at keeping a woman happy!

          If I take advice from any Toy Story character, I’d take it from Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead, the happily married couple. 🙂

        2. Pol E Anna

          There’s a saying…

          Girls want a bad boy who will be good just for her.

          Boys want a good girl who will be bad just for him.

          There’s another saying…

          You can do anything to women except bore them.

          Hope you’ve figured it where the truth lies  in your recovering PUA state.

        3. Emily, the original

          Pol E Anna,

          1000 x yes.

    2. 2.2
      Emily, the original

      Hi Adrian,

      The advice that tells men that women   … want men who don’t show that they openly  desire a relationship with  them.

      Yes, but there is a fine line between showing interest and drooling all over her.

      I am quoting a study that Even wrote a post about: “Women may see responsive men as eager to please, or even desperate. Perhaps women may view a responsive man as vulnerable and less dominant.”

      1. 2.2.1

        Personally, I think it all boils down to how emotionally mature people are and how much thought they have given to their relationship patterns and what they truly need.

        The whole thing about saying that women respond to men who are disinterested and vice versa applies to men and women who are not emotionally mature. Women who respond to aloof, disinterested men tend to be women who have lower self-esteem. A woman who is confident and knows who she is and what she deserves wouldn’t even give these men the time of day. Same goes for men. Mature men don’t tend to feel attracted to women with low self-esteem nor women who are aloof and disinterested.

        1. Emily, the original


          I didn’t say disinterested. I said not drooling, not running around trying to please her and win her over. I have just learned the secret: A woman should treat the men she likes the same way she treats the men she doesn’t. Meaning: She has boundaries and won’t let a man walk all over her. Both sexes need to practice that, actually.

  3. 3

    Evan, I like how you’re giving women control of their lives by putting them in the active position: we should get online, connect with a lot of men, be discerning, and ultimately we will find a relationship that works.

    I think this is great. Everything is so different from when I was young 40 years ago: my mum was a housewife, my Dad gave her housekeeping money, I was not encouraged to have a career etc. etc.

    Now I am getting to pass all this great advice onto my daughters (both teenagers) and things will be different for them. Granted, they have to work a heck of a lot harder at school and when they’re young than I ever did, but the upshot is they will have great control of their lives, especially in the dating arena.

    In the meantime, I am reaping the rewards of your two books I recently purchased, and finally having a great time online — for the first time in two years, I am getting responses from men who might qualify to date me. It really is a numbers game! Thank you, Evan.


  4. 4

    One piece of advice I hear given to women is “choose wisely”.   Maybe men get this too but I think its more often from older people to  younger women.   When I over hear this, I think,  “Ok, when shopping at the  Husband Depot,   look in the rich eisle and don’t use  the eeny meeny miny moe method”.

  5. 5

    Great podcast! You have inspired me to write to one new guy a day this week on OkC. Lets see how that goes…

    I really like the advice ‘Talk about real things on a date.’ So often I have been on a date and we talked about favourite music, bars etc. While fun, it’s hard to get a real sense of the person. As a result, it can feel as if I have been on a date with Random Dude. Even though he might be the most fascinating person on the planet, that hasn’t really shown through and I doubt I left an indelible impression either. The only thing is balancing between being real and oversharing, which would indeed come accross as needy.

  6. 6
    Karmic Equation

    I don’t know about others, but I LOVE cake. Fresh out of the oven. Especially chocolate cake.

    I can eat it all, without frosting.

    But I love cake WITH frosting, too. I’m just as happy eating chocolate cake with frosting as I am eating chocolate cake plain.

    The chocolate cake, sans frosting, does not seem like it’s missing anything.  A good cake is a good cake.

    The chocolate cake, with frosting, doesn’t seem like it has too much (well, maybe if the frosting is too sweet, it might be too much, lol — but assuming the frosting is the right amount of sweet) — chocolate cake with frosting is just as good as chocolate cake without frosting.

    And I think that’s what Evan means by being happy single. You’re the cake, frosting can make you taste (“feel”) better (“happier”), but without the frosting you can be (“feel”) just as good (“happy”).

    Good cake doesn’t need frosting, but the right frosting certainly makes a good cake better.

    And good frosting on a bad cake, doesn’t necessarily make the cake a better cake — you might just end up eating the frosting in that case.

    Be a good cake! Then it doesn’t matter if you have icing or not. Icing becomes a matter of taste, not need.

    1. 6.1

      Well said

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