Dating Advice You’ve Heard, but is Useless

Truth: Nerds rule, opposites do attract, and no, he’s not going to text you.

Illustration by Vlad Alvarez.

Sordid bestsellers and newsstand glossies aside, we get most of our dating advice from friends and family. “Place an aspirin between your legs and make sure it stays there the whole night,” my grandmother once told me. 

I seem to recall the following well-meaning words coming from me at some point. But please don’t hold me to them. 

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“But he’s a dork.” 

Full disclosure: I like big brains. In high school, I fantasized over the awkward guy in his khaki floods. When men start discussing subjects I have no clue about, it’s like they’re speaking the language of love. A true dork, however, will demand unlimited compromise from his mate, yet refuse to throw away his vintage action figures or ’80s videogames.

“Internet dating? Not so sure about that.” 

Remember when you had to belly up to the bar or get your tush on the dance floor? Online mating was once considered faddish, unsafe and a bit desperate. The first three weddings I attended as an adult involved couples that met in college. The next 12 couples met on a dating website.

“You two are so opposite.” 

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That’s what I told my vegetarian, nonprofit-employed, dog-loving friend when she accepted a date with a Hells Angel. By the end of the night, she was doing pull-ups from one of his outstretched arms. I sat on his back while he did push-ups.

“I’m sure he’ll be in touch soon.”

I say this way too much to avoid hurt feelings. “But we had so much fun … He kissed me goodnight.” If he wants to see you again, he’ll call or text. 

“The one who cares the least is the one who’s in control.” 

This game of emotional chicken wreaks havoc on one’s nerves, especially in the age of social media, texting, dating apps, etc. There’s a difference between relishing the chase and being completely blasé about another’s feelings. After all, there is a middle ground between calling a day after accepting your friend request and not calling for a month after the first date.

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King of Prussia’s Katie Bambi-Kohler asked her nerd husband out on their first date. Then he lost her number and didn’t call for three days. Check out her blog at cheesesteakprincess.blogspot.com and follow @chzstkprincess on Twitter.

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