It makes me sad when I hear someone recite an infamous dating myth that they live by. Much like swallowing a watermelon seed will lead to a plant growing in your stomach, these are the dating myths to forget.
There is a plethora of myths about love and dating that have been passed down through the centuries between girlfriends and frat boys.
Anything from blondes have more fun to once a cheater always a cheater are told and told and told again.
The intention is pure and some people truly believe these things, but just like any other stereotype or long-lived fable, these dating myths are pure fiction.
[Read: How to remain hopeful while dating and don’t let the heartache get you down]
What are dating myths?
Before listing out the examples of dating myths you should erase from your mind all together, let’s be clear on what dating myths actually are. Myths about love and dating are not dreamy or romantic. In fact, they are misleading and corrupting.
Whether you heard one from your aunt, a rom-com, or society itself, dating myths are usually generalized claims about dating and love that are only accurate to specific people, if any at all.
It is like the stereotype that blondes have more fun. Maybe some blondes do, but that doesn’t make that statement true overall, even in the slightest.
[Read: Fascinating redhead facts and myths you should know]
So when you hear about soulmates, or “the one”, or love conquering all, consider where these myths were founded. Love may conquer all in a romantic comedy, and some people who believe in soul mates could end up living happily ever after. It doesn’t mean it is true for you or anyone else.
I’m not trying to be negative, just honest. Dating myths do not live in reality, and believing them will only set you back and could even hurt your relationships.
Dating myths to forget forever
Remember there used to be a rule about waiting three days to call someone after a date? Imagine if everyone lived like that. Most of us would have never been born.
Dating myths are rules and claims about dating, romance, and love that are completely fabricated. You’d be better off forgetting them moving forward.
#1 She’s out of your league. Or you’re out of his league or any version of this. There is no such thing as leagues or levels of attractiveness. Everyone is attracted to different things. Sure, some prefer long legs and sparkling eyes, but others prefer intellect or a sense of humor.
Comparing people’s attractiveness, especially physically, to determine if they are dateable is a horrid pass time, and it’s purpose is to prey on people’s self-esteem. [Read: The psychology of attraction – the six types you didn’t know but should]
#2 Men don’t like strong women. If this was true Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton, and Beyonce would all be single. Sure, some men with fragile egos who carry around a sack filled with toxic masculinity may prefer a woman to be in the kitchen as opposed to a board room, but those men are not the majority.
#3 Women like bad boys. In every teen drama, you see the good girl fall for the bad boy. This is the same reason “they” say nice guys finish last. There is this romanticism of the bad boy turning good for the girl. The thing is, that is almost always on TV or in books.
In real life, nice guys don’t finish last. Every single one of my friends ditched their high school or college beaus who claimed to be nice guys for actual nice guys who own up to their mistakes and work at being good people every day. [Read: Why the nice guy isn’t really such a nice guy after all]
Women may like a little banter when flirting, but we would almost always choose a respectful man who is open about his feelings than the bad boy.
[Confession: Why I went after a bad boy and you SHOULDN’T]
#4 Play hard-to-get. Playing hard-to-get is a mind game. As common as that phrase is, it rarely works. Studies have even shown that a man may be more likely to try to pick up a woman that plays hard to get but will rarely choose her for the long haul.
People who like the chase are usually in competition with themselves and not ready for a relationship. So, if you are serious about dating, playing hard-to-get is not the right move.
#5 Women care more. This goes back to women always being the caregiver, the mother, the gentle one. The fact is, it isn’t true. Men and women care equally and messily. Some days a woman may care more, while other days the man might.
And many studies have shown that men handle heartbreak worse than women. Some studies even say it takes men up to twice as long to get over a breakup as women.
#6 Opposites attract. This age-old tale is bologna. Sure someone who loves to travel could find a homebody attractive. And someone that is super fashionable may find someone who wears sweats hot.
The thing is, attraction is never that simple. No one is 100% opposite or 100% alike. My boyfriend is shy, and I can talk to anyone for hours as soon as I meet them. But we have a lot of the same interests and goals in life.
It is nice to have things in common when dating, and it is great to be introduced to other things. [Read: Do opposites attract or do they push each other away]
#7 There is one perfect person for everyone. The idea of finding your soulmate or your other half may have been believable before there were more than 7 billion people in the world, but now with more than 8 million people living in NYC, it just isn’t possible.
Love isn’t mapped out for you from birth. It is about meeting someone you connect with and working at that relationship with respect, care, and communication.
#8 You need a spark. The spark. I, myself, believed in this for a long time. If there wasn’t a spark I was out. I thought without that I’ll never get there. The passion and connection will never grow. That is entirely untrue.
More than half of singles have fallen in love with someone they weren’t initially interested in or attracted to.
#9 Never have sex on the first date. This is a sexist and outdated idea. It says that having sex on the first date means you are easy and not worthy of respect. This is just old-fashioned and wrong. Dating whether casual or serious is about being yourself and that includes your sexuality whatever that may be. [Read: Being sex positive and why you should get on board!]
#10 Being husband or wife material. If you think of these terms, you probably think of a woman making her husband a martini and roast after a long day at work, and a man providing for his wife and buying her jewelry.
That right there is enough to tell you how outdated this dating myth is. There is no such this as husband or wife material, at least not generally.
Maybe husband material for me is a guy who loves animals, supports my career, and is cool with my mom living with us. Whereas for you, it could be a guy who loves to travel, explore new places, and go on adventures.
#11 Men want sex more than women do. Women enjoy sex just as much as men do. The only reason this isn’t discussed or well-known is that for centuries women have been made to feel ashamed for their sexuality while also being judged for it.
Women needed to look sexy while feeling ashamed of feeling sexy. But, both men and women enjoy sex.
#12 Men prefer to be single. There is an idea that men prefer to sleep around and date new women. This follows the same idea that men are afraid of commitment and are more likely to get cold feet before a wedding. The thing is, only 12% of single men say they would rather be single than in a committed relationship.
Men want love and companionship just as much as women do, only they have been shamed into wanting women for their bodies. Men are often ridiculed for being whipped or sensitive if they express those desires.
#13 The internet has ruined dating. Sure, cat-fishing and the Craigslist killer give online dating a bad reputation. As someone who met her boyfriend online, it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But, 20% of current American couples have met through online dating.
Sure, just like every other method, online dating has its risks, but with the rise of technology and social media, online dating has led to a lot of successful couples. [Read: 10 annoyingly common misconceptions about online dating]
#14 Everyone lies and cheats. This is a bitter take on dating and love in general. This comes down to your beliefs about people being inherently good or bad, but it just isn’t true.
Not everyone lies and cheats. Sure, for six years of dating, every guy I went out with lied to me or cheated on me, and it got me down, but holding onto the hope that there were good guys out there led me to my current boyfriend.
#15 Online dating is desperate. This may have been considered true when it first launched, but now more than 40% of the US population use online dating. Yet, when I was online dating the number of people that offered to lie to my friends and family about how we met was astonishing.
Online dating is still perceived as desperate or embarrassing because of the stigma that actively looking to date is bad when in fact, it shows you know what you want.
#16 You’ll always love your first love. Sure, you’ll always have the memory of your first love just like the memory of your first kiss or your first car or your first plane ride. But, we over-romanticize our first loves, which usually were puppy love when you look back.
For years I convinced myself my first love would always be the one who got away but now I rarely even think of him. [Read: The 6 big reasons why your first love almost never ever is your real love]
#17 When you meet the one you’ll know. I told myself this for a long time because so many people repeated it to me during my single days. They said you’ll just know. And the thing is, I didn’t.
When I met my boyfriend, I felt pretty mediocre about our connection until the third or fourth date. Even then, things slowly progressed until I was sure he was who I wanted to be with. Sure, some people have that love at first sight feeling, but that isn’t how it will work for everyone.
#18 Marriage is the goal. Not everyone wants or needs to get married, and that is okay. Not everyone needs a monogamous relationship and that is okay. Marriage is not a measurement of your success.
#19 You’ll find the one when you stop looking. This makes no sense. I have been told this so many times. If you stop looking, you’ll meet someone. What the heck? How are you going to meet someone if you’re not looking?
How did so many people meet their person online if they weren’t looking? This makes zero sense and is meant to help you relax about being single. There is nothing wrong with trying or looking if that is what you want. [Read: Are you sabotaging your own happiness? 12 ways you could be ruining your life]
#20 Love conquers all. This may be the biggest myth in all of love and dating. Love is strong and amazing. It can do a lot, but it is not everything. If love conquered all, no one would divorce or break up or cheat.
Love is not always enough. You can love someone and not trust them. You can love someone and cheat on them. And you can love someone and lie to them and betray them and leave them. Relationships require a lot more than love to survive.
[Read: When you truly love someone, would you really do anything for them?]
These lies about love are not just old, played out, and pretty sexist, but they are false dating myths to forget forever. If you’ve held one of these myths close to your heart, now is the time to drop it and look at love with a fresh pair of eyes.
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