Love + Sex, Love

Online dating advice ruined any chances I had with my crush

One of my friends asked me out once and I point blank told him no - because I read an article about body language and how guys should ask you out.

Yes, I’ve never actually dated, or been in a relationship – but I’m still pretty sure that an “internet Ph.D.” can’t tell me shit about who I should date or how I should date.

In this beautiful (yet painful) age of technology, everyone has an opinion. In all fairness though, everyone always had an opinion. They just didn’t have a device and the resources to share that opinion with the world instantaneously. But now that we all do, we use this to our best efforts – mostly.

I was 15 or 16 years old when I first stumbled upon them: “10 Signs He’s Into You,” “Here’s Why Your Relationship Needs Work,” “Studies Say This Is What Makes People Cheat,” etc.

15-year-old me was rather naive and gullible – she’d never actually been in a relationship but she was convinced that she would ace them (when did she get into them) simply by absorbing all the wisdom she possibly could from articles online.

And so she tried. Unfortunately… it didn’t end well.

My teenaged self was so preoccupied with fitting every guy into this framework she’d constructed from articles she’d read online that she lost track of what she actually wanted.

As a result of this, my independent thought process got seriously skewed. I still struggle with relationships and dating because I take time to figure out if this is actually me talking, or that article I read 2 years ago?

We’re all victims of this. I know of friends who live for articles like these. They consume them like their favorite carbs on a daily basis.

We all want something to fall back on. But are we really going to let our intimate relationships get dictated by the likes of someone online?

One of my ‘almost’ relationships failed because I thought we had to talk about everything under the sun – it failed like a shitstorm even before it began. My point is – not every relationship is the same because not everyone is the same.

I’m not my friend. That article’s advice may have done good with her partner but it’s not necessary that it’ll do me good with mine. The people who write these articles have probably had success in their relationships or that aspect of their relationships and that’s great – good for them! But at the risk of sounding like a One Direction song, “They don’t know about the things we do, they don’t know about the I love you’s”.

Don’t let them generalize your relationship because they don’t know what you or your relationship are going through. Relationships are deeply personal affairs. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t publicize them on social media – if that’s your groove.  But you cannot seriously believe a stranger on the internet about what’s right and wrong in your relationship. In this case, stay away from strangers y’all – seriously.

There is no guarantee that just because this “trick” worked for 80% of couples, it’ll also work for you. You are not a statistic – and neither is your relationship.

Relationships are meant to be lived. The whole point of being with someone is to actually be with them. You’re not gonna be doing much of that if you’re busy ‘planning’ your relationship.

This is a sacred space between you and your partner, don’t let a know-it-all on the internet intervene and ruin it for you.

Your mind is a wicked little creature – if you let it be. Chances are, you’ll read an article about problems that probably aren’t even in your relationship and you’ll start believing they are.  We all fall prey to this black hole the internet has created that manipulates our thoughts so smoothly.

One of my friends asked me out once and I point blank told him no because I read an article once about body language and how guys should ask you out. I felt incredibly naive when I later discovered that the article was written by a someone.

That’s it – a someone.

They didn’t actually have a degree in body language and human behavior – they just had an opinion. My point is, even though I didn’t like my friend at the time in that sense, I still denied him a chance all because of a ridiculous article I read online.

Let your relationship or your dating life take its natural course – the way it’s meant to. That internet Ph.D. doesn’t know shit.

(Unless they’re actually a Ph.D. and make sense. Then maybe they know shit.)

  • Arushi Tandon

    Arushi is a Sociology major based out of New Delhi, India. She graduated from the University of Delhi in 2017 and has since worked across sectors which include non-profits, journalism, HR, travel and education. She currently works at Ashoka University as a Teaching Assistant. A voracious reader and literature fanatic, Arushi finds happiness in reading, writing and pursues creative non-fiction as a passion project along with academic writing professionally. Enthusiastic about issues around gender, culture, lifestyle and health - this trickles into her writing and work.