The Ultimate Guide to Dating Love + Sex Love Advice

Here’s why your single friend always gives the best relationship advice

Not to toot my own horn, but I think I give excellent dating advice. However, if you were to ask me for my dating credentials, I would hand you a blank piece of paper.

For some, being serially single is not a choice. But for me, it’s a lifestyle.

I have been single for all of my adult life, and I thoroughly enjoy the independence and solitude—which I know freaks people out. While some single people date, I do not.

So how does this make me—and other serially single people—expert at giving dating advice?

Let me let you in on a few secrets of the trade.

The first secret is not actually a secret but a well-known fact: Almost all forms of content are about love.

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Even content that exists outside of traditional romance genres usually includes love and sex. For example, that action movie you just watched, was there a romantic arc in it?


Most movies, television shows, and books have provided blueprints for all kinds of relationships. A lot of these blueprints have helped me understand what healthy and unhealthy relationships look like.

I’ve also read more than a fair share of fanfiction. Honestly, when you asked for my dating credentials, I could have sent you the link to AO3 and, if you’ve ever read any fanfiction, you’d have immediately understood why this gives me so much credible dating insight.

Even being someone who grew up alongside the Internet has made many of us mini experts on random topics. Most of us didn’t necessarily seek this information out; it just appeared on our Tumblr, Twitter, or Instagram feeds.

Here’s the real secret: All relationships are the same.

Whether platonic or romantic, open or closed, monogamous or polyamorous, all relationships are made of the same ingredients. The dictionary definition of relationship describes the connection between people. And we all have experience with that. I may not date, but I do have lots of friends.

Some of my friendships have failed while others have thrived. This has helped me gain insight on communication, boundaries, and respect—insight that applies to both platonic and romantic relationships.

I’ve also watched most of my loved ones experience all kinds of different relationships. As you can imagine, being single gives those of us who are serially single plenty of free time to observe other people’s relationships—and, if you’re a Virgo like me, judge these relationships in order to perfect the advice we give to those who may (or may not) ask.

Just because your single friends haven’t dated anyone—casually, seriously, or at all—doesn’t mean we’re not familiar with the territory. All of our observations add to our dating advice credentials.

In fact, we’re kind of like therapists.

Because we’re removed from romantic situations, we have clarity uncolored by personal bias and experiences.

Most importantly, your serially single friends arguably have the most experience with prioritizing themselves and their needs. This makes us adept at keeping your best interests top of mind if you come to us for romantic advice.

We want you to be yourself and to love who you are. We will encourage you to take the time to learn more about your wants, needs, and goals before diving further into romance.

The best advice I can give as a serially single person is to try out being single. Being single has a lot of perks, the top of which is that it can give you the time, space, and energy to explore you who are.

I’m not saying everyone should be single. I’m just saying don’t knock it till you try it.

And, don’t worry. I promise I won’t say “I told you so” when you realize being single helped you become a better romantic partner.

Happy dating!

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Love + Sex Love Life Stories Advice

Here’s how to deal with jealousy in a non-monogamous relationship

Nearly everyone deals with jealousy once in a while.

After spending the last four years exploring consensual non-monogamy, I still haven’t mastered it. When you have multiple concurrent romantic or sexual relationships, people tend to assume that jealousy doesn’t (or shouldn’t) affect you. But it can – and it’s a persistent feeling, with as many heads as we have fears, insecurities, and doubts. It can show up in the most innocuous of situations, and in those times we can be left wondering what it is that is bothering us so much.

It takes courage to admit difficult emotions and even more when trying to overcome them. It takes bravery and patience to sit with our feelings and use them to improve our relationships both with ourselves and with others.

I like to think of jealousy as a composite feeling as if it had multiple parts and components, numerous iterations and displays. Jealousy is nothing more than our fears, doubts or insecurities, most times. We feel threatened, left out, and excluded, and jealousy is right there to help us through it. We think horrible things and react badly, jumping to conclusions before giving others a chance to explain.

The first few times I felt jealous in a non-monogamous context, I brooded, convinced that I was going to be abandoned and that that was proof I was in fact as unlovable as I thought I was. I would detach emotionally whenever I felt jealous because I thought no one could possibly love me when they had other people.

Picking apart these feelings can seem like a waste of time, but we have so much to gain from this. So, next time you feel a tinge of jealousy, remind yourself that things are more complicated than they appear – that humans, such as yourself, have more layers than we realize. Stop for a minute, breathe in deep and try to make a bit more sense of what you’re feeling.

Don’t take this as an indication to pin it all on your partner or to try to find out what movement triggered your rage so you can forbid it. Try instead to just figure out what you’re feeling. And talk to your partner about it in a way that is not blaming but loving.

Don’t be afraid of asking for help in processing these feelings. Each time I do, it results in a more secure connection and better communication in my relationships.

When we try to combat jealousy through the so-called regular routes, we usually worsen the problem for ourselves and others. We either don’t talk about it and hold our feelings to ourselves, eventually exploding; or we blame our partner for our feelings, displacing both anger and responsibility. I’ve definitely done both and I can assure you it didn’t work.

Our emotions are not our partner’s fault unless they’ve broken agreements. We must learn to sit with our feelings, to quietly and compassionately pick jealousy apart. Ask yourself what you’re feeling around it: is it discomfort, insecurity, fear?

For me, it’s usually a combination of fear of abandonment and inadequacy that rips through me. I feel it immediately, this hot white rage that wants to detach emotionally and feels hurt and small and mad. If I listened to it, I would’ve left too many partners behind in crowded rooms. Instead, what I try to do is take a deep breath, find someone to talk to or go to my partner and ask for reassurance.

The third one is still the hardest one; I’m very used at processing feelings by myself, bottling them up and labeling them as I please. Asking for support or reassurance is very foreign, and I still feel weird about doing it. But when I do it, I get a great response and feel better immediately.

Whether you’re non-monogamous, single, or monogamous, engaging with your jealousy is important. Many skills can be freely adapted across relationship styles, structures, and orientations. Humans will be humans, and we tend to have similar fears, doubts, and hesitations when relating to each other. Whatever fear you’re clinging to, someone feels the same way, believe me.

We can’t guarantee our relationships will last forever and we can’t guarantee that they will never change. Loving includes a degree of risk that we need to be willing to take so we can allow ourselves to relate to each other honestly. We might not like it, but we need to deal with it. And, in my opinion, honest relationships and fulfilling love are worth it.

So, go on, face your fears and love deeply without hesitation.