OK so no, I didn't find a random gorgeous Texan in a bar and try to make him fall in love with me while wearing a yellow silk dress. Unfortunately, my dating life is a little less Kate Hudson, a little more real life.
That said, I (along with my pals) have made some terrible dating faux pas over the years — and sometimes they've cost me. From being a stage-five clinger to getting too drunk at a boyfriend's office Christmas party, I've either done it or gotten pretty close. Obviously, I suggest being your most honest self while dating, but if you can hone in your crazy and avoid some of my mistakes, you'll be all the better for it. Most importantly, the real point of my favourite '00s rom-com is that when you find the right person, you can act like a total nutter (remember the scene with the love fern!?) and it'll all work out perfectly! Until then, avoid these no-nos at all costs!
1. Playing It Too Cool
Yes, there is such a thing as playing it too cool. So cool, in fact that you ice out the poor person that you're dating. It's an easy mistake to make — you're on a power trip and suddenly you haven't responded to their text for a week and a half. By all means regain your dignity, but remember you're not actually a celebrity and thus people will get tired of you not texting back.
2. Playing It the Least Cool
There's also the flip side of the above — playing it the least cool. It happens to everyone at least once. My freshman year of university I was so besotted with one older guy I would constantly text him, show up at parties I knew he would be at, and even took a class (that I failed!) just to be around him. This can be a little overwhelming, and he soon had to tell me I wasn't the one! Live and learn, people . . .
3. Making War, Not Love
Picking unnecessary fights just for the hell of it? Being a nag to spark an argument for fun? Been there, done that. This is a phase that many of us go through, especially in our younger years. Sure the constant fiery passion is fun for a while, but who wants to have an argument every day?
4. Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
Naturally everyone chats to their friends about who they're dating. However, there's a big difference between casually asking your friend relationship advice over a glass of wine and consulting your 10 best friends on every move you make. Beware not to overload on advice — pretty soon you'll forget how you feel and have everyone else's opinion instead!
5. A Little Party (Sometimes) Hurts Somebody
Making time for the person you're dating is extremely important. With one relationship in my much earlier 20s, I literally acted as though I was a socialite. I went to every party I was invited to, scheduled dinners every night of the week, and had no time for my guy. He got over it pretty quickly. Being with someone means spending QT with them, so if you really like someone, choose a night in with them vs. the silent disco your cousin's yoga teacher invited you to.
"Being honest" is one of those overused phrases when it comes to relationships. Turns out that's because (drumroll please) it's very important! With one boyfriend I had I was so cagey and shady about my real feelings, you would have thought I was guarding a national secret. Here's the thing: if you don't say what you feel and what you want, the other person has no way of knowing — they aren't a psychic. So be honest, you might just get what you want.
7. Stage-Five Clinger
Yikes, big yikes. In my first "real, grown-up" relationship, I was so overjoyed to have a real, live boyfriend I went totally overboard. I wanted to be with him ALL the time. From breakfast to dinner and everything in between, there I was. Have you ever done a SoulCycle class with a boyfriend? I have. NOT sexy. Make sure you spend time by yourself or just with your friends. It's all about balance.
8. Too Fast, Too Furious
I had a friend who started dating a guy and got extremely carried away. After their fourth date, she was sure he was "the one." She made a Pinterest board of their imaginary wedding, introduced him to her family after a month, and constantly said things like "we'll probably raise our kids in Los Angeles." The poor guy freaked and ran the other direction. It's fine to be excited and enthusiastic, but keep your imaginary wedding to a dull roar, at least until it's been a year.
9. Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do
Trying to rehabilitate a bad boy is an exhausting, thankless job. Sure it might be fun for a few weeks, but if he sucks when you found him, not even Mother Theresa is going to able to turn him around. Being a bad boy is something that a guy has to grow out of by himself, and wasting your time trying to train him is only going to hurt you. Do yourself a favour and don't spend precious energy on someone who doesn't have a real job or refuses to take you out to dinner.
10. Trackpants, Hair Tied, Chillin' With No Makeup On . . .
Being yourself is paramount in a relationship. A boyfriend should be the person you feel 100 percent comfortable around, all the time, no matter if you're in a ballgown or some ratty Juicy sweats from 2009. That said, don't let the romance go out of the relationship. Just because you're in love, doesn't mean you have to stop surprising each other. Keep the courtship going, and once in a while open the door in something a little more revealing than trackpants.