It seems as though people who didn’t make it into their thirties as a single often seem to share one similar, common characteristic. That is, they give terrible dating and often times life advice to their single friends, solicited or not…
In the past, finding myself in one of these conversations, I’d usually listen politely to their unsolicited advice on what I should do to rectify this singleness that they see as problematic or how this situation is a result of a series of missteps on my part up to this point. I often wondered to myself while they tell me all the things I should change, if they have ever stopped to think about what they are actually saying or what consequences it could have. It might drive someone to learning to cook meth… Or it could just be really fucking annoying. Who knows?
Here are some of my (least) favorites:
- “You should really think about settling down soon. You don’t want to die alone, do you?”
I usually have two distinct reactions to this stupid advice; mad and curious. First of all, I am just curious as to what kind of life you assume I live that makes you think I need to settle down?
Even if you didn’t know me well personally and only looked at my social media, 99% of my activity revolves around book stores, CrossFit, coffee shops, and restaurants — ones that cater to fat kids who love bacon. Unless you think Crossfit really is a cult of some sort or Book People is actually a meet up group for people wanting to cook meth, there isn’t much more settled down I could become. I guess I could start watching Murder She Wrote, having dinner at 4pm, and being asleep with two cats by 7pm. But honestly, that is more likely to make me want to start cooking and/or doing meth than my current life style. Therefore, this first part of advice is so bad, the only logical outcome is for me to do Meth. Hence the anger, because I am now fueled up on Meth and watching Murder She Wrote. Thanks…
The second part of this advice is even stupider. I am not sure how you die anyway, but alone. I mean, I guess if Crossfit were really a cult, I could take a Death by Burpees workout to the extreme with a group of people, but honestly, I’d just quit long before that. So with that exception or a world ending catastrophe, I am really not sure how else to die, but alone? More concerning to me, is how exactly the people giving this type of advice plan to die, if not alone. I might want to rethink this friendship entirely, if you plan to leave this world with others. Getting me hooked on Meth is bad enough, forcing me to die with you, is an entirely new level of selfishness.
- “If you really want a relationship, you should stop looking. It will find you then.”
This advice almost always comes from the crazy attractive friends who may truly not be looking for a relationship, but fail to realize that the reason they don’t have to look for one, is because they get propositioned to be in them more times in an hour, than most do in a life time.
So naturally this idiotic advice makes perfect sense to them, in the pretty little bubble in which they live. I can’t fault them for this view, but it also doesn’t prevent me from pointing out how stupid this is when applied to absolutely every other situation in their or anyone else’s life.
If this same advice were applied to a few different situations, it would make even less sense:
“My blood sugar is getting low. I really need to find some food fast or I may pass out.”
“If you really want food, stop looking for it, it will find you.”
Well, this advice just led to my dying of diabetes. Thanks..
“I really need to find a new job. My savings is running low.”
“If you really want a new job, stop looking for one and the job will find you.”
Since a job isn’t like a lost dog looking for its home, no job came and I am back to cooking and selling meth again. Thanks…
“Uncle Aaron, I want to be president when I grow up!”
“Well, sweetie, if you really want to be president, stop trying now and the presidency will find you.”
And now my six-year-old niece hates me for crushing her dreams and won’t sell me girl scout cookies anymore or call me on my birthday.
- “You might want to think about lowering your standards.”
This advice, like the others is just idiotic, and is the most frustrating, by far, because of the friends who give it. This rarely, if ever comes from friends who have kids, or common sense, or know me on a level deeper than social media— at least most of the time. Just imagine this advice being given to one’s child.
“Daddy, daddy, daddy!”
“What sweet heart?”
“When I grow up, guess what I am going to be?”
“An Astronaut-Doctor Space Princess.”
“Oh honey that’s great, but maybe you should think about lowering your standards a little. Astronaut-doctor isn’t a real thing and there are no princesses in space. How about you shoot for, I don’t know, maybe an Instagram model instead? That is sort of more your speed.”
You give this advice to your kid and you’re the worst parent on earth. So naturally, these types of friends never give this kind of stupid advice.
No, the friends who give this advice most often, while well meaning, are the ones that have a check list for dating a guy that looks more like Mariah Carey’s rider than anything else. A guy needs to be:
- Be between 6’2 and 6’2 and ½
- Drive a G Wagon in Black
- Have the ability to grow a lumber jack style beard, but not normally keep one
- Wear size 13 or up shoes
- Be ok with me asking one question every eleven seconds, during a new movie neither of us have seen before
- Have a working prototype of a cold fusion reactor
- Have at least one Pulitzer Prize. Extra points if you have multiples
- Earned a producer credit on a Grammy winning song I would know
- Always smell like happiness
- Have proven you can beat the market year over year, for the last 5, by at least 10 percent
- Be mistaken for a Hemsworth brother regularly
- Have a robust investment portfolio
- Aspire to be Batman-like. Extra points if you have a suit
- Be able to cook to the level of at least a one-star Michelin chef
- Know Kung Fu
- Be able to lift heavy things with your mind
- Be able to run the 100-meter dash in under 11 seconds
- Have won the America’s Cup in Yacht racing
I would ask them how they can suggest to me that I lower my standards when they have a list that can only be met by a real-life incarnation of Bruce Wayne, or possibly Jesus. Of course, they are quick to point out that they no longer have “have a robust investment portfolio” as a must have, instead it has been reduced to a nice to have. I have usually assumed that is because they don’t actually know what an investment portfolio is, or something like that —but just let that one go because the argument it would lead to would most likely make me want to drink paint as a pleasant escape.
They usually then tell me that, because they lowered their standards, they were able to meet their soul mate and therefore are very qualified to give me this type of advice. I can’t argue with this type of person, because it would just end with me dead on the floor next to an empty can of paint.
Instead, we end up focusing on the things I would like to find in a girl and everything just goes sideways. I really don’t think I have any “must haves” outside of the normal stuff we all have: attractive, friendly, fun, gets along with my friends and family. Basically, all the things we all want to find. But when pressed—and I always get pressed by this type of friend—to tell them what “ideal” would look like, it always goes badly because of one preference. See if you can figure out which one this type of friend always focuses on.
- Likes to Crossfit or something similar
- Likes to read
- Adventurous when it comes to food
- Doesn’t mind stupid/sarcastic jokes
- Has big boobs
- Church going
- Movie goer
- Outdoor enthusiast
No matter what is on this list, the only item that there is ever an issue with, is “big boobs”. I could put something so ridiculously specific on this list, that would in fact be shallow, like, “must have exactly 34 freckles in a symmetrical pattern located only on their cheeks” and it wouldn’t matter because I listed “big boobs”. Worse, is when I inevitably point out the hypocrisy of this condemnation, given the number one attribute on most of these types of friend’s lists, is a height requirement, I am met with the same type of counter argument my five-year-old niece likes to use.
“How is this any different?”
“Because it is!”
And this just leads to us pissed off at one another and not speaking to each other for a few months. Or until she breaks up with the current liar she was with and wants to introduce me to the all-new, this time completely real version of Bruce Wayne she found at a dive bar in East Austin at 2am one morning, who mostly just talks to her boobs.
In the end, when these types of advice are given, I usually just wonder to myself if it might be better learning how to cook meth. That way, they’d have an opportunity to give real advice about not making hard core drugs, rather than the stupid advice given now.
The lesson is, if you give stupid relationship advice without thinking it through clearly, you are highly likely to turn your friends into meth cooks/users…
**To the best of my knowledge this has never actually lead to anyone doing or cooking meth. This is hyperbole. Meth is bad. Jail seems scary. Stupid advice is frustrating**