If you need to calm the F down before a date, read this

As creator of IMBOYCRAZY blog and website, and as host of the podcast Love Alexi, Alexi Wasser has been candidly discussing her own dating life and using the internet as a platform to give advice to women trying to navigate dating, love, relationships and all the kerfuffle that comes along with it.

Her advice is brutally honest— but in a cozy way. Like it’s coming from someone who gets the mess that is modern dating.

It’s true, dating can be the actual worst. And the internet is inundated with advice on how to make the courting process smoother, but if you have romance specific anxiety, you can’t take just any advice.

You need the advice that calms you down. The advice that makes you remember why you’re trying to meditate via a YouTube video while putting on false lashes.

So, we asked Alexi to bless us with advice for the romance anxiety ridden single ladies of the world. If you’ve ever stalked a Instagram page for longer than what most would consider normal, or chugged a full glass of chardonnay before heading to your date, then THIS is for you.

Grab some variation of comfort food, and let your stand in best friend (Alexi) give you the advice you need to hear before accepting that Bumble date.

READ ALSO: 8 stories about hooking up on school property IRL

What do you think of people who let their friends come and spy on dates? Helpful or harmful?

I think it sounds a bit bizarre and mean spirited. You probably shouldn’t go on a date with someone if you think they’re a murderer. Why not just go out in a group instead? But dating is definitely terrifying. It’s a miracle we do it at all. Men are bigger and stronger and can hurt us physically! And yet we women have an insane willingness to meet up with strangers.

As tough and bad ass and strong as women are, I always advise meeting in a public place. Never meet up with a guy you met on an app or online at his place or some secluded spot. And listen to your intuition. Women have so much power if they listen to that little voice inside of them that alerts them to trouble or when something is off. Even a feeling of seizing up when you’re around someone means something is off.

What are good date ideas for women with dating anxiety?

Beta blockers? A glass of rosé before you head out to meet up with your date? No, that’s bad, pedestrian advice.

Meditate. Breathe. And know that you don’t have to date if you don’t want to. Don’t go on a date with someone if you’re not that into it. Don’t be a people pleaser. And if you DO go, never feel obligated to make out or hold hands or kiss or be touched. YOU call the shots. Protect yourself. Do stuff on your terms. I don’t mean be unkind, but don’t go out of your comfort zone. If you want to push yourself and date, then figure out how to do something with someone that feels comfortable and safe for you. And ease up on the drinking! Don’t use alcohol as a crutch/way of checking out, numbing yourself, helping you get over nerves. The last thing you want to do is black out, because then you REALLY put yourself in jeopardy with some bizarro creep.

Personally, I love ice cream walk and talk dates. Or just dinner. It’s cozy to sit and talk to someone. Preferably at a place with wood paneling and red and white checkered table cloths.

What steps should women take so they stop obsessing over their love lives?

Put yourself first. Your life, your health, your career, your friends, your hobbies, and all the other things that make you happy and the person you want to be. Don’t compromise yourself. Don’t try to be what you think someone else wants. Wear what you want to wear and be completely yourself. Take him off the pedestal and put YOU on a pedestal. I don’t mean be an asshole! Not at all. But put you first.

What’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to social media stalking?

I do it, but it usually only leads to confusion and being bummed out about something. You will read into things that aren’t true. Or you’ll find out things you don’t want to find out. Ideally we would just get to know each other in real life, face-to-face, or via the two parties involved. Think about how you’d want somebody to get to know you.

Are there any dating faux pas we all need to get over?

Yes, don’t drink too much. And you know what, before you even accept the invitation: don’t feel like you have to go out on the date at all, just because somebody asked you. You’re allowed to say no! And you’re also allowed to change your mind and cancel without feeling guilty. But if you do go,  wear something that you feel comfortable, sexy, and confident in. For me that’s a pair of tight black high waisted jeans and white sneakers. Don’t try to be somebody else.

And if he invites you, I totally think it’s okay for the dude to pay. I prefer old school heteronormative traditions when it comes to dating. But whatever your sexual pref or gender, usually it’s the person who invited you who pays. And if you invite someone to do something and you’re broke, choose a cheap romantic cute fun activity. That’s why I love me an ice cream date. Cheap and charming.

But listen, if you’re a girl and you want to split the bill… split it. Do what you want because you want the person to get to know who you are and vice versa. Not some bullshit version of yourself you think they want.

In your opinion, is the only way to combat dating games to play them?

What games are you talking about? Not responding to texts too fast? I barely understand this question but I do think that it’s probably better not to have sex too soon. Believe me, I’ve tried it every which way, and even though there are no rules — cause if it’s meant to be love, you two probably can’t do anything wrong.  And while nothing really matters cause we’re all just going to die, I will say: sometimes it’s way more interesting and nice to slow things down and live in the tension and not have sex right away.

When you learn about the person, it gives both of you something to look forward to and get excited about. Especially since everything moves so quickly now and our attention spans are non existent. Waiting feels crazy interesting and like the new cool thing to challenge yourself with, to see how strong you are.

And sometimes when you wait, after about a month of hanging with someone, maybe even three weeks, you’ll be so grossed out and irritated by them you’ll be RELIEVED you didn’t let the bonehead inside of you. You’re welcome.

Also, try not to double or stream of consciousness text. It’s annoying and desperate. Have a life. Also, bring condoms. Guys never do and would rather anything else than to wear condoms. Try your hardest not to get herpes. But if you do, you’ll live.

Life is relentless. And we’re all just going to die. We’re all just doing the best we can; even the annoying boneheads. That’s just where they’re at at the moment.

For those who worry about what to talk about, what are date conversation topics they should avoid?

I don’t know anymore. “They” say it’s probably not the best to talk about religion and politics. But why not?! If you’re with some Trump supporter Nazi, find out ASAP and get the fuck out of there.

Maybe don’t tell the person you’re with all about your exes and EVERY past boyfriend, dating or sexual experience you’ve ever had. Just focus on getting to know them and being in the here and now. I’m sure there’s plenty of other stuff to talk about: work, art, writing, TV, movies, family, life, the things around you, the overall temperature of the social climate.

Just try to get a gauge on whether or not the person you’re on a date with is a racist, homophobe, and/or misogynist. And if they are… RUN!

How soon should you add someone you’re dating on social media, and should you wait to look up their profile until then?

I say look IMMEDIATELY. Deep creep too if you feel so weak and bored and inclined. It’s your life you’re distracting yourself from! However, wait a few months to actually FOLLOW. If things turn shitty, them coming through your feed will be a constant reminder of something that didn’t work out. But hopefully the goal is to be friends and kind to everyone. Just because you tried each other on for size and it didn’t work out doesn’t mean you can’t wish each other well and be social media friends.

PLUS, you can always follow straight away and then unfollow when you’re over it. And if they call you out on it cause they have one of those apps that tells them who unfollows them, they’re a total dork and you should be DOUBLE relieved you’re no longer dating.

In your opinion, what women in TV or movies get dating right or at least try?

I have no idea. I prefer watching movies and shows where the female protagonist is making a bunch of mistakes and the butt of the joke; it makes me feel less alone.

READ ALSO: What guys are really thinking when they like & comment on your insta pics

Name one thing in dating that just really doesn’t matter that we can stop stressing about right away.

This is subjective. Nothing matters and everything matters. Penis size? Money? Career? Style? Musical taste? Height? Family? Pheromones? Pets? Roommates? Sound of voice? Car? Lack of Car? Cheating? Flirting? Drug use? These things might matter to some and not to others. It’s all what you want for yourself, what you feel drawn to, attracted to, and cozy with; and if you find what you desire with someone… God bless you. If you don’t, it wasn’t meant to be.

If you want the dude to pay for dinner and bring you flowers and woo you, then that’s what you want. And that’s OK. If you want to split the bill or you want him to have a big dick, than that’s what you want and that’s OK. If you hope he doesn’t have an enmeshed relationship with his overbearing mother, a sister he treats like a girlfriend, or an animal he prefers more than you…than that is fine! Only YOU know what truly works for you and what you’re looking for. It’s none of my business. You just have to quiet yourself and listen to your intuition.

Be aware of why you make the choices you make. Be honest with yourself, don’t be a people pleaser. Put yourself first and navigate the experience as it’s happening. Be present (which is easier when alcohol and drugs aren’t involved) so you can asses the situation and how you’re feeling. And if you’re into it, you’re into it! And hopefully the feeling is reciprocated! Every experience we have teaches us something. We learn what we want and what we don’t want; what works for us and what doesn’t. And that dating experience gone ‘wrong’ and the knowledge that comes from it brings us closer to the next thing that is (hopefully) better and more right for us.

BUT: no matter WHO you date, he better not be a physically, mentally, or verbally abusive jerk. If he is, I’ll have to step in as the new big sis you never knew you had/needed/wanted.

At the end of the day all I can say is, MY goal is to meet someone I can be completely myself with, someone honest kind thoughtful funny and open minded, who I’m inspired by and motivates me to be better. Someone I can go on a road trip with, talk to about anything & everything, who I laugh with, who I’m attracted to, respect and I’m proud to be seen in public with, who I have lots of great sex with. I want to like how I feel when I’m with this person. I want to be lit up. And I want the feeling to be reciprocated. But that’s just what I want. You figure out what you want. And I really hope you find it.


For more Alexi:

Listen & subscribe to her podcast  “Love, Alexi” on iTunes.

Follow her on Instagram & Twitter @AlexiWasser

Attend her monthly pop up “Girls Night In” event. Info avail via Insta.

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