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Here's What Big Sisters Want Their Little Sisters To Know About Dating

Because we're old and sometimes wise.

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1. Ignore people who play games.

Jen Lewis / Via Facebook: BFF

It’s boring and time-consuming. You end up spending so much of your day thinking about your next move, when to reply, what to say, and what to wear.

If they mess you about, delete their number and never look back.

2. Don't play games yourself, because you will get good at it.

The worst part about being a skilled dater is that you might get a little too skilled, and it won’t be long before you find yourself becoming the type of dater you hate.

If you treat dating like a game, you have to think about what it is you're actually winning. This isn't Sex and the City – you're not going to get a column out of this. If you've made some innocent person fall in love with you only for you to say, "Hah, GOTCHA!", it's not really worth it.

3. It's OK to search your date on Facebook, but don't go crazy.

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If you can find them on Facebook, have a browse, check out their holiday snaps, and make sure they haven't every written any offensive statuses. Once you've done that, step away from the screen.

If you take it any further you end up devising an entire backstory based on what you've found out about them on their Myspace from 10 years ago. Let your date run its course, and respect them enough to get to know them in real life first. If something seems a bit fishy, you can always go back to that Myspace.

4. Don't dumb yourself down.

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There's a theory that people are ~intimidated~ by success, especially successful women, but if they're the kind of person who freaks out over ambition, let them go. Be proud of your achievements – you don't have to be self-deprecating.

5. Never change your personality.

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The number of times some dude has said to me “You’re weird” – and not in a cutesy Zooey Deschanel way, more in an “I’m worried about you, you are a very strange woman" kind of way – is incredibly tiring and boring. If you're not a good fit for someone, move on, don't let them wear you down.

This is also why it's important to know yourself inside out before you start dating, so don't lose yourself in the relationship.

6. Don’t romanticise past relationships.

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When you're going through a dating blip and you can't seem to make a decent connection with someone, your mind may just start to wander to your ex. Suddenly their rants, gross habits, and offensive jokes seem like no big deal: "Maybe if I just sent them one little text..."

Put the phone down.

7. Don't force yourself to mourn after a break-up.

If a break-up has left you zombified and you'd rather ditch the dating scene for a bit, it's probably a good idea to do so. On the other hand, if someone asks you on a date and you find yourself thinking, "Why the hell not?", then go for it! Don’t hold off until some unspoken rule says you can start dating again. Date away.

8. Always be upfront with people you're dating.

Post-break-up dates will remind you that there is life after heartbreak, which is great, but if your date is super invested in you, you have to be straight with them. Don’t make someone think you’re in it for the long haul when you're not.

9. Awkward people can have one-night stands.

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I used to think you have to be super suave to pull a one-night stand, but that's not true.

If a one-night stand magically descends on you from the sex heavens, you don’t have to be all Johnny Bravo about it. Maybe you’ll trip up, fart in your sleep, end the night on a very uncool high five – who cares? As long as you're safe and you're having fun.

10. Bad dates make for the best icebreakers on good dates.

HBO

Once you've recovered from an awkward date, take a deep breath and get back on that dating horse. You can use your past experience as a great icebreaker on a next date.

"Sorry I dropped my nacho on your lap!"

"Don't worry, the last date I went on I accidentally set my hair on fire..."

11. Don’t date someone just because you like their friends.

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This might seem totally obvious, but when you've found yourself a great bunch of people you may forget the fact that the person you're dating isn't really a good fit for you.

Don't hold on to a relationship just because you're scared of pissing people off either.

12. Don’t let dating wear you down.

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Dating can be exhausting, but it doesn't have to be. You don't have to dress up like you're Jay Z taking Bey to The Ritz, you don't have to eat a three-course meal, and you don't have to go out of your way to plan some super-original activity.

Also, go easy on the drinking. I used to down buckets of wine to ease the nerves, which meant I was guaranteed to feel hungover and shitty the next day, even if the date went well. Pace yourself – you don’t have to be drunk to get through it.

13. Make rules for yourself and ditch them.

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When I ask people for dating advice they always start listing off rules they’ve set themselves, e.g only date on weeknights so you don’t give up a weekend, don’t kiss on a first date, don’t drink more than three drinks etc.

This is all fine if it makes you happy, but it could also get in the way of things. Imagine you met someone great – are you really going to go, "Sorry, can’t see you at the weekend, that’s just a rule I have"?

14. Don't worry too much about what the family will think.

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Your family will always have certain wishes for you, including who you end up with and where, but you have to put it all aside and live in the moment. Your dad may not LOVE the fact that your date has 849,384 piercings and a Power Rangers tattoo on their back, but you can cross that bridge when you get there.

16. We'll only tell the parents if it's super, super juicy.

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If you think you've found THE ONE, then maybe we'll tell, but that's it – we can keep a secret. The parents don't have to know about that Tinder date you boned in the restaurant loo, don't worry.

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