Over the past month, Mandy Stadtmiller, Chief Editor at XOJane has been using PlentyOfFish to test out popular dating cliches to see if they hold any truth (all in hopes of finding a great date for Valentines Day). Turns out, as you might suspect, some traditional dating advice has no place in 2015.
To save you from going to the same trouble to find a date, we’ve provided a crash course in defining and testing 30 of the most popular dating cliches below, based on Mandy’s findings.
Do you agree with this list? Which dating cliches have popped up in your life? Let us know below, and find the full rundown of the 30 days on The Mandy Project.
30 Dating Cliches: Defined and Tested
Cliché #1: “Honesty is the best policy”
Challenge: Make a brutally honest online dating profile on PlentyOfFish
Learning Point: Unfiltered selfies make for unfiltered dating.
Cliché #2: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”
Challenge: Hug strangers in Times Square, and ask them what their first impression of me is from that hug.
Learning Point: Lead with confidence and it will follow the whole night through.
Cliché #3: “You’ll find him when you stop looking”
Challenge: Hand over my dating profile to a friend, and let them look through your matches.
Learning Point: Not being able to see a man’s face leads to so much less judgement and more reflection.
Cliché #4: “Everything happens for a reason”
Challenge: Reply to one of my “suitors” on POF and explain to them how everything in my life had led up to the moment when I read their message.
Learning Point: Taking a radically different intro approach in online dating works.
Cliché #5: “Love like you’ve never been hurt”
Challenge: Have a date where no matter what, I can’t talk about exes or my past.
Learning Point: I suck at leaving exes out of things. When I consciously try, not just the date is better – but my life is better, too.
Cliché #6: “You should date a nice guy”
Challenge: Message a guy and ask him, “Would you consider yourself to be a nice guy? Give me several good examples why.”
Learning Point: Nice guys are honestly the sexiest guys on earth.
Cliché #7: “Opposites attract”
Challenge: Ask a guy out who is my opposite.
Learning Point: Don’t let someone who is totally different than you scare you away from a new potentially life-changing experience.
Cliché #8: “Never dress too sexy on a first date”
Challenge: Ask Instagram to pick my first date outfit in order to achieve just the right amount of sexiness.
Learning Point: Go with classy-sexy not slutty-sexy.
Cliché #9: “Trust your gut”
Cliché #10: “You have to date your type”
Challenge: Pick a guy based only on his profile picture and ask him out.
Learning Point: Over-thinking dating ruins dating.
Cliché #11: “You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else”
Challenge: Do something to treat myself that I’ve never done before.
Learning Point: If you take care of yourself then you’re able to be your best self with other people.
Cliché #12: “Never accept last minute dates”
Challenge: Don’t accept a last-minute date, unless social media thinks it’s okay to do so.
Learning Point: Screw the rules. Go out whenever you want.
Cliché #13: “Be yourself”
Challenge: Go on the most genuine date ever.
Learning Point: Authenticity leads to laughter leads to a really great date.
Cliché #14: “You have to accept men exactly as they are”
Challenge: Watch the Super Bowl with a group of manly men being exactly as they are.
Learning Point: I love men so hard, especially when they are being all manly men.
Cliché #15: “Love should be easy”
Challenge: Go on a date and we have to agree with each other no matter what.
Learning Point: Going with the flow is a choice.
Cliché #16: “Don’t have sex until you’ve been on at least three dates”
Challenge: Message ten guys from POF to find out if this cliché is actually relevant.
Learning Point: Only ever listen to your intuition when it comes to sex – because you’re the only person who matters in this decision.
Cliché #17: “The two-day rule”
Challenge: Keep a diary of everything that I wanted to say to my date – while waiting two days before contacting him.
Learning Point: Contact him while he’s still walking out the door if you want to. If a man likes you, he is going to like you.
Cliché #18: “It’s a numbers game”
Challenge: Message as many guys from POF in one day as I could using the briefest messages possible — and see how many quality responses I got back.
Learning Point: Being bold, fearless and concise is the only way to play it.
Cliché #19: “Play hard to get”
Challenge: Create a scavenger hunt for your first date.
Learning Point: It’s okay to make them chase you. They like it.
Cliché #20: “You have to put yourself out there”
Challenge: Walk around New York City with a sign that says, “I’m currently SINGLE.”
Learning Point: Humiliation leads to fearlessness leads to risk taking leads to amazing things happening.
Cliché #21: “Don’t kiss on a first date”
Challenge: Poll Twitter and find out if it’s okay to get intimate early on.
Learning Point: Coyness and directness are equally great strategies.
Cliché #22: “Love knows no age”
Challenge: Message 10 men older and 10 men younger than me on POF. Accept a date with one of them.
Learning Point: Younger men are thirstier than the silver foxes – which is less attractive.
Cliché #23: “A man should pay for a first date”
Challenge: Create an estimate of how much you’re going to spend for the evening and present to a man at the beginning of a date.
Learning Point: It’s okay to expect and demand old-fashioned chivalr
Cliché #24: “Make a man “engagement chicken” so he’ll fall in love”
Challenge: Bring a man engagement chicken on a first date.
Learning Point: There is no quicker way to cut the ice than to give a man a chicken.
Cliché #25: “Avoid the topics of politics, money and religion on a first date”
Challenge: Create a conversational itinerary directing my date to every topic other than these three.
Learning Point: Why steer clear of anything? You’re on the date; not the representative.
Cliché #26: “Don’t play games”
Challenge: Print out a list of relationship expectations and give it to a man on the first date.
Learning Point: There is nothing sexier than honesty.
Cliché #27: “Go after what you want”
Challenge: Pay for the date instead of expecting a man to do it.
Learning Point: Don’t be helpless.
Cliché #28: “There are plenty of fish in the sea”
Challenge: Ask out one of these “fish” in a big way for Valentine’s Day.
Learning Point: You can’t find your fish if you don’t ask him out first.
Cliché #29: “Be busy”
Challenge: Spend a day primping on yourself – no matter what happens on Feb. 14.
Learning Point: You’ll never be bummed or stressed when you treat life like a spa day.
Cliché #30: “Everyone should have a Valentine’s Day date”
Challenge: Go out and have the most celebratory V-Day ever.
Learning Point: V-Day exists. Why deny it? Own it instead of letting it own you.