Worst Dating Advice Ever – not a parody

I read what I thought was a funny article in The Atlantic about a guy named Justin Lookadoo. It looked just like a parody on bad Christian dating advice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. Lookadoo’s programs are all too real, and his website shows he’s serious.

He’s also dangerous. Here’s an excerpt from his website’s advice to teenage girls:

3. The sexiest thing on a girl is happiness. Girls try so hard to add beauty and sexuality to themselves with clothes and make-up, but the truth is it’s your spirit that makes you hot.

7. Act confident. Dateable girls know that confidence is hot. And the cool part is that no one knows if you are confident but you. Confidence isn’t how you feel, it’s how you act. Act confident and people will think you are.

9. Let him lead. God made guys as leaders. Dateable girls get that and let him do guy things, get a door, open a ketchup bottle. They relax and let guys be guys. Which means they don’t ask him out!!!

And here’s part of his advice for teenage boys:

5. Face your Fears. Dateable guys will not be controlled by fear. Whatever controls you owns you. Fear is from the enemy and so the Dateable guy stands in the face of it and says, “ha!”

6. Men of God are wild, not domesticated. Dateable guys aren’t tamed. They don’t live by the rules of the opposite sex. They fight battles, conquer lands, and stand up for the oppressed.

He tells girls to be “hot” by being happy whether they feel like it or not, and on no account should the try to open a ketchup bottle if they ever hope to be dateable.

Boys should be wild “Men of God” who face their fears head on, not boys who cower with their doubts. And while boys are to man up and face their fears, girls are to fake confidence and try to fool everyone just so that they will be more dateable.

The article also reports that Lookadoo writes in one of his books that girls are responsible if a guy looks lustfully at them (yet he also tells girls that it’s up to them to be “hot”, remember), and he recently told a school assembly that girls should leave an abusive relationship but did not bother telling boys to stop being abusive in the first place.

Lookadoo calls these Cool Rules, but there’s nothing cool about the dangerous way he relies on one-dimensional stereotypes and baseless pop psychology to support his nonsensical teachings.

I am so glad my kids never tried to follow this type of advice. It’s a recipe for disaster.

If I were to give dating advice, it would look like this:

1. Hang out with friends you like and who like you back.

2. Maybe you’ll start feeling attracted to one of them, maybe you won’t.

3. Maybe one of them will start feeling attracted to you, and you either will feel the same or you won’t.

4. If you both feel the same type of attraction, spend some time together in ways that you both feel comfortable.

5. Don’t worry about being wild or confident or who opens the ketchup bottle.

6. Do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31.)

There you have it. And as I suggest with all my advice: take it or leave it. At least you didn’t have to sit through a 90 minute school assembly to get it.

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42 Responses to Worst Dating Advice Ever – not a parody

  1. Deanna says:

    All of the rules you quoted have to do with projecting an image that may or may not be you (e.g. if a guy isn’t “wild” or a girl isn’t always confident or happy); silly me, but I thought the purpose of dating is to get to know somebody, and if you are projecting a false image of yourself just to be “datable”, if they are attracted to you, how can you know if they are attracted to the real you? Also, speaking as a person who sometimes struggles with insecurity, projecting confidence in a relationship does not help overcome that insecurity; what I want, when I am in that place, is to be known as I really am and loved in spite of what I see as my deficiencies.

    • Tim says:

      Good points, Deanna. Projecting an image in hopes of being datable is just lying to yourself and others.

    • Adriana says:

      Wow. Your comment reflects such wisdom, Deanna: “what I want . . . is to be known as I really am.” That desire is universal, isn’t it? 🙂

      • Aimee Byrd says:

        Amen! And thanks, Tim, for sharing this. I cringe to think about how many are following this advice. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go work on projecting my own confidence by opening a Ketchup bottle…

        • Tim says:

          With your workout routine, I bet Matt is as confident in your ability to handle the hard to open jars as I am handing them over to my wife!

  2. janehinrichs says:

    I like your dating advice Tim. Very simple but so practical.

  3. Bronwyn Lea says:

    I like “Tim’s ‘whatever’ guidelines for dating”. Totally do-able. And there’s no confusion about the ketchup.

  4. Erica M. says:

    Some of those rules can be sound advice…in a given context. Faking confidence is necessary in many situations, but I can attest to the fact that faking confidence leads you to have real confidence, and thus to dump the creepy Macho Man that insists he open ketchup bottles for you for some bizarre reason. (Likewise, facing your fears should not be “advice for men”; it should be “advice for everyone”.)

    I wonder what he would say to the fact that I asked my date to the prom, not the other way around…? Oh, the horror!

  5. lauradroege says:

    Wow, that advice is really . . . weird. Faking happiness is hot? (What about if you’re depressed and need help?) Letting him open the door? (What if his hands are full and you want to help him by opening the door for him?) And “no one knows if you’re confident but you”? (Um, I’ve met a few people who are faking confidence and it’s obvious, because they come off as insecure. That includes me.) I guess this guy wouldn’t have thought that I was “dateable” during my teens and early 20s. Thankfully, my husband disagreed and asked me out anyway (after much prompting/flirting from me!)

    Your advice makes so much sense! Why do so many leaders try to make dating/marriage/gender roles/etc. complicated? It really comes down to respecting other people and doing all for the glory of God!

    • Tim says:

      Laura, what’s really inexplicable to me is that schools keep paying this guy to show up and spout such nonsense. You’ve been able to pack into one comment much wiser dating insights than he has on his entire website.

      • lauradroege says:

        It’s scary that this advice is out there and that people are devouring it. But I went to a Christian college (one year) and some of these attitudes prevailed; it was also strange that the majority of the students seemed obsessed with finding The Right One and Marrying Mr. (or Mrs.) Right One. I fought the 24/7 brainwashing for the first semester, but I didn’t have the emotional and mental resilience to keep fighting it, and many negative things happened as a result. (Ultimately, God worked it for good, but I still have some scars from the experiences.) I hate to see young people influenced by bad advice like this.

  6. Jeannie says:

    Tim, your advice is so refreshingly sane in comparison, and the comments here are great. Opening the ketchup bottle is a guy thing?? (“Sweetheart, why are the children crying?” “We were going to have hot dogs and you weren’t home to open the ketchup!” “There there, dear, tomorrow I’ll make sure all condiment lids are loosened for you before I leave for work…”)

  7. Lyndsay says:

    Love this advice!

  8. Sarah Beals says:

    I love the hang out as friends part. Being good friends first is always a good thing!! 🙂 Great list!

  9. Good coverage of this Tim, thanks.

  10. Denise says:

    Wacky people are everywhere!

  11. Patrick Pedat Ebediyah Golston says:

    We have to be careful not to cherry-pick. This young man’s (Justin) advice is for saved (and unsaved) teens who are into the “dating scene”. And it’s okay advice, in context. Tim’s advice is for those tho are more into developing unique “relationships”, borne out of friendship.

    On the actual site (from there where the source material derived), it reads:

    “Dateable girls know how to shut up. They don’t monopolize the conversation. They don’t tell everyone everything about themselves.”

    He appears to be into the “keeping it real” sort of posturing, which I find abominable, but what he’s saying is that desirable girls (women) are polite, they know the importance of taking turns talking (personality) and not appear to be self-centered (character). Had it put it THAT way, it may have been more palatable. The term “dateable” is also not my style, so I can imagine how it might rub more liberal believers the wrong way as well. A little wordsmithing, and it makes perfect sense.

    “The Dateable girl let’s [sic] God run the world, and tells herself the truth–that all she can control is herself. She doesn’t imagine things to be more than they are.”

    A bit of idealism here. But he’s talking about maturity. This is good advice, not only for teens, but adults as well.

    “Let him lead. God made guys as leaders. Dateable girls get that and let him do guy things, get a door, open a ketchup bottle. They relax and let guys be guys. Which means they don’t ask him out!!!”

    A bit of silliness and wisdom mixed in here. While I do believe that MEN should be the pursuer, if a girl wants to ask a guy out, then it certainly isn’t a sin. The ketchup bottle sentiment, in my opinion was also intentional silliness. If my daughter wants to open a ketchup bottle, I dare any boy (or man) to tell her she shouldn’t be doing it. However, it he insists, then it’s NO BIG DEAL.

    “Men of God are wild, not domesticated. Dateable guys aren’t tamed. They don’t live by the rules of the opposite sex. They fight battles, conquer lands, and stand up for the oppressed.”

    I’d venture to say he isn’t talking about males raised, or who are in the company of, devout men. However, I’d challenge him for even uttering such foolishness. Very few Christian men I know in person fight for the oppressed (unless they are missionaries), and nearly all of the ones I’ve encountered online care very little for them, especially if they are conservative believers.

    “Keep it covered up. Dateable guys know that porn is bad for the spirit and the mind. They keep women covered up.”

    Everybody should know that porn is bad, and I would advise him to never weigh in on the so-called ‘modesty debate”, because it’s a foray into a dimension or relativity and uncertainty that is only worth discussing out of boredom.

    I take the rest of it with a grain of salt, especially his hook; (“Dateable”) and not worth too much criticism, but since brother Tim felt like inveighing, I figured I’d play too.

    It seems this brother Justin’s advice is really a little bit common sense tainted with stereotypical nonsense about rejecting feminism and being macho, which is about as prickly as his whacky hairdo.

  12. tinger woods says:

    nice tips Tim, your tips here are so easy to follow but unique 😀

  13. Although I believe confidence does certain appeal to men, I definitely agree more with your mentality. I always tell those things to the teen girls here because some of them try so hard to gain a relationship by looking sexy for the opposite sex. I tell them to be themselves, have fun communicating with the guys they meet, make sure that they love Jesus while they themselves are seeking out Jesus, and that when you become friends with someone and are drawn to them, it just makes a relationship with them easier. I don’t think those are so hard to understand. hehe.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Tim,

    Thank you for this great post. I sent a link to your list to my adult children. They liked your tips, too.

    I’m divorced and I’ve rejected the silly “Rules” for Christian dating. Why bother trying to hide your true self? Now I’ve finally found the world’s best guy (actually we are old friends) — and he loves me for me, not the fake me.

    If you are opinionated, you want a man who likes that.
    If you have nerves of steel, you want a man who appreciates it.
    If you are a good leader, you want a man who finds that irresistible.
    If you are highly successful, you want a man who’s not intimidated.
    If you’re smart, you need a guy who finds that a turn-on.

    Yes, they’re out there and they are worth the wait! Good times!

    • Tim says:

      It sounds like you’re rules work well too: find someone who appreciates who for you are, not who they want you to be!

  15. Guys fight wars, conquer lands and then stand up for the oppressed? He does realize he has just suggested that a guy conquer people and then stand up for them? No wonder manly guys are so conflicted.

  16. Aimee Byrd says:

    Wow, Tim! Thanks for calling this out. So every trait that a girl aims for, whether happiness or confidence, is so that they can turn a guy on?! Aghhh! I will stop typing now before I say bad things to do with ketchup bottles…

  17. Does he look like a hedgehog to you?

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