In the dating advice world, there’s no end to annoying, antiquated, and insulting advice. People offering secret formulas to conquer men, fail-proof techniques to hook a man, sneaky tactics that will make him beg for more. Conquer. Hook. Make. Sounds a lot like this post I wrote a while ago.

For instance, do the below blog post titles or article titles sound familiar?:

“5 Ways to Make Him Weak For You”

  • That’s right: Just do these 5 things and your dating woes will be over. He’ll be putty in your hands, physically and emotionally unable to resist you.

“The Secret Formula to Getting Any Man to Fall in Love With You”

  • Ah, the secret formula. Always a compelling, clickable title. If you could just know the secret formula to a man’s heart, dating would be so much easier, right?

“Win His Heart Forever”

  • A man’s heart is something to be captured, conquered, won over. Get him, win him, own him with these proven dating advice techniques. Ugh.

“Make Him Want You and Fall Hard For You”

  • Everyone wants to be wanted, especially by an object of affection, which makes this type of blog post title especially eye-catching. But is thinking and talking about dating in terms of making someone want you a healthy way to look at love and relationships?

“The Sneaky Psychology To Win His Heart That He Doesn’t Want You to Know About”

  • This one always cracks me up. As if men are desperately guarding some elusive psychological secret to their hearts. That once you’ve unlocked that secret he’ll be defenseless against you.

“3 Powerful Phrases That Will Make Men Powerless to Resist You”

  • You mean I only have to say these 5 phrases and all my dating struggles will be over? The guy I’ve been crushing on will now suddenly be completely immobilized by my words and will fall madly, deeply in love with me because of them? Sign me up!

“The Guaranteed Way to Get Men ‘Spellbound’ By You”

  • A magic spell? If only I had known about this spell earlier; all my dating troubles would have been over!

Although some practical nuggets can be found here and there in this type of advice, the underlying messages often focus on manipulation tactics. The advice distracts from self-knowledge and self-reflection, from understanding your fears, your insecurities, your unhealthy patterns, and your true needs in a man and a relationship.

People want quick fixes and easy answers, anything where they get to avoid looking inward. And this type of dating advice rarely asks you to hold up a mirror to yourself, because, well, who wants to do that, right? All that introspection and having to sort through your feelings. Having to look your ego in the face. Confronting your fears and consciously working through them. It’s not easy to do and change doesn’t happen overnight.

I get it, though, because I was once drawn to this type of advice during my own dating days. And, in retrospect, very little of it helped me create a long-term healthy, happy relationship.

So what did help me create a healthy, happy relationship?

Talking about my experiences and feelings with a trusted guide. Understanding my fears better. Getting online. Being resilient and persistent. Staying active in activities I enjoyed and exploring new ones at which I might meet men. Considering men outside of my ideal “type.” Essentially, taking action in my dating life coupled with spending lots of time in reflection mode was the vehicle that helped me create a healthy, happy relationship to the man who is now my husband.

No magic spells or secret formulas or sneaky psychological tricks.

As a dating coach, I avoid this type of dating advice in my writing and in my coaching work with women. In my opinion, it’s not the kind of advice to follow or rely on if you want to create long-lasting change in your love life.

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