I Had a Nice Time And Other Lies...
Oh hey weirdo who reads dating books. Just coming home from that guy’s apartment, the guy you swore you were going to have “the talk” with two years ago? Watching Orange Is the New Black for the third consecutive Saturday night? Consistently looking at engagement rings on Pinterest even though you haven’t had a steady boyfriend in a while? You’ve come to the right place, Katherine Heigl. While most dating books are for newly divorced housewives with no marketable skills and girls who eat their feelings, this one is different. We’re not going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to successfully date and marry the man of your dreams or even give you anecdotal evidence of that one girl who gained forty pounds and her boyfriend still loved her anyway. (The only way that won’t matter is if he’s also fat and/or works for her rich father and has an eye on the corner office.) We’re here to tell you all those “road maps to finding The One” are bullshit, and the only way to master the art of not dying alone is realizing that dying
alone is no big deal when you’re going into the white light alongside the greatest person you know: You.
Most dating books will make you feel like a hopeless nicegirl, her lifeless body destined to be found among her twenty-seven cats while Taylor Swift’s “oldies but goodies” play on repeat. This book will betch slap you to reality, help you get your shit together, and remind you that the old Tay was lame as fuck.
Forgot What a Nicegirl Is?
“The nicegirl plays by the rules without ever questioning them. She’s dull, lacks depth, allows people to walk all over her yet brings nothing to the table herself. If she disappeared, you wouldn’t even notice. She’s the girl who rarely colors outside the lines of her life, and even then only in baby pink. She’s the kind of girl who uses a real bookmark. In other words, she’s boring as fuck.”
Contrary to popular belief, you’re not born knowing how to date and you have a lot of shit to learn. Plus, we’re not here to sugarcoat dating advice. Adding sugar to anything is going to seriously limit your dating prospects. So break out the Splenda, throw your cats out the window, and get in, loser; we’re going to fix your fucked-up love life.
But first, one of life’s major questions (besides the most
obvious: “Is butter a carb?”): Why even be in a relationship in the first place?
“I think we can all agree that sleeping around is a great way to meet people.”
The answer to this question seems to be obvious (duh, how else are you going to fulfill your dreams of having an envy-inducing wedding, popping out gorgeous kids with ironic first names, and packing cute little gluten- and dairy-free lunches?) but it turns out it’s more complicated than it initially appears. Why even have a boyfriend? Unless you’re like extremely religious—in which case you’re already offended by much of this book—you don’t need to date to have sex. You don’t need to date to have kids (hello, in vitro). And you definitely don’t have to date to be reminded how amazing and beautiful you are. That’s what your grandma is for.
Being in a relationship isn’t always fun anyway. All of a sudden you have someone who wants to know where you are, what you’re doing, and to whom you’re sending Snapchats all the fucking time. It’s like, why are you so obsessed with me? If you’re with the right person, however, it can be super fun, and from a purely selfish standpoint at the very least you’ll learn a lot about yourself with each new relationship you fuck up. You’ll get to discover interesting new things about yourself like that you can be really bitchy when you’re hungry and that you could never handle dating
a guy with just a green Amex. He might as well pay with food stamps.
But finding that person isn’t easy . . . and if it is easy, then you’re probably in that relationship for the wrong reasons. If you’re lonely, get a friend. If you want attention, go on The Bachelor. If you want to have sex, walk outside.
The only reason you should be in a relationship is because your boyfriend/fiancé/husband/lover adds something awesome to your life, not because he completes it. You’re a betch, you have the privilege of your own company. You’re a hot commodity and your time and, more important, your affection are valuable, so why would you let just anyone in? I mean, would Beyoncé date Kevin Federline? Exactly.
Ask yourself: Is he the Jay Z to your Beyoncé?
If no: Dump him
If yes: Keep him
If maybe: What kind of car does he drive?
“There’s nothing worse than the girl who has never been single.”
It’s better to be alone than to be with someone who sucks. While having a boyfriend has its perks, so does being single. For instance, you can go out when
ever you want. You can make out with whomever you want. And if it’s been a long winter, you don’t even have to shave your vag. Win, win, win.
“Better alone than badly accompanied.”
—Candace Bushnell, Sex and the City
One is not better than the other. It’s about where you are in your life and what’s best for you in the moment. If you think that a relationship is the key to your happiness you’re as delusional as Karen.
Who the Fuck Is Karen?
Karen is our extremely delusional friend. She doesn’t live in reality. She constantly thinks guys are into her who are clearly not. She’s terrible at reading signals, and her mom is the only person who believes that Karen has a boyfriend. Really, Karen’s “boyfriend” is the guy she fucked three times who finally asked for her number. Don’t be a Karen.
WHY SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO US?
If you’re a smart betch, you’ve already read our first book and learned how to win at basically everything. You learned the pitfalls of being too nice, what friends are socially acceptable to chill with, and to never ever admit that you don’t know shit about wine. But what about dating? Yes, we covered that, too, but a lot has changed. We’ve grown up and the rules are different. Suddenly, it’s sort of okay to online date, and the thought of being kind and caring to a guy is starting to not disgust you.
The simple truth is that dating in college and dating when you’re in the state of mind to fuck around is a very different ball game than dating in the real world. There comes a point in every young betch’s life when she gets bored of her thrice-weekly clubbing excursions and shambling to work hungover every Thursday. She realizes that she might have to entertain the idea of settling down into a long-term relationship, if only because everything else seems boring as fuck and she’s already been to Ibiza three times. If you haven’t hit that point yet, you will eventually. Even Paris Hilton doesn’t want to be known as “that old bitch in the club” forever. No one likes a washed-up party girl, so eventually you’re going to need to learn how to master the art of a long-term, committed relationship.
“Much of my high-jinks have been drug-related. When you’re under 30, whatever, but once you’re past 40 it’s just ugly.”
Unlike our grandparents, who actually needed to be married in order to leave their parents’ houses, the modern betch can have an entire fulfilling life alone and with her besties. We don’t need to accept the first man who offers us a four-karat ring, because we have options. We can be anything we want to be. This often means we settle down later in the game.
“When are you getting married? Dating anyone lately? How’s that boy you were talking to last year, you know, the one whose parents were lawyers? He was nice,” your parents and grandparents might ask you to death. But don’t listen to them. All your grandma is concerned about is being alive for your wedding and all your mom is doing is comparing you to her own situation. She was married by twenty-five, and your grandma has only ever slept with one man. They had different pressures then, and that’s why they’re applying the same pressure to you. Don’t get mad at them, just be like Yah dating a few guys! Have a date tonight actually. Will let you know how it goes! Then hang up and resume your Thursday night binge of Scandal and weed.
For our parents’ and grandparents’ generation, the name of the game was dependence. Getting out of the house, finding a husband to take care of you, popping out six kids. It was like passing the torch from your parents to your partner as the person who became responsible for you. But now it’s all about independence for women . . . which is fucking amazing, but admittedly sometimes stressful because of that extreme pressure you may receive from your family who know nothing, Jon Snow.
Okay, so I’ll just like, settle down when I’m bored and I feel like it, you think, stupidly. False. Most people suck at relationships and if you’re a real betch, you’re probably one of them. Our independent lifestyles full of Chanel bags, bottomless brunches, and yacht weeks are amazing, but they often leave us ill prepared for the world of real-life dating. Catch-22: It’s precisely because we have so much fun on our own that dating can be so hard.
A time comes in a betch’s life when she’s gone to her one-thousandth single-girls night out and sort of feels tired of it all. The long pregames, the cocaine hangovers, sex with the guy whom she would never actually date once she got to know him—it becomes a drag. At this point she might say, Hey, I’ve been single for enough time. I think I’m ready to find the perfect boyfriend who I can marry someday! Oh yay I’m excited. Thinking you can magically enter the perfect relationship as soon as you’ve decided it’s time is simply wrong. Most betches are quick to admit that they’re bad at things like snowboarding or making their beds, but when it comes to relationships everyone is under the delusional impression that they can figure it out the first time they try. Do you think your spin instructor mastered her tap back the first time she stepped on the bike? No. Exactly.
So how will this new adult relationship differ from your college routine of balancing three back-burner bros and a shady asshole bro more seamlessly than your homework assignments? Sadly, it’s going to involve some actual effort on your part and some important realizations. Dating and sex after college when you’re looking for somebody who has the
potential for marriage involve actual self-reflection and sacrifice. Vom, we know, but like, it’s true.
We’re here to teach you how to remain a powerful, confident, independent betch while finding love. We’ll give you the secrets to staying hot and desired through every stage of your relationship, making sure your sex life doesn’t go to shit, and giving you the keys to let go of the awful guys you’ve entertained in the past to make room for the pro of your dreams. We’ve mastered the art of dating with the help of asshole bros, extra-nice guys, awkward situations, and too many vodka sodas, and we think we’re going to make it out alive. So now it’s time to pass on our divine truths to you.
You write us hundreds of thousands of “Dear Betch” letters looking for the keys to coming out on top while getting the most out of your “relationships” and lucky for you we’ve compiled this plethora of dating knowledge into a nonpathetic guide. You’re welcome.
While reading this book, remember the cardinal rule of betchdom: Don’t take yourself or anyone around you that seriously. There are some real truth gems in here but read this book however the fuck you want. Don’t be a trying-too-hard loser and highlight this shit or give it to your dud nicegirl friend to outline and summarize. Dating, much like this book, is supposed to be fun and light so have a laugh, bask in our awesomeness, and don’t you dare pick up any other dating book but this one. No one wants to date the girl whose bookshelf is lined with The Rules and Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.
Sure you’re going to fuck up our advice. A lot. We’ve
fucked it up, too. A lot. That’s why we’re so smart. We’ve been around the block and learned the hard way. And honestly, we’re still learning. It’s important to remember through all your shitty dates, vicious fights, and nasty breakups that at the end of the day, whoever locks you down is fucking incredibly lucky and all the shit you’ve been through to find him will be worth it. There is no one out there like you and you are amazing, so even if you have days/weeks/months where you’re feeling discouraged or lonely (gross) make like Dory from that movie where she has Alzheimer’s and just keep swimming.
It’s Me, the Head Pro. ’Sup?
Hi there. If you’ve looked to the Betches for dating advice prior to the year 0 BIHANTAOL (that’s Before I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies, obviously), then we know each other. Not like, biblically, though I guess anything is possible. I mean that I’m the Head Pro, the Betches’ resident guy expert for all what the fuck does this text even mean? issues, and chances are if you’ve sought advice, your e-mail has come through my in-box. I give betches advice. Solicited advice, unlike that guy Corey in your hall freshman year, who—news flash—was just trying to fuck you.
As you read this book, you’ll see me pop in and out with my perspective on common dating shit. How soon is too soon to make a reservation for two (or more, if you like to party) at the Bone Zone Cafe? What are some dealbreakers
that will cause your love interest to throw himself from the nearest tall building, resigning you to a life of loneliness and puppy Instagrams?
We can do this, together, you and I.
HAVING A BOYFRIEND FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING A BOYFRIEND
Just don’t do it. A lot of (sad) girls go to bed at night fantasizing how nice it would be to finally become the girlfriend of the guy she’s been pining over since her sophomore year of college. But what these girls need to realize is that just because he is their crush, just because they lie there thinking oh my god he’s so cute I’m definitely in love, he is only that. A fucking crush. This guy is an illusion, a hologram of your perfect boyfriend with the face and body of the guy you think would look good with you in couples pics on Instagram. You’re not in love. You definitely don’t know this bro well enough to “love him,” and if you ever got together you would probably realize that he sucks.
Dreaming about having a boyfriend is pathetic because it assumes that you need a guy to make you happy. By no means are we advocating that you should stay single forever. We just mean that a man should complement you, not complete you. Once you realize that you don’t need a boyfriend to make your life amazing, only then might you actually find a boyfriend.
“He’ll come when you’re not looking/least expect it,” says everyone you ever spoke to about the hardships of being single whom you subsequently wanted to shoot in the eye. But the root of your anger for said people is because deep down you know it’s true. Don’t be thirsty for a boyfriend. Don’t be the girl who wants to leave a perfectly fun pregame because you don’t want to date any of the guys there. Don’t be so transparently desperate. Everyone will smell the desperation and walk the other way. Including your friends.
The moment you realize that you don’t need to be completed is the moment when you are open to finding someone with whom you can share your green juices, summer weekends, and HBO Sunday nights, otherwise known as your happiness.
Note we used the word “share.” When you share something with someone it means you are confident and content enough with what you have to give a piece of it away. The same goes with your happiness in relationships. Let’s put this a little bit less abstractly. Say your bestie asks to borrow a black crop top. You’re like, Yeah def, you’ll look way hot in this one (you, of course, look hotter, but no need to say it aloud). Next day she gives it back to you but is like, I’m so sorryyyyy but it’s stained. I tried everything. Don’t hate me. You look at it, you look at her, you look at your drawer full of other black crop tops, and say, OMG don’t worry! There’s more where that came from! Love you, Betch.
But now let’s say a three-month relationship you’re in turns to shit. A can’t-be-salvaged type of situation. The guy hurt you and he’s a dick for it, but do not cry yourself to sleep
every night to a Nicholas Sparks movie marathon because this guy completed you and now you don’t know what to do without him. Because you know you were complete before him, instead you say, Fuck it and fuck him. It’s NBD, there’s more where that came from. This guy is your black crop top that got stained. If you know there’s always more where that came from, it’ll be easy to brush off the ones that are defective and bad for your look.
“It is a love based on giving and receiving as well as having and sharing. And the love that they give and have is shared and received. And through this having and giving and sharing and receiving, we too can share and love and have . . . and receive.”
Sure, you may find someone who you think is the perfect guy for you for forever, but there’s no guarantee that will always be the case. People change, betches are a force and we’re constantly evolving. I mean, when the concept of marriage was invented we were all going to die at like, forty-five years old. The average now is like, a hundred or something. That’s an additional 16,500 fewer calories or like, 5 pounds extra fucking birthday cake. Talk about a way fatter commitment.
Ultimately, your goal should be to meet a guy with whom you can enjoy your respective lives. He should share your values because you need to make decisions together in the future, as well as your interests because you need someone with whom to go shopping for expensive French wine. Having a life partner means that you can no longer do whatever
the fuck you want. You can’t like, not tell that person what you were doing because that’s lying. And you definitely can’t be shady. This sort of sounds miserable, right? Well that’s why you shouldn’t just date anyone. You shouldn’t just accept any guy as your boyfriend because you like, want a boyfriend that week. You should date someone for whom it’s worth giving up those freedoms. Freedoms like getting drunk and making out with whomever at whichever bar, not having anyone nag you about something you don’t care about (i.e., bills and wearing sunscreen and eating froyo for dinner five nights a week without judgment). When you have a boyfriend you want him to be someone you don’t want to be shady with, someone whom you want to tell everything you did that day, someone for whom you consider wearing a midriff-covering top. You’ll know you’re in love when your boyfriend wants to know what you had for brunch with your besties and you also like, can’t wait to tell him you ate next to nothing.
QUOTES ABOUT LOVE AND WHY THEY’RE BULLSHIT
Since like, forever, people have been writing, singing, texting, rapping, whatever, about love. But because there’s such an expansive amount of “wisdom” about the topic, and because the opinions of annoying hopeless romantics have deeply infiltrated our society, there’s like, a lot of fucking bullshit out there. As betches, we are known for cutting the shit, and that’s why we’re going to break down the most clichéd sayings about love right here.
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Does it? DOES IT? Or is the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” more true? These are two completely opposite pieces of advice regarding love that are repeated everywhere you go. One says that the time spent away from a loved one makes you closer to them. The other says that the time spent away will make you eventually forget them. So like, which one fucking is it?
Actually, we decided to pay attention in this one class this one time and we learned that according to some studies, the latter is the answer. Longer periods of time spent away from a loved one will make the feeling of hurt and longing crumble away. This agrees nicely with its counterpart phrase, “Time heals all wounds.” Of course, a few days away from your boyfriend might make you want him more, but if you’re looking to get over someone you better unfollow the fuck out of him on Instagram.
“Love is blind.” People love whomever they want. Straight, homosexual, asexual, the list goes on. Of course, in that way love is blind. But when I notice my boyfriend has been eating four-too-many Shake Shack burgers lately, that’s definitely a reason to put my cute little pedicured foot down. No one is blind to the dad bod, not even love.
“Opposites attract.” Like, they don’t really. Okay, if you’re a blonde and are really attracted to a brunet, maybe that’s the case. But a boyfriend who shares the same values as you (family, money, and other serious shit) is probably a better choice than one who cares about stuff you find unimportant.
Your boyfriend may know everything there is to know about politics and you may know everything there is to know about the Kardashians, but you still have an appreciation for spending time with your families. The politics/pop culture differences don’t make you opposites, they suggest you might have slightly different interests. But the fact that you both sincerely care about staying close with your siblings and want to spend money on traveling means that you technically are more similar than you are different.
Also, a lot of people tend to be attracted to people who share physical traits of theirs. This is probably a manifestation of a betch’s true desire to date herself, which is sort of impossible, so she dates someone who looks like her. So really what’s the correct answer? There isn’t one. Love whom you want to love, and leave us the fuck alone.
“All is fair in love and war.” You may have heard this one from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Last time we checked it’s not cool to waterboard your boyfriend for forgetting to ask for spicy mayo. Not the best example, but then again in war you can spy, kill, torture, or any of that other cray shit we saw in Zero Dark Thirty. That shit’s not really applicable in love. You can’t just do whatever you want, ruin as many people’s lives just so long as you can make a name for yourself as an investigatory journalist for the sake of love. In other words, you can’t just be an asshole because you’re into someone.
“You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful, That’s What Makes You Beautiful.” Ummm, fairly certain my bimonthly eyebrow
threading, eyelash extensions, and $100-a-tube bronzer help make me beautiful. Like, obviously we try to be humble about it, but if we’re hot, and we know we’re hot, Harry Styles would definitely be into it. Also, if you’re walking around crying that you’re not gorgeous but you look like Kendall Jenner, no one, I repeat no one will want you, you grotsky little biatch.
“All you need is love.” Pretty sure we also need water, food, shelter, vodka, and Netflix.
“You Complete Me.” Don’t even. Just don’t even.
CUE THE TEARS AND CHOCOLATE: THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A SOUL MATE
Let go of the ridiculous notion of “The One.” Do it, right now. Shut your eyes, picture the words “The One” and then crush them in your mind-vise. There’s no such thing as a soul mate. Besides the fact that that term is as gag inducing as the thought of eating anything off the McDonald’s dollar menu sober, the concept of soul mates always was, is now, and will always be bullshit. Why? Because there are over seven billion people in the world, and more than just one of them is right for you.
The right guy for you is the guy who wants what you want at the same time as you. That’s called luck and some people get lucky a lot. Some people get lucky less often. Some people meet a person who’s great for them when
they’re seventeen and live happily ever after or until they’re so bored they want to shoot themselves in the face. Some people won’t meet them until they’re forty-five or eighty or never.
The one thing we’re convinced of is that there are definitely people out there who are better suited for you than others. If you want to call these people “ones” you can, but the important thing to remember is that there isn’t just one of them. The only reason the term “The One” exists is because the phrase “I’ve finally found the one of a dozen guys out there for me” somehow sounds less romantic.
“There is no such thing as a soul mate . . . and who would want there to be? I don’t want half of a shared soul. I want my own damn soul.”
—Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, some authors
The thing to remember is that it’s not just about finding the person for you. It’s about finding a person who’s right for you at the exact same time that you are right for them. Some people will meet ten guys who are compatible with them and some will meet one or even none. Some women meet a guy who’s super compatible for what she wants in the moment, but he couldn’t be less ready for a relationship. Don’t let this information discourage you. You wouldn’t want there to be a perfect prince who completes you, because, like we said, you don’t need completing. Plus, we just told you there’s no such thing as one soul mate so
your chances of finding someone just increased by like, a billion percent. Math, fucking duh.
By picking up this book you’re one step closer to not taking dating so seriously and by doing so, cultivating your love of yourself and learning more about what makes you tick and who you are. That doesn’t mean it’s ever okay to pluck your chin in front of a guy, but it does mean that you can have a great time while growing in life, and that includes relationships.
Try to have fun and find someone who supports you. Sometimes you’ll fuck that up, most people do. But who gives a shit? Happiness is not about your destination, it’s about how on point your hair looks during the ride.
So get ready, Betches, we’re about to drop some truth bombs onto your beautifully balayaged heads.