Michelle (M): At 31, dating blogger Erin Meanley shares 31 dating truths she wishes she had known 10 years earlier when she was 21. I wish I had known some of these things, too, when I was younger.

Here’s one: If you’re confused about whether a guy likes you or not, that’s probably not good. Confusion in romance belongs only in romantic comedies because it suspends the plot, but suspense in real life sucks. So try not to analyze the events. The truth will reveal itself without you having to do anything.

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Darwin John (DJ): For example, if he’s not calling you, don’t assume that he’s busy or shy—particularly when it’s been months since he last said, “hello.” It’s really very possible that he’s not interested.

A guy who likes you will call you, not every five minutes but on an interval that’s enough to let you know that he’s thinking about you.

M: Another truth is sometimes guys flirt with you or pay attention to you because it makes them feel good about themselves. (Hey, we do it, too.) And in the early stages, giving him presents is too much. Generosity looks desperate to guys. You may be a great shopper and gift-wrapper; it may be his birthday and you may be wild about birthdays—still, he’ll think you’re just wild about him. Too wild.

DJ: Presents like food are generally welcome. But Juan won’t always have the cake and Katie, too. Even if the cake is in tiers! She should risk her feelings only on a “knead” to know basis. A woman can use this approach to get to know a guy. It’s creative and not to mention impressive.

A guy finds it cool to be with someone who knows how to cook. But with all these cooking involved, she should be seasoned enough. There’s got to be a point to realize that his appreciation is never going beyond good food.

M: Here’s something that could have saved me a lot of heartache before: You can’t force chemistry. If you like him as a friend, the attraction might grow, but if it doesn’t, don’t force it. And don’t waste his time. And if I may add, don’t waste mine, too! There’s nothing more exasperating than a guy who blows hot and cold.

DJ: Friendship is a good start. But frankly speaking, I think guys should take the lead. I was once guilty of this. But as I grew older, I no longer believed in mutual understanding. When you’re going out four times, you’re already dating. And you start talking about life, some personal stuff and it’s been a year already. Dude, make a move. Or leave her alone.

M: Also, another dating truth is to never underestimate the quality of “interesting.” Men want someone interesting. They really do. Find some hobbies.

DJ: But don’t pursue a hobby just to get a hubby. It’s likely that you won’t have both. The right person can complement you but you should be complete as an individual. It’s a joy to find the right person but you should be happy in you own right. Then you won’t have to settle for anything less.

M: Now, at my age, there’s one thing that I know better more than ever: You will never understand men. Just try to understand yourself. Enough said.

DJ: As they say, it’s better to understand little than to misunderstand a lot. And this works for both men and women. If you didn’t know this before, you should know by now.

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