What Dating Advice Would Your Give Twenty-Something Men?

Mindy Kaling, actress and author, gave the commencement speech at her alma mater, Dartmouth, over the weekend, and she had some dating advice for the young men in the audience:

“This one is just for guys: When you go on dates, act as if every woman you’re talking to is a reporter for an online publication that you are scared of,” she said as the crowd laughed. “One shouldn’t need the threat of public exposure and scorn to treat women well; but if that’s what it’s gonna take, fine. Date like everyone’s watching, because we are.”

I like it. I’d also add:

Don’t send butt selfies to women you haven’t even met yet.

Don’t shit-talk your exes (or any women, for that matter).

If you want to impress a woman, remember the details (her middle name, her favorite flower, where she went to summer camp when she was 12). It’s like a little parlor trick that will blow her mind, express your interest in her, and make you seem super-sensitive.

What dating advice would you give young men graduating college?

Related: Dating Tip: Try Going Against Type and What Advice Would You Give Yourself Ten Years Ago?.


  1. If I go on a date with a guy and he recites my middle name, favorite flower and summer camp I will be filing a restraining order.

    1. Yeah, this is one of those things that a woman who is already in love with a guy might find sweet but I think in many situations would weird a lot of women out.

    2. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Well, yeah, it would be weird if you’re on a first or second date with a guy and he “recites” things he’s memorized about you. But if, on a fourth or fifth date, a guy brought you a bunch of rununculus because they’re in season and he remembered they’re your favorite, it would be really strange for you to file a restraining order.

      1. I have a strict 4th date restraining order policy. That way I don’t have to speak to them after sex.

        ha. Ya I got the gist just thought it was funny. I found my ex once had a whole little notebook with things about me: clothing sizes, favorite flowers, colors, things I would see at a store I liked. Was pretty cute.

      2. One guy I went out with (met online) recited back to me phrases from my profile. It was SUPAH weird.

      3. Nooooooooooo. See maybe my restraining order was a good idea after all.

  2. Northern Star says:

    Be a good, quality person, and date good, quality people.

  3. Don’t have sex with women who like you then ghost them. Communicate. If sex is all you want, then say that. There are a lot of women who want just that too.

    1. Yes to this, but more generally to being open and honest communicators.

  4. 1) Nobody owes you time, attention, interest, or affection.

    2) Women aren’t a gumball dispenser where you put a specific “moves” in and get sex out. They are individuals with individual likes and dislikes.

  5. dinoceros says:

    –Before you pursue someone, think about what you’re looking for. You don’t have to know 100%, but you should consider whether you’re open to a relationship or not.
    –Don’t pretend to be more interested than you are.
    –If you want to hook up with someone else, then end things with the person you’re currently with first (unless you’re not exclusive).

  6. Autumnrose says:

    Dear Men, Bring a women flowers- thats the oldest romantic gester in the book. Who cares if they die in a few days-they can smell good and look beautiful as a center piece in the house. Do it on the first date and do it on special occassions and at random times.
    Note to ladies who dont like flowers 1. I think your weird if you have a problem with receiving flowers 2. Stop speaking for the rest of us ladies who love recieving flowers. Flowers are not a waste of money when they are giving genuinely.

    1. “Stop speaking for the rest of us ladies who love recieving flowers,” she said, immediately after she spoke for all ladies by broadly telling men to “bring a women [sic] flowers.”

    2. I don’t have a problem receiving flowers as such but I have a problem with people insisting I take them even if I don’t like them. If someone kept giving you something you didn’t like wouldn’t you get the shits eventually? If we’re trying to get men to listen and respond to the needs of the woman they’re dating how about we not teach them to steamroll all over said woman’s stated desires.

      1. YES to you and Maggie both. Crap advice like this is exactly why men treat women like gumball dispensers. Put flowers in, get sex out.

        Buy her flowers if she likes flowers. Don’t buy her flowers if she doesn’t want flowers. Some women would hate if you bought them an appliance for an anniversary (oldest TV trope in the book) but some would love it. Don’t do what “women” want, do what THAT PARTICULAR woman wants.

    3. I have to admit I find whole conversation pretty funny. Maybe it’s a good idea to go to a greenhouse together with anyone who might be potential relationship material? Just to test for horticulture compatibility?

      1. I really love flowers but i just hate red roses. After a few years of my ex shelling out ridiculous Valentine’s Day prices for red roses I told him I really love something simple like daisies. Really I just didn’t want him spending that much money just because of the date. Also since I don’t like red roses. Well he took that insanely literally. The amount of daises I got over the years is insane. He’d even see a nice daisy and send me a pic. I giggled because he took it so literally but it became a very special thing between us. Funny how it began though.

    4. I think it’s more about the gesture – selecting something with the person in mind, and gifting it to them without expecting reciprocity – than about the flowers themselves. I love flowers, but I’m a saver, not a spender, so I don’t like receiving bouquets because it feels wasteful. My husband brings me wildflowers he picks on his bike rides and the gesture makes my heart sing. Small gifts given unexpectedly can be very romantic (gift-giving is one of the 5 Love Languages!), but every woman is different, so you have to tailor your gifts to her.

      1. I’ve gotten some beautiful flowers over the years. I think my favorite was a single home-grown rose a friend cut for me and brought with her when she visited me at the hospital when my first was born. It was shades of pink and the perfume was so strong. It was such a lovely thought and it really showed how much she understood me. It was a token of personal value she had tended, uniquely fragrant, all for me.

  7. Autumnrose says:

    When you strike a nerve with people.(eyeroll) If you dont like flowers that is something you can easily clear up on the first date….. Dont think to hard on it.

    1. Then why add in special occasions and random times in your original post hmm?

    2. So I should start every first date with “by the way don’t buy me flowers.” That seems like it would be weird.

    3. Christine says:

      That would be an odd thing to discuss on a first date. I’m too busy figuring out how the diving bell works.

  8. Bittergaymark says:

    Don’t bother. No, seriously. Just hold off. Start dating in your 30s. Enjoy your 20s to the max. And condoms. Condoms! CONDOMS!!

    1. Avatar photo mrmidtwenties says:

      Don’t pretend a broken condom isn’t broken, you can feel it, put another one on

    2. If you’re straight, don’t let a partner talk you out of using one if you can’t handle potential fatherhood, and all the financial support and co-parenting involved in it.

      1. No excuses.

    3. One caveat to the condom tip: Don’t fall for the “oh trust me I’m on birth control” storyline. WEAR A CONDOM ANYWAY.

  9. Dating should be fun; don’t make it life or death. Don’t chase the uncatchable: already has a bf, won’t date someone of your religion ethnicity, thinks you’re short. Know what you’re looking for; know your own strengths. With a little experience you’ll figure out which women you are likely to enjoy dating and which women are interested in you. Be able to carry on a conversation on a range of topics. Avoid books on dating advice — most are crap, of if you must read them avoid the scams (they are pretty obvious). Don’t talk down women you date — not to your friends, not to future dates. Be honest. Remember that a woman is an individual person just like you are.

  10. That’s cute. I like daisies, too. And daffodils, roses, and tulips. And sunflowers, and orchids, petunia, Blue Delphiniums, and crocus, forget-me-tons and even the dandelion bouquets my kid used to always pick for me. I love going to garden parks. For father’s day I’m probably going to get my dad a potted jalapeno or red pepper plant.

    1. Not sure why it posted here, but this comment was in response to JD.

  11. My advice would be: “Would you say/do that to her if she was armed? No? Then don’t say/do that to her if she’s not.”

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