Several New Girl characters struggled to get back into the dating game — except for Schmidt, of course, who is content to wield his signature “close-up magic” on women everywhere. We learned Nick’s greatest dating tips in episode four when he got into the zone for a night out with co-worker Amanda. He danced naked in front of his mirror to reggae music, accidentally revealing his “pee pee and bubbles” to Jess. Later in the season, Schmidt returned with some more dating tips for his roommates after Jess has an awkward ate with Russell, or Fancyman as he is affectionately known. Jess hesitated to call Russell since “Schmidt says the moment a woman touches the phone, she loses her power. Unless she’s sexting, in which case she gains a half-power.” Although Jess’ stream-of-consciousness dinner conversation didn’t bode well for a romantic evening, she does deliver a few inadvertent words of wisdom about not giving up the “gold” to a guy — at least right away. “I don’t go on dates very often,” she admitted to Russell. “Guys my age always wanna skip the date and just go right for the gold. Which I don’t give them, because I’m stingy with my gold. Unless they dig for it.”
We’re not sure we’d want to turn to Don, Roger, Pete, or any of the boys on Mad Men for dating tips — especially considering their string of wives or affairs, and their sexist outlook on relationships. The women of AMC’s period drama are far from perfect, but we tend to think the ladies are a safer bet when it comes to this kind of counsel. Joan’s been there and done that a few times, so she doesn’t sugarcoat things about relationships, especially when she stated, “Men don’t take the time to end things. They ignore you until you insist on a declaration of hate.” Joan’s greatest advice about dating is probably revealed in the roommate ad she helped Peggy with: “No dull moments or dull men tolerated.” Megan’s advice is perhaps a bit more naive, but she believes the ultimate goal is to find “a person that makes you feel special. A person that knows you.” Betty doesn’t believe that girls kiss boys. She tells Sally, “Boys kiss you.” If we learned anything about romance from Peggy, it’s not to work so much that you don’t leave room for fun. If all else fails, you can take Peggy’s mom’s advice, dispensed after she found out that Peggy was going to shack up with her boyfriend. “You’re lonely, get a cat. They live 13 years, then you get another one and another one after that. Then you’re done.”
The Seinfeld gang have shared a lot of awkward dating moments with us over the years. In particular, George was a disaster where romance is concerned, but we can still learn a few important tips from Jerry’s neurotic right-hand man. He learned never to get involved with a co-worker in “The Stranded.” He told Jerry, “Every day is like a date. It’s a nightmare!” George also discovered that it’s never a good idea to pretend you’re gay to break up with someone you’ve been dating when he tries to ditch Alison in “The Outing.” After a date with Betsy, George and Jerry teach us that you can’t make out with a woman when she’s sitting on his right side. “He can’t make a move with his left hand. Can’t go left… ” Jerry claimed. “For me to ask a woman out, I’ve got to get into a mental state like the karate guys before they break the bricks,” George also revealed to us. Meanwhile, Jerry sees dating like a big game. “What’s the point of dating without games? How do you know if you’re winning or losing?” He was also firmly against PDA. “People on dates shouldn’t even be allowed out in public,” he jabbed. To Jerry, dating is really just a lot of “pressure and tension,” so it’s better to learn from his mistakes: Don’t forget your dates name (“Mulva!”), don’t lie about watching Melrose Place, don’t ask a masseuse for free back rubs, and don’t obsess over whether or not your date’s breasts are real or expensive.
The nightlife in Scranton isn’t exactly tantalizing, but everyone at The Office solves that problem by dating their co-workers. It’s a recipe for disaster as fans of the show know. Michael wasn’t opposed to trying to date outside Dunder Mifflin, which is why he signed up for an online dating service. He emphasized to viewers that choosing a blatant screen name will let people know where your priorities are — but just don’t pick “lilkidlover” like he did, or they might get the wrong idea. Michael admits that he moves fast in season five when he tells people that “the third date is traditionally the one where… you have sex.” Speaking of doing it, don’t go on a double date and sex each other in the bathroom, leaving your companions at the dinner table like Phyllis and Bob did to Pam and Jim. The sweetest dating moment on the show happened when Jim took, like, an eternity to tell Pam how he really felt about her, which he advised wasn’t because he was uninterested. “A lot of people told me I was crazy to wait this long for a date with a girl I work with, but I think even then I knew that… I was waiting for my wife.” Finally, we think it’s safe to say that you should just do the opposite of everything Dwight does, unless you have aspirations to date a beet farmer.
One Tree Hill
Tree Hill High’s it-girl Brooke evolved into a responsible young woman, even though she started the series as the popular cheerleader with commitment issues. Her biggest piece of dating advice sounds kind of trashy, but Brooke was really just afraid to get her heart broken. “Here’s my philosophy on dating,” she revealed. “It’s important to have somebody that can make you laugh, somebody you can trust, somebody that, y’know, turns you on… And it’s really, really important that these three people don’t know each other.”
It’s hard to admit, but sometimes mom and dad really do know best — even when your dad is an aging former rock star with a failed marriage. Rufus’ heart is usually in the right place, though — especially when he tells his son Dan that in order to make any relationship work, you need to be fully invested. “I dated a girl like Serena, once. Actually, a lot like Serena,” he tells his son. “And girls like that might be challenging. That’s true. And they’re complicated, and enigmatic. And usually worth it. And the only way you know for sure is to jump it with both feet.” Even though it hasn’t always worked out for Rufus, he’s content to “swim for a while,” before drowning.
How I Met Your Mother
Two words: Bro Code. Out of all the relationship lessons learned on How I Met Your Mother, Neil Patrick Harris’ brash banker Barney delivers dating tips with the most hilarity. His set of standards for dishing up “a plenitude of plays to profit the persistent player” sets the bar high for bros everywhere. Suit up, and read Barney’s Playbook for the scams, cons, and hustles he’s successfully used to “pick up chicks and give them the business.” Some of his schemes are detailed as follows:
1. A bro should never carry a woman’s handbag.
2. A bro should never cry during a movie. In the event that he does, he must under no circumstances admit it to anyone other than a girl he is trying to score with.
3. When a Bro gets a chicks number, he waits at least ninety-six hours before calling her. The reason is Bro-flation. An unreasonable increase in female expectations about how bros should act. You call a woman the next day, she tells her friends that you called the next day, and soon enough, women everywhere will expect guys to call them the next day. Before you know it, bros the world over will find themselves trapped in relationships and all because you couldn’t wait 96 little hours.
Never short on sass and wisdom, orthopedic surgeon Callie Torres delivers some tough love to friend and future lover Mark when he bemoans his loneliness — or horniness, really. “Find a grown up who wants what you want, and date, like a grown up.” Boom.
The Golden Girls
They’re golden girls, but that doesn’t mean their romantic lives have come to a screeching halt. During the show’s run, we learned that Rose doesn’t kiss and tell on her dates, while Blanche dates just for the stories. The saucy southern belle believes a woman who sleeps with a man on the first date isn’t a slut, but rather a “damn good sport.” She’s also finds that it takes a three date minimum before she’s comfortable “performing in front of a video camera” for her man. Little white lies make good dinner date convo for Blanche, which is why she tells men that she was Angie Dickinson’s body double in Dressed To Kill. We also learned that high school-era Blanche preferred dating men who were at least “40, out of work, twice-divorced, had three kids.” Meanwhile, Sophia was always on the lookout for the best catch in town — you know, someone with “his own hair, his own teeth, and a totally unrestricted driver’s license.” She tried taking Blanche’s advice on her date with Cesar Romero’s Tony Delvechio and told him she loved him after she slept with him, but that didn’t end well. Still, that didn’t deter her from trying to give her “dateless, hopeless, self-effacing” daughter Dorothy advice about men. Dorothy refused to use the personals like Sophia to scope for potential dates, though. “I have standards, I have intelligence, I have class,” she declared while staying home dorking out over Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler on a Friday night.
Parks and Rec
You could make an “oh no no’s list” like Tom on Parks and Rec, but you may find yourself limiting the dating pool too much since not everyone cares about the thread count of sheets, enjoys Paul Walker movies, or has a thing for ‘90s R&B — especially Ginuwine. Meanwhile, Leslie has warned us that “skywriting isn’t always positive,” when you’re dating someone. She also reminds us that when filling out your online dating profile, saying something like “Yellow-haired female likes waffles and news,” isn’t really all that appealing to men. Tom prefers to keep dozens of dating profiles in circulation — which is how he ended up going out with Leslie — but don’t look to his profile for pointers, since he claims to collect globes and cites books as his favorite movie. If you find yourself striking out entirely, try Jean-Ralphio’s methods. Ben Schwartz, in character, described his favorite date to GQ as: “Me, Snake Juice, anything by Tyrese or Sisqó playing in the background, waterbed.” He also recommended wearing a sweater-vest, sweater, and cardigan at once “so if you strike out with a woman, you can take off a layer and try again as a ‘different person.'” Finally, we’re pretty sure that Ron Swanson’s dating tips involve cultivating a manly musk and seducing your sweetheart with tasty animal proteins.