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FRIES BEFORE GUYS... And Other Boy Myths To Break: FORGET EVERYTHING YOU'VE HEARD: THE DATED DATING ADVICE HAS *GOT* TO GO. WE'RE REWRITING THE RULES TO YOUR MUCH MORE MODERN LOVE STORY.

So you're dating someone--like for real--for the very first time. Yay! It's a sweet and exciting experience (bring on those butterflies), but it also can be confusing. Suddenly, it seems like everyone (your mother, your BFFs, the list goes on) is suddenly there to fill your head with well-meaning (but conflicting!) advice. We've all heard these "rules," but we're not buying them anymore. Here's how to put your own twist on these OG tropes.

WHAT YOUR BEST GUY FRIEND SAYS:

"DON'T BE AFFECTIONATE AROUND HIS FRIENDS"

WHY ITS A THING: Whether it's his crew or your parents or strangers on the street, some people just don't like seeing public displays of affection. Period. But the anti-PDA attitude can be especially strong among a group of guys because, chances are, they haven't all had girlfriends yet and they're not all mature enough to appreciate the good thing you and your guy have going. Instead, the boys can get a little uncomfortable (and even fully creeped out) when their bud is seen cuddling up--which makes your BF uncomfortable, too.

REWRITE YOUR RULES: Just keep in mind that your relationship is personal and private--and conspicuously smooching in front of everyone won't make it any stronger. But it's up to you and your BF to figure out what makes you happy--whether that's holding hands between classes or sharing a quick kiss at your lockers after school. Real friends will respect the romance...as long as you stop staring into each other's eyes long enough to let the rest of the crew know you care about them, too.

WHAT YOUR MOM SAYS:

"DON'T COME ON TOO STRONG."

WHY IT'S A THING: Love letters in his locker, cute cards just because, being the first to like every single thing he posts online, ever. Nice? Sure. But when it's all added together, an overload of seemingly sweet gestures can quickly become a cacophony of compliments--and seem like obsession, not just affection.

REWRITE YOUR RULES: Every good relationship is built on mutual respect and admiration--so know that a one-sided fandom isn't good for either of you. But as long as the praise is being passed both ways, feel free to flaunt those feelings. Just be sure to keep it authentic: If you don't love his new haircut, you're not obligated to say he looks like Shawn Mendes just because you want to make him feel good. Instead, focus on the little things that matter most--like telling him how much you loved it when he grabbed you the last pizza pretzel (your fave!) in the lunch line or congratulating him on acing that art history presentation.

WHAT YOUR CREW SAYS:

"FRIES BEFORE GUYS."

WHY IT'S A THING: For very good reason, this rule and similar sentiments ("Sisters before misters" is the tried-and-true piece of girl code we *all* learn first) remind us that dudes and dating shouldn't dictate everything--or anything, honestly--in our lives.

REWRITE YOUR RULES: The good news is that thanks to the greatest concept of all time--balance!--you don't have to rank your friends above your BF (or your lacrosse team above your gardening biz... or anything else). Everything that's important to you can be equally important because alt your relationships and passions and interests are what work together to create your fun and fulfilling life. You know that if you stopped studying and going to school, you'd fail--and it's the same with everything else. So if you find you've been neglecting your girls to hang with your new bae, simply step back and make a switch--and be as present for your babes as they are for you.

WHAT YOUR OLDER SIS SAYS:

"PLAY IT COOL-DON'T TEXT HIM UNLESS HE TEXTS YOU FIRST."

WHY IT'S A THING: Hang on tight, this one's a doozy; there are tons of reasons why girls are told to cool it with the texting. But the general gist is that 1) guys like their space and 2) girls who offer play-by-play updates of their day are desperate/clingy/crazy. Then there's the whole 3) "be your own person!" thing, not to mention the ill-conceived notion that 4) guys like it when girls seem a little mysterious or hard to get--something that's difficult to achieve when you're always a text away.

REWRITE YOUR RULES: Here's a novel idea: Text him whenever you feel like it and figure out what works for your relationship. Couples bond in different ways--whether it's by trying comfort zone-blasting activities together (rock climbing or escape room outing, anyone?) or by texting each other all day long with little things that make them laugh (you: "zomg just saw a pug walking down street in rain boots!" him: "send pic now"). Like anything else, be considerate of the clues he sends back--so if it's, uh, silence one day when he's hanging with the guys, know that he might just be busy with his buds. And if texting just isn't his jam? Keep a running Notes list of all the little things (or big ones) that you want to share with him--and look forward to one epic conversation the next time you hang.

WHAT YOUR BROTHER SAYS:

"DON'T WEAR TOO MUCH MAKEUP."

WHY IT'S A THING: Maybe bro is just saying whatever he can to get you out of the bathroom a tittle bit faster in the a.m... or maybe he's picking up on some unfair standards in our society. (Studies show that women who wear makeup can be perceived as more high-maintenance and more superficial than those who don't. Rude.) Either way, it's true that guys can sometimes find a major face of makeup to be anything from off-putting to intimidating.

REWRITE YOUR RULES: Maybe you're a lip balm and mascara kind of girl...or maybe your morning contour is the highlight of your day (pun very much intended). Either way, you know you're beautiful without makeup--but that's not the point. Just like you wouldn't wear makeup to impress a guy, you shouldn't skip it just to seem more "down-to-earth," either. You're real in whatever cosmetics you choose to rock--and the real deal will recognize that.

BY KELSEY HAYWOOD LUCAS
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Title Annotation:CRUSHES
Author:Lucas, Kelsey Haywood
Publication:Girls' Life
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2020
Words:1020
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