Over the past year, over 3,000 women ‘fessed up’ on Jyst, the anonymous relationship advice app, about their biggest dating concerns, from how to deal with an ex’s mother spreading vicious gossip on Facebook to how to get over the guy who won’t commit. In the safety of a community where women share, ask and advise each other, they had a place to truly open up. And boy, did they!
Here are the top 5 dating issues of 2016— and the communal advice women offered each other for a better 2017.
1. It’s easier for some women to ask for a raise than a date
“I’ve been dating this guy for the past four months, but he hasn’t asked me to be his girlfriend yet. Do I wait or ask him?”
With the rise of Tinder and the hook-up culture, much has also been written about how women are owning their sexuality. But when it comes to actual romance, many women are far more conflicted. When women are honest with each other, they admit they are not nearly as secure in expressing their needs and expectations in romantic relationships.
Relationship Goal: Buck up. Nothing will change if you don’t change first.
2. And it’s harder than ever to get over an ex
“I miss my ex like mad, I just can’t understand how he moved on so quickly and I feel stuck”
The irony of the tech age is that finding someone can be faster than ever and getting over them can take longer than ever. Sure, you can block an ex on social media, but like Waldo, they pop up in friends’ feeds (or friends of friends; it’s the octopus effect). It takes heroic will power not to Google and it goes without saying, the smiling image of your ex with his new S.O. are not exactly a mood booster. Remember, though, no one posts photos of themselves asking Siri in the middle of the night if they will ever find love again while covered in dribbles of ice cream.
Relationship Goal: Try behavioral modification: Every time you find yourself about to cyber-stalk, put $5 aside. Use the money to go out with friends. Distraction is a better M.O. than tequila, after all.
3. Mars, Venus and Texting
“He doesn’t talk to me anymore like before.”
Men and women often have different communication styles and texting has only made it worse. One of the biggest frustrations we heard: Men tend to text a lot at the beginning, then slow way, way down. (That is, if you consider taking 4 hours instead of 4 seconds to answer a text slowing way down, which many of us seem to.)
Relationship Goal: If a man doesn’t feel a need to be in constant contact, that doesn’t mean he’s not thinking of you. This is where girlfriends come in. Turn your itchy thumbs on them to avoid either obsessing. That said, if he starts going too long, read the tea lives, he’s giving you the fade. “Move on” is one of the most used terms on Jyst.
4. Should I Go Out With Someone I’m Not Attracted To???
“Went on a second date and he showed up in terrible clothes, very unkempt. It was a major turn off. Am I being too materialistic?”
The guy is the perfect ‘on paper’ guy — except for the fact that there is no chemistry. Women are 1) worrying they are passing up a good thing and 2) looking for permission to pass on the guy who leaves them flutter-less.
Relationship Goal: If there’s really no chance, move on. But most users advised each other to give him a second date, just to be sure. Sadly, from the reports back, the second date almost always confirmed the first impression.
5. If you think you should break up, you probably should
“I’ve been with a guy a long time and really love him. He never calls and chooses his friends over me. I’m constantly hurt that he puts so little into our relationship.”
One of the most disturbing trends we saw this year is how many women are staying in relationships with men that are distant, unfaithful or emotionally abusive. Some made excuses (he’s going through a rough time at work); some admitted that they simply didn’t have the strength to leave and were looking for encouragement, a few were looking for someone to assure them that their guy will change (um, no.)
Relationship Goal: If you are not getting what you need, if you are being emotionally abused, if it hurts to be with someone, leave. Now. Repeat, Leave. Now.
Originally published at medium.com