Dating Tips According to My Over-Protective Older Brother

“Hey buddy. If you touch anything softer than an elbow… I own a shovel, ten acres of land and have a very skewed sense of right and wrong. You do the math.” – a literal quote from my brother to my freshman year Homecoming date

My brother is not a particularly large guy, nor is he intimidating to look at. He is pale and lanky (think of a real-life rendering of Shaggy from Scooby Doo). His wardrobe consists of two pairs of jeans, a wide variety superhero themed t-shirts and a pair of New Balance orthopedic running shoes.

But despite all of these obvious setbacks, he still has managed to instill fear into any guy that has shown me a sliver of romantic interest. Which, for a girl who has a complicated love affair with flannel,  can be as scarce as a happy ending to a Nicholas Sparks novel.

Over the years, my brother has provided me with invaluable bits of wisdom.

‘Mia, always choose water-type Pokémon over insect-type.’

‘Mia, learn how to juggle. You’d be surprised how far in life it’ll get you.’

‘Mia, never wear white after labor day.’

He is very opinionated and enjoys the sound of his own voice – a lethal combination. As my older brother, he feels it is his duty to provide me with succinct and coherent advice about boys. As his little sister, and a dedicated member of the female gender, I believe it is my duty to share his advice with you. Some of it makes perfect sense. Most doesn’t.

Here are five short, well-intentioned pieces of guidance dictated to me by my over-protective older brother:

1. Never date a guy who wears tighter jeans than you. Wait. I take that back. Never talk to a guy who wears tighter jeans than you.

2. If he wants to take you mini-golfing on the first date, DON’T GO. It’s too suggestive. There’s far too many balls and holes and windmills.

3. Topics that can be used to keep the conversation lively on the first date include: Christopher Nolan’s Batman vs. Tim Burton’s Batman, the European debt crisis, traffic, the 1980s overexploitation of acid wash and shiny things.

4. Don’t go for a guy who smokes. It has the uncanny ability to cause cancer. And a false superiority complex.

5. Never trust a guy named Brock. Don’t ask me why. Just, just don’t do it.

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