Love isn’t easy. That’s why there’s an entire genre of self-help books dedicated to the topic. But sometimes, the best advice for dealing with matters of the heart comes from romantic comedies, or in this case, romantic comedy stars. In her new movie Obvious Child, Jenny Slate confronts the pitfalls of over-obsessing about an ex, and the challenges of moving on. Whether she knows it or not, Slate, who’s been married to comedy co-conspirator Dean Fleischer-Camp since 2012, has some truly rad wisdom about dating and relationships. When we called her up last week, the 32-year-old actress gave us the following stellar advice on love:
How did you survive terrible break-ups?
There’s always the standard approach: Wine with friends, beer with friends, vodka with friends. But no drinking alone!
Phase 2 of surviving a terrible break-up:
I’m always a fan [in theory] of getting out-of-town for a bit and maybe talking to somebody old and wise. That seems like something they do in romantic comedies to get over a break-up. I’ve never done it but it seems really nice.
On getting what you need out of a relationship. . .
It’s so cliché, but the second you try to hide any of your needs and create a foundation of dishonesty, you have a problem. I can be really needy, but what I’ve learned is you shouldn’t try to hide your needs. Personally, I don’t hide anything. I spray the area with how I feel about something. The only way for me to be understood is by being clear about my personality and what I’m about. When it comes to your needs, they’re usually not as ridiculous as they seem, so you should be able to ask for what you want. And if you’re with the right person you won’t even notice your needs, because they’ll all be met.
Following up after a good first date?
The last time I went on a date-date, I had a flip phone, so bear that in mind. But I always decided not to play games and would just get in touch right away.
Rejection can be positive, people. I got dumped a lot by people who weren’t right for me, so maybe that was a good thing. I learned from that. I learned that I didn’t have to make every single person I kissed my boyfriend.
On dressing for a date—or anywhere, for that matter:
I’m steering away from polyesters and synthetics because they really hold in your B.O. Also you shouldn’t be wearing something that’s so flammable if you’re planning on standing anywhere near a lightbulb.
A generally important thing to know if you’re dating:
Don’t eat squid ink pasta on a date because you’ll get a purple mouth.