Dating Advice from TV’s Leading Ladies


If you love something let it go, because all’s fair in love and war plus, all you need is love and  love means never having to say you’re sorry so dance like no one’s watching you beautiful little fool!

That was my attempt at a cliche-love-advice mashup. You’re welcome to throw that puppy up on pinterest, free of charge. Just add hearts. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had it up to your ears in advice about love, dating, and relationships. A common side effect of being single, is getting a barrage of well-meaning advice poured down on you like rain from all sides, including but not limited to your manicurist, your grandmother, and your dentist.

And while, yes, I wrote a piece about not taking dating advice a while ago, I’m going to slightly contradict myself now. Because I’m allowed to do that to myself. Last week, while laughing at an episode of The Mindy Project, I realized how much solid gold wisdom comes from the mouths of these babes on television. A lot of which is on the subject of love and relationships. So I figured that it was about time we compiled some of these gems. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite pieces of love advice from some of my favorite funny chicks on TV. I dare you not to live, love, laugh, learn.


1. “You should know I disagree with a lot of traditional advice. For instance, they say the best revenge is living well. I say it’s acid in the face—who will love them now?” – Mindy Kaling

I think buried deep here is some good wisdom for being single or recovering from a breakup. I remember when I went through an especially brutal breakup, I decided to sign up for guitar lessons as a way to keep my mind off of things. The best, BEST moment came when I was walking to the train with my guitar slung over my shoulder and I ran into my ex. We exchanged a really quick hello but in my mind he walked away thinking, “Did Lyndsay join a really cool band? Is she famous now? WHAT HAVE I DOOOOOOONE?!” Perhaps I got hyperbolic in my imagination of his response but despite the heartache, I was doing my best to live well, and that sure as shorts felt a lot like revenge at the time.

**Note, this is actually from Mindy’s book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? but don’t choose now to be a stickler, okay? Good advice is good advice.



2. I don’t need anyone. Because I can do every single thing that a person in a relationship can. Everything. Even zip up my own dress. You know, there are some things that are actually harder to do with two people. Such as monologues.” – Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

I think the worst thing we can do no matter what our life stage, is to idolize a different one. If I was into yoga and stuff, I’d tell you to ‘Be present,’ but since I’m not (well, I do have a yoga mat. But the last time I used it was holding it over my head to run from my car to my house when it was raining,) I’ll just say that all we’re in charge of is making our current experience the best and most fulfilling that we can. As far as I can tell, an unhappy single person will be an unhappy married person



3. “One time I was dating this guy for a while, and then he got down on one knee and he begged me to never to call him again. One guy broke up with me while we were in the shower together. Skywriting isn’t always positive. Another time a guy invited me to a beautiful picnic with wine and flowers, and then when I tried to sit down, he said, ‘Don’t eat anything. Rebecca’s coming.’ And then he broke up with me.” – Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

This is a much funnier advice-hybrid of “You gotta kiss a lot of frogs…” and “Love stinks.” It might be more of an anecdote than advice, but sometimes it helps when you’re in the middle of dating or a breakup, to remember that everyone has been there.  Sometimes the best way to get through heartbreak is to laugh about it. Let’s just say I remember once after getting bruuuuuutally dumped, that I told my friend that I was “too sad to floss,” which ended up just making us laugh until we cried. Well, until I cried. And, AND, let’s not forget that Leslie Knope eventually finds fantastic love with Ben, and all of those frogs became distant memories.



4. “Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realize you’re really strangers.” – Mary Richards, The Mary Tyler Moore Show

I take this to mean “Know when to walk away.” I read once that the worst dating mistake women can make is to date someone’s potential and not their reality. I remember walking away from a relationship because after giving it a few months, I had to admit that the potential I saw in him might always just stay potential. I’m all for giving things an honest go, for holding out for a hero, for hoping for the best; but it is really empowering to be honest with yourself about what — and who — you need in a relationship.



5. “You can’t escape destiny! She comes for us all, that relentless bitch! That’s right. Destiny’s a lady.” – Jessica Day, New Girl

I like this quote because it fits into my dramatic little vision of romantic fate. I once heard an expression that ‘the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.’ And no, it wasn’t a fortune cookie. I like this because it reminds me to relax and trust in life’s timing.



6. “I amaze myself.” – Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show

Okay don’t even get me started on how much I love Clair Huxtable. But my takeaway from this soundbite and her overall character is to remember how much of a catch you are. This might sound trite but self-esteem and confidence are two beautiful keys to happiness and whether or not you’re looking for a relationship, people are drawn to people who value themselves and know their worth. It’s just science.



7. “Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.” – Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project

This is how I feel every single time I go on a first date. Well almost every time. I can honestly say that I almost bail on every first or blind date I go on. Also, there are several weekends where the very last thing on the planet I want to do is be out and meeting people. But a truth of being single is that it’s a numbers game, and if you’re not meeting new people, if you’re not attempting to get to know them, if you’re not putting yourself out there, your chances of finding someone to date or marry or love are slimmer than a pair of Rag & Bone skinnies.



8. I once broke up with someone for not offering me pie. – Elaine Benes, Seinfeld

As ridiculous as it sounds, let’s just take this to mean, ‘keep your standards high.’ Know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for it. Whether it’s more communication, more QT, or more pie.
Amen and a-man (please.)



9. My mother always used to say: “The older you get, the better you get, unless you’re a banana.” – Rose Nylund, The Golden Girls

I just turned 31 and if you’d asked little Lyndsay if she’d be married or a mother by now she’d be like ‘why are you asking me about when I’m super old and decrepit?’ But in all seriousness, the thing I have learned as I’ve gotten older is that it really is true: there is no expiration on a great life. I just worked with a client who, at 60, not only works out 5-6 days a week, but also started her own business after retirement, and just flew on a trapeze for fun. The worst thing we could do is miss out on what’s right in front of us because we think it’s already passed us by.


images: Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope, Jess Day, Mary Tyler Moore, Clair Huxtable, Elaine Benes, Mindy Lahiri, Rose Nylund