Posted on November 14, 2013 by Sophia Jacobbs
It’s easy to assume that guys watch How I Met Your Mother for the hilarious theories of the show’s well-dressed womanizer, Barney Stinson, and ladies love the show for the humorous and relatable relationship problems with the main characters.
Although the “Bro Code” and self-worship attitude of Barney Stinson has gained quite the cult following, there are lots of examples of things you should not do in the dating world that he suggests.
[Related reading: Pre-Marriage Relationship Advice for Men by Steve Horsmon]
Here are some memorable Barney Stinson pieces of dating advice for men that you shouldn’t necessarily follow (unless you want to get slapped).
Dating advice for men: 6 Dos and don’ts from a womanizer
1. Pick up chicks by insulting them
Bad advice: “Remember my three beginner’s tips for picking up chicks: Address her by name, isolate her from her friends, subtly put her down.” – Barney Stinson
Good advice: Be polite and have strong confidence. “Women want a man with steel balls. The desire is evolutionary. Females want someone who’s not going to run from a fight, a man who is confident in his ability to provide and protect.” – R. Don Steele, author of Body Language Secrets: A guide during Courtship and Dating.
2. Never date a girl more than once
Bad advice: “There are only two reasons to date a girl you’ve already dated: breast implants.” – Barney Stinson
Good Advice: Before getting back together, make a list of every conflict and compare notes. “Discuss each item and what you can do to fix it. Talk about where you stand on money, jobs, sex, parenting, expectations, religion, in-laws, and all the issues that you should’ve discussed the first time around.” – Dr. Phil McGraw, mental health professional of the Dr. Phil show.
3. Pretend she’s interesting
Bad advice: “The best way to feign interest in what a chick is saying is to silently nod your head to ‘My Sharona.’”—Barney Stinson
Good advice: Use good communication skills, “Good communication involves: skillful listening (empathy), effective self-expression (assertiveness), and caring (respect).” – Dr. David Burns, author of Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work.
4. Remember — you’re probably not cheating
Bad advice: “1. It’s not cheating if you’re not the one who’s married. 2. It’s not cheating if her name has two adjacent vowels. 3. And it’s not cheating if she’s from a different area code.” – Barney Stinson
Good advice: Accept responsibility. “You’ll never get past cheating until you start being drop-dead honest…by not being honest with yourself and your partner, you’re doing nothing but perpetuating the deception.” – Dr. Phil McGraw
5. Always be the opposite of the ideal boyfriend
Bad advice: “The ideal boyfriend is someone who is proficient in listening, communication, and compromise. Be proficient in none of these things.” – Barney Stinson
Good advice: Be an ideal boyfriend. Act as a team with your partner. “Couples that say ‘we’ are better at resolving disagreements than couples that emphasize their separateness.” — Researchers from The University of California, Berkeley.
6. Treat women like Gremlins
Bad advice: “The rules for girls are the same as Gremlins. Rule number one: Never get them wet. In other words, don’t let her take a shower in your place. Rule number two: Keep them away from sunlight—i.e., don’t ever see them during the day. And rule number three: Never feed them after midnight. Meaning she doesn’t sleep over, and you don’t have breakfast with her, ever.” – Barney Stinson
Good advice: Remind her of your feelings. “You might be surprised at how your entire relationship can be transformed by the addition of a few compliments, words of encouragement, and reminders of how loved they are.” – Dr. Wendy Walsh, relationship expert from CNN, Good Morning America, The View, and more.
While this list from Barney Stinson is perfect if you’re creating a TV sitcom (or planning on offending people), it’s not great dating advice if you want a successful long-term relationship. Barney eventually realized his womanizing ways and changed to be with his wife Robin, a drastic move for such a strong character. But love happens to those not even expecting it.
Stick to the dating advice from the experts or other sensible characters of How I Met Your Mother, like Marshall or Ted, if you actually want a shot at a good relationship.