Megan Fox is right: we shouldn’t waste our time on bad dates

The actor found several famous women agreeing with her sentiment   (Getty Images)
The actor found several famous women agreeing with her sentiment (Getty Images)
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Don’t waste your energy on men. That’s the dating advice Megan Fox dished out over the weekend, almost one month after confirming the end of her engagement to Machine Gun Kelly. Speaking to E! News at Revolve Festival on Sunday, the 37-year-old actor explained why she thinks going on dates this summer might be a waste of time. “I don’t know if I’m the best person to give advice because my advice is to just learn a skill or develop a hobby and do not waste your energy on boys,” she said.

Fox added: “All they’re going to do is drain you. Just move on. Invest in yourself.” The Transformers star later shared a clip from the interview on her Instagram, writing “life advice from a relationship expert” in the caption. It seems like many women agreed with the sentiment, with Kim Kardashian commenting “not no” underneath, while Emily Ratajkowski liked the post along with nearly 250,000 others.

It’s not the first time a celebrity has advocated against dating. During an episode of Ratajkowski’s podcast, High Low, last May, the model and writer revealed her approach to romantic love has changed since her divorce, explaining that she’s currently co-parenting her son, Sly, with her best friend. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love it so much,” she told her guest, Julia Fox.

“Spending time with another woman and just how much I don’t have to ever tell her – our instincts are so aligned,” she added. “When you’re living with a man and you’re taking care of a child, you have to tell them. It’s so exhausting. Men are having such a hard time giving that to women. I can’t really imagine wanting that with someone else and having this traditional family structure. What I want is an emotional partner who can help me feel good about myself day to day.”

Clearly, in a dating landscape plagued by miscommunication, commitment-phobia, ghosting and catfishing (to name but a few common issues), these are sentiments that resonate. They’re also ones that have been echoed by many of my single friends in recent weeks. All of us are fed up with mediocre dates that cost time, energy and money that, as Fox points out, we could be investing elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing better than a great first date. But those feel as if they are becoming increasingly rare among my cohort of single women, who are on the front lines of almost every dating app in existence.

What is far more common is an evening spent sitting across from someone you have little in common with and struggle to speak to, with conversation seldom stretching into more interesting territory than, “how many siblings do you have?”, “where did you grow up?” and “what’s your commute like?” Either that or the date goes astonishingly well, leading to more dates, only for the other person to abruptly put an end to things because, after committing to holidays in the summer and inviting you to weddings, they suddenly don’t want anything serious (this has happened to three of my friends in the last month alone).

But as summer approaches, there seems to be a real shift in priorities that is making this somewhat bleak reality feel a little brighter. Consider the rise of the term “boysober”, an online trend launched by American comedian Hope Woodard that is about preserving your twenties from toxic dating disasters and avoiding that “fake sense of validation that we get from dating and situationships and sleeping around, and refocusing that energy”.

Fox, who recently confirmed the end of her engagement to Machine Gun Kelly, has dished out some dating advice (Getty Images for MRC)
Fox, who recently confirmed the end of her engagement to Machine Gun Kelly, has dished out some dating advice (Getty Images for MRC)

This is similar to what Fox and Ratajkowski have described: taking time out from romance and instead putting that commitment and dedication into ourselves and our friendships. Maybe it could be as simple as spending an evening at home with a book instead of scrolling through Hinge. Or perhaps you book out your weekend with exhibitions and cinema trips with old friends and delete the apps from your phone altogether. Whatever it is, there is an obvious appeal to re-investing the time we waste on bad dates into our own development and happiness.

After all, if you’re dating simply to fill some kind of void, chances are you’re not going to be choosing the best potential partners. Your life should feel full with or without a significant other; if anything, the more content you feel without someone, the more likely you are to attract the right kind of person. A romantic partner should add something to your life, not take away from it. And if right now your dating life feels like it’s only serving the latter purpose, well – it’s as good a time as any to take a step back.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for a bad date story. But one or two is enough. Any more than that and the whole thing just becomes exasperating and exhausting, a never-ending punchline that will have you approaching each date with a sense of self-fulfilling dread and despair. I’m no expert, but I sense this is not the best headspace to be in when you meet someone for the first time. So, as Fox says, don’t waste your energy. Take time out. Learn a new language. Then, if you like, revisit the apps in the summer. Or just re-download Duolingo instead.