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Lessons I’ve learned from my sister’s ex-boyfriends

Perhaps the greatest benefit of being a younger sibling is having the opportunity to learn from your older sister’s mistakes — or, more specifically, her ex-boyfriends' mistakes. Back in high school, it was my older sister’s ex-boyfriends who gave me the mostly complete guidebook on what not to do if I ever got a girlfriend.

  1. When your girlfriend is on vacation with her family over the summer, resist the urge to text her every five minutes with, “Hey,” “Sup?” and “Why are you ignoring my texts?” I can tell you right now, the answers are probably, “Hey,” “I’m on vacation with my family”and “Because I’m on vacation with my family,” respectively.

  1. When figuring out who to ask to the high school dances, try not to dump your girlfriend only to ask her best friend five hours later. Odds are, you’ll be rejected ... for obvious reasons.

  1. If you’ve been flirting with a girl for the better portion of a semester and she’s giving you, at best, mixed signals, it is not in your best interest to call her family’s landline over winter break seven times in a row without leaving a message. It is even less advisable to call her an eighth time, and upon being ignored, ask her out via voicemail.

  1. If you’re in a school play with a girl you like, and you portray a married couple onstage, don’t kiss her after the final curtain call in a “heat-of-the-moment” kind of way and then decide “I guess we’re … like … dating now, or whatever.” I get that this may seem harmless at the time, but 36 hours later, you will find out on Facebook Messenger that another girl, who you also like, likes you back. Then you’ll have to break up with your girlfriend of 36 hours so you can date this new girl for three weeks before you graduate and break up with her, too. This inevitable series of events may cause you to look like a douche.

So thank you to all of my sister’s worst boyfriends. You managed to prepare me for nearly every dating situation I might have faced in high school. The only thing you left out: If possible, try not to break a girl’s glasses on the first date, especially if it’s her senior prom. Thanks a lot, guys.  You made me look like a real klutz.