- Candace, 64, shared dating advice during a talk in New York City on Thursday
- She shared the one fact about yourself that you shouldn’t reveal right away
- The author also dished on the topics you should avoid during first dates
For years, millions watched on as Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte York, and Miranda Hobbes navigated dating as young women in New York City in the wildly popular HBO series Sex and the City.
As the creator of the original column that inspired the show, Candace Bushnell certainly knows a thing or two about romance.
Thankfully, she recently shared some of her top dating tips and tricks – from the one fact about yourself that you should never reveal to potential suitors right away to the topics you should always avoid on a first date.
The author, 64, shared some of her expertise during a talk for the matchmaking app Tawkify at the Ludlow House in New York City on Thursday night.
While speaking to an audience of dozens of people, she also dished on why women should avoid dating men who make more money than them, why they should have sex with potential suitors as quickly as possible, and why they should stick to dating men their own age – despite the fact that she was married to a man 10 years her junior for almost a decade.
Candace tied the knot with Charles Askegard, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, in 2002 after only eight weeks of dating, but they divorced in 2011.
Long before she and Charles tied the knot, she wrote a column entitled Sex and the City for The New York Observer, which chronicled her and her friends’ attempts to find a boyfriend and eventually lead to the beloved Sarah Jessica Parker-lead sitcom.
Here’s all of the dating advice that the Sex and the City creator shared during the talk on Thursday.
Changing others is harder than you’d think, so don’t ignore ‘red flags’ hoping that you’ll be able to fix them
According to Candace, women often ignore ‘red flags’ when they’re in the early stages of a relationship because they’re so blinded by their ‘attraction’ to the man.
And she reminded the audience that you can’t ‘change’ who someone is deep down.
‘Sometimes you can be really, really attracted to a guy and you can get a crazy idea in your head that, like, maybe this guy is going to be OK and I’ll change him,’ she explained. ‘You can’t. OK?
‘Women have a fantasy that [bad] men are great guys underneath and that somewhere [inside] is this warm caring guy,’ she continued.
‘When you’re young, you have to learn to spot those red flags. That’s part of dating at a really young age, learning about red flags and guys you have to avoid.
‘Men usually tell you the truth about who they are and women don’t want to listen. If a guy tells you who or what he is you really should listen because he’s probably telling you the truth.’
If you date someone who makes more money than you, he will have the power in the relationship
Candace warned against dating someone who makes a lot more money than you do – because she said that will leave him with all the power in the relationship.
‘What’s wrong with dating is that whoever has the money has the power,’ she said. ‘[Men with money] want you to do whatever they want to do, they’re the star.
‘Whoever is paying for [things] defines what it looks like, where you go on vacation where you live. They make all the rules.’
On the other hand, she advised against being expecting a lot from your partner when it comes to spending money.
‘I hear this from guys a lot, their girlfriends want stuff, they want handbags, apartments, Uber rides, all kinds of stuff and these guys can’t afford it,’ she added.
As for who should pay on the first date, Candace said she strongly believes that whoever has a higher salary should be the one to cover the costs of the meal.
‘It depends on who has more money. In a place like New York where the men make more money than the women – they should pay,’ she said.
Have sex as early into the romance as possible – because passion only decreases the longer you wait
Candace said that she thinks having sex early on in your romance is importance because passion only decreases the longer you wait.
She explained that being physically attracted to your partner is vital to a healthy relationship – and if the feelings aren’t there from the start, they’ll likely never come.
‘There’s stories of people who had sex on the first date and they’re married because they had such a strong attraction to one another they couldn’t keep their hands off each other,’ she told the audience during the talk.
‘On the other hand if you go for 10 dates and you can still not have sex, there is probably something wrong there.
‘Interest in sex doesn’t tend to increase over the life of a relationship, it tends to get less. So, if you’re starting off really low it’s only going to get lower.’
And while she encouraged people to get intimate as soon as possible, she reminded women to never do anything that they’re not comfortable with.
‘If you don’t feel like it’s the right thing to do, don’t do it. Don’t do something that a guy wants you to do thinking you’re going to get him,’ she added.
‘That’s a mistake. If it doesn’t feel right to you in your heart don’t do it.’
Go for people your own age – and leave the older men for the older women
Candace encouraged people to date others who are close to their age because she explained that if a younger woman goes for an older man, it takes away a potential suitor for older women.
She said: ‘I’ve heard a lot of 40-something women say they want to be with a 60-something guys.
‘I’m like, “Girl back off. That guy is age appropriate for me but he’s not looking at me now because he thinks he can get you.”‘
Try to find a partner in the real world rather than on dating apps – and be careful about getting ‘pulled in’ by appealing profiles
Candace is a fan of forming connections in person rather than online, so she encouraged people to try to find their partners through mutual friends or when you’re out and about.
‘There’s the human element to it,’ she explained. ‘I feel like the human aspect of it is probably better than an algorithm.
‘I could be very wrong about that, but just looking at photos … it’s easy to get pulled in. And people don’t ever really look like their photos [in real life], do they.’
She added that she’s ‘fixed people up’ who ended up getting married, and that ‘there’s no better feeling’ to seeing a relationship that she had a hand in starting work out.
And if you use dating apps and you’re a smoker, she recommended keeping that fact about yourself off of your profile.
‘Nobody wants to go out with you if you smoke. Don’t ever put that in,’ she said.
Avoid getting too personal on a first date – especially when it comes to your political stance
Candace advised against getting too personal on the first date, because it’s best not to reveal too much about yourself right away.
She also suggested you avoid talking about things that are too serious at first, like your political stance, since it’s all about having ‘fun’ in the beginning.
‘I probably wouldn’t talk about [politics], I want to be entertained. I want to have fun,’ she dished.