“You know the kind of person you should be dating? You should be with someone who…”

I’m going to cut you off right there.

Listen, mom/auntie/miscellaneous unsolicited advice-offeror, I know you want the best for me, and I really appreciate that. I do. But, stop. Enough. Your suggestions are going in one ear and out of the other at a rate that would give the speed of light whiplash. It’s time to stop wasting both of our time.

For one, I am a Saggitarius. We don’t like being told what to do, and we definitely don’t like being told who we should date. Oh, you didn’t know that? Of course not, and that further disqualifies you from trying to be my matchmaker in any capacity.

Okay, so you’re an astrological-trait denier. That’s fine — however, I must put you in the same category as flat-earthers, who are among those who cannot advise me on who to date, so stop trying.

Second, you don’t know me as well as I know me. You don’t know that I sweat profusely if I don’t blanket myself in a very specific manner at night. That I blast Tame Impala when I feel like my life’s in disarray, and I need to drown out my thoughts. That I crave the scallion pancake from the local dim sum joint on a nightly basis. What if the person you’re suggesting I date meets all of your criteria but hates Tame Impala, scallion pancakes, and/or sweaty sleepers? It wouldn’t work.

And, let’s have a think about all the times I dated the people you’ve told me to. Auntie C, remember when you said I needed to be with someone nerdy, so I went out with that guy who embarrassed the shit out of me with his general lack of rhythm and swag at that rap concert? Didn’t work.

Random girl at that housewarming party, remember how you said you could see me with an artist? Welp, tried that. He wore paint-stained clothing to dinner. Oh, that’s so not bad? Well, he spent the entirety of said dinner talking about fucking Burning Man. Nope, not for me.

I’ve tried straight-edge guys because apparently they’re a good influence, but they just made me want to drink more. Tried religious guys for the same reason, but their constant judgement made me want to break one of the 10 commandments. I dated a guy well outside of my age range at my mom’s friend’s suggestion, as she thinks I’m wise beyond my years (not wrong), but they loved Sunday mornings not at bottomless brunch but the farmers market. Not. For. Me.

You may be thinking, OK, fine. She doesn’t want my advice. I’ll take it where it’s appreciated. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I am not the problem here. No one wants to hear it. I’ve sat in on countless conversations where a poor soul is being lectured about their perfect archetype of a soulmate by someone who doesn’t even know their middle name. In those moments, I like to offer a kind nod. I know what you’re feeling. Unsolicited dating advice is the worst. Ignore it and trust yourself.

And to the freelance matchmakers out there, picture this: I come to your home, critique your cooking style, tell you that you’re sleeping on the wrong bed sheets, and tamper with your Netflix suggestions algorithm. How would that make you feel? After all, it is your house. I don’t pay the bills. I don’t even live there. So, who I am to come in and fix things like a wannabe Iyanla Vanzant? Someone who needs to be escorted out of your damn business, that’s who.

It does mean a lot to me that you choose to devote your oh-so precious time concocting the perfect person for me to go scour the earth for in hopes that they not only exist, but also are just as confident as you are that I’m the right match for them. That being said, I am done attending your “You Need To Find A Person Who…” panels — the advice sucks and there are never any snacks.