Singles Ask

4 Pieces Of Dating Advice From Helga Pataki On ‘Hey Arnold’s’ 18th Anniversary


I never thought that 18 years later, I would be happily married to the football-headed boy I bullied throughout elementary school.

We are now 27 years old and happily married. I can’t help but think I must have done something right, somewhere between all those insults.

I’m no dating expert; in fact, I am now a divorce attorney (in the process of settling a case between Phoebe and Gerald). However, I would say I know a few things about love. After all, I am now married to my high school sweetheart (I mean, he sort of was, right?!).

Ladies, take note, and get ready to take advice from a woman who knows her stuff:

Intimidation Can Be A Good Thing

I’m pretty much the queen of this. Don’t go overboard on this rule, but it is good to have authority in a relationship. I have had many friends and seen many divorces transpire when the woman lets the man have the upper hand.

If it means playing football with the boys and not being afraid to sweat, or picking out the movie for the night, establish authority in a relationship. No one wants to be a doormat.

Don’t Change Your Appearance

I’ve seen this happen in many relationships, and I have even experienced this firsthand. You are beautiful just the way you are. There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way and to maintain a certain weight, but the right guy will love you for exactly who you are.

Some guys (like Arnold) might even find tomboys (like I was) attractive. Waxing your eyebrows, however, will help you. I learned this the hard way.

Keep Stalking To A Minimum

In case you’re unaware, I had a huge shrine to Arnold in my room. Luckily, kids don’t have to do this.

Social media outlets are their shrine. So, when you do stalk their Facebook, Instagram and Twitters pages (I know everyone does it!), keep it to a minimum. You don’t want to double tap by accident and “like” a photo from six weeks ago!

Also, by stalking his old photos, you might stumble on some shots of your guy and his ex. Instead of getting jealous, acknowledge that everyone has a past and nothing ever comes good out of stalking.

Be Nice, But Not Too Nice

This goes hand in hand with establishing authority. It’s great to make him soup when he’s sick and compliment his new shirt, but just like “nice guys finish last,” nice girls finish last, too. I’m not suggesting you become a bully, but calling him football head every now and then never hurt anyone.

Take my advice or leave it. Just don’t come crying to me when you are facing a divorce. The elementary and high school years are tough and awkward for dating, but it gets better. Become comfortable with yourself first, then focus on getting comfortable with someone else.

Regarding the past, I don’t regret much because it all led me to Arnold. I also wished I invested in a new dress. Pink never really was my color.

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