I’ve been watching The Bachelorette, as have (probably) you, and I made a comment last night about the firie, Jamie. Basically, Jamie has had absolutely no filter on his interest in Angie Kent, and it’s frankly alarming to watch.

I don’t mean concerning levels in a criminal sense – I don’t think Jamie’s going to break into Angie’s room and steal all her undies for a personal collection. I mean the poor guy isn’t dialling down his emotions – even though I’m sure there are many other dudes in the mansion who have a hard time dealing with the fact they’re interested in Angie, they’re not saying stuff like “I was devastated when Carlin got selected for the 24 hour date”.

I feel for Jamie – because I totally get it. I’m a through and through Pisces, which means I have a lot of feelings.

I wouldn’t say I’m a stage 5 clinger anymore, but back when I couldn’t control the neural pathway that took how I was feeling to the words in my mouth, I absolutely was.

But I’ve learned, friends. I’ve learned both how to have a filter and also how to avoid situations where you end up “devastated” like old mate Jamie here. Am I perfect? Fuck no, I constantly get my heart pummelled. But it’s just less pummelly, if that makes sense.

Anyway, here’s some wise words from me on how to be normal when actually, you’re a stage 5 clinger with no filter.

1. Take A Reality Check

Something I feel Jamie could’ve done before telling the nation he was devastated over Angie going on a date with Carlin is take a reality check of the situation.

For example, beb, you’ve known this woman for about 30 minutes.It’s highly unlikely you are actually feeling devastated due to feelings for Angie, and more likely you’re just a bit disappointed you lost out to Carlin.

IRL, this looks like: are you in love with your crush or are you just caught up in HAVING a crush? Are you devastated you got ghosted, or are you just feeling a bit humiliated about the ghosting?

Give yourself this kind of reality check when you start feeling hyper-emotional, and you’ll save yourself from sending a lot of ill-thought-out texts.

2. Don’t React During An Emotional Moment

Christ, I wish more people took this dating advice – instead of sending some super gushy text after a date, or sending a literal essay after a fight, just sit with your feelings for a while. Sleep on it. Go meditate. Go hang out with some friends. THEN reassess whether you need to communicate anything.

“Sleep on it” is my favourite method for determining if my feelings need acting upon, or if they’re just an uptick in emotions that’ll calm down within 12 hours. I know everyone says don’t go to sleep angry, but I actually find going to sleep angry can really help you calm the fuck down and behave rationally.

On the other end of the spectrum – don’t send hyper-romantic texts early on in the dating game, ever. Feelings are fickle, guys! The amount of times I’ve gotten “you’re soooo amazing/you’re the most amazing girl in the world” texts from dudes who then ghost on me weeks later is insane. Sending that kind of shit just because you had one (1) fleeting moment of love bubbly bliss is how you break people’s hearts. Keep it to yourself until you’re sure you mean it – and also until you’re sure the other person is feeling it too.

3. Space Your Dates Out

In the past I’ve gone all in, 100% within weeks. My friend Jenna tells me I date like a lesbian. Basically, I meet someone, I really like them, then I’m suddenly sleeping over four nights a week and opting out of society, pretty much. It’s never ended well – so now I space the dates out and take my time getting to know someone first.

The thing is, even when the other person seems like they’re also enjoying the 24/7 hang times, it’s never turned out to be a healthy relationship progression for me. My healthiest relationships – the ones that have lasted longest – involved a slow burn where we got to know each other first, whether it was by starting out as mates or by going on spaced out dates.

If you like them – even if you really, really like them you adorable stage 5 clinger – control your urge to spend all your spare time with them and keep your dates at least one week apart for the first couple of months.

4. Don’t Read Into Shit

Oh, my god. The amount of times I’ve had someone tell me “I’m not ready for anything serious” and I’ve then read into every single bloody thing they’ve done to find a “hint” that they’re actually ready for something serious with me… you guys.

I cannot stress this enough – if someone says to you “I’m not looking for anything serious”, that means what it says on the tin.

Sure, people can (sometimes) go from casual to a full on relationship. But until the other person says directly to you “I want to be in a relationship with you”, do not – I repeat, do not – analyse every text, action and look to support your fantasy.

This also applies to all of these: deciding your partner is cheating on you, deciding your partner wants to leave you, deciding your partner is going to propose. As stage 5 clingers, we often try and work out what’s coming up in the future of our relationship so we can mentally prepare for it. But most of the time we’re just twisting tiny moments into facts to support our thought process, and that is so damaging.

If you want answers, ask directly. The end.

5. Don’t Stalk

Some people say “I stalked so-and-so” and what they mean is they scrolled back a few weeks into their Instagram feed, and maybe checked on what mutual friends they had with the person. When you’re a stage 5 clinger type, stalking is different.

Stalking is like, the time I decided it was normal to go to a pub because I saw my ex checked in there an hour before. It’s ending up on their best friends-sisters-boyfriend’s Instagram page searching for the person you like in the background of a party photo.

We have no limit, ok? So I’ve learned not to even go there. I resist all urges to stalk anyone I’m dating, have dated, or wish I was dating. I’m not saying you can’t have a quick peek at their socials, what I’m saying is it ends there. No fishing for information from friends of friends, no scrolling years back in feeds.

Because you know what? All you get is no-context photos that send you into a spin. Just accept that you simply can’t know everything, and there are some things (especially relating to exes) that you shouldn’t be privy to anyway because the information will just hurt you. If your stalking is to do with your current partner, if your gut is saying there’s grounds to be concerned – use your words and ask them directly.

5. Don’t Do “Casual” If You Actually Like Them

We can’t do it! We simply cannot do casual hook ups if we actually like the person. I’ve tried THAT many times, and it never works.

Now, I have successfully nailed (lol) casual flings with people I haven’t particularly liked – as in, I find them physically sexy but their personality grates on me. Those work. But you have to be honest with yourself from the outset.

Some warning signs – you get jealous, you feel sad if you don’t hear from them, and you’re analysing texts with your group chat. These are not the behaviours of a casual relationship – and chances are you’re going to get hurt if you continue.

You’re far better off being honest and telling the person you actually like them and would like to go on a date, then letting the chips fall as they may. And if they say no thanks – that’s cool, you’re still 100% that bitch.

Thank u, next.