Jennifer Love Hewitt Dishes Dating Advice in 'The Day I Shot Cupid'
In her new book, the 'Ghost Whisperer' star tackles the dos and don'ts of online flirting, setting boundaries, and healthy romance.
Get the Party Started
Hewitt entered the limelight young, catapulting to fame as
Bailey's girlfriend, Sarah, on Fox's Party of Five series when she was
just 16. Then she cemented her place in the teen-idol constellation two years
later in the film I Know What You Did Last Summer. By 2000, when she was
just 21, Hewitt was playing Audrey Hepburn in a TV biography and had become the
most popular actor on television, according to the often-cited "Q ratings" of
relationships with John Mayer and kayaker Brad Ludden, an engagement and
breakup with Scottish actor Ross McCall, and her current romance with Ghost
Whisperer co-star Jamie Kennedy, Hewitt has learned the sometimes harsh
lessons of love in the public eye. It hasn't been easy, she says.
"I used to think it should be like a romantic comedy. You'd meet your
perfect mate, fall in love, and that would be the end of it," she recalls. "Now
I think it's about finding the person you can put up with most. The shoe that
gives the least blister. It's a letting-go process. You have to go through the
grief, giving up the illusion that you'd fall off your high heel one day
and a guy would pick you up, and that would be it. But then you learn to find
your inner strength and confidence and to understand where your boundaries
On the Importance of Boundaries
Boundaries are huge for Hewitt. "You have to make deals with
yourself: I'm not going to have this guy in my life if he isn't good for me. No
matter how good-looking he is or how great he seems, no matter how well the
first date goes, I have to be ruthless about my boundaries."
Boundaries help you pay attention to warning signs women too
often overlook in the name of love, says Hewitt.
"First, making excuses for his anger. Anger doesn't get better.
That's never a good sign," Hewitt cautions.
"Next, not listening to what a man says. Men are really good
about telling you the truth with a smile on their face within the first couple
of weeks. They'll tell you who they are. But when you're sitting down with your
hopes and dreams in front of you, you'll hear what you want to hear. If you
listen, instead of mentally dressing him up in the suit he's going to wear to
your best friend's wedding, it'll save you months and years of time."
And at first, while you're listening -- really listening -- do a little less
of the talking, says Hewitt. "You might think, 'I'm going to be brave and
amazing and lay it all out there.' But don't do it! Keep the mouth zippered for
the first few dates. Answer questions and give a little bit of yourself, but
not too much right off the bat."