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    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 celebrity popularity.

    So through 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 steps of 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 are.

    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."

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