Every nimrod with a tie and a piano has written and sang about love at some point in their lives, but very few have dared to be so bold as Billy Joel. What’s unique to Joel’s songs is that they are instructional.

From “Tell Her About It,” to “Leave a Tender Moment Alone,” BJ is dropping field-tested dating and relationship advice that only young, cocky little upstart boys would ignore. Is that who you want to be? Huh?! Then listen up: Billy’s talking.

“Leave a Tender Moment Alone”

Patience, man. It’s the hardest thing, especially when you’re really feeling something. But the more just keep your mouth shut and pay attention, the more sure you’ll be of what you say when you…

“Tell Her About It”

(You see what I did there?) “A girl like that wouldn’t tell you what you should do.” Yup. Don’t wait for instructions. It never means as much if she has to ask you for it. BUT you don’t need to say things you’re not sure you really mean, just to have something to say.

“It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”

There’s nothing less attractive than desperately trying to be on top of every trend. Even if you’re successful and you “get the girl (or guy),” you’ll kind of hate yourself for it.

“Uptown Girl”

Don’t let the fact that she’s out of your league stop you. Billy Joel married Christie Brinkley, dude. Of course, he was probably just all like “I wrote ‘Always a Woman to Me’,” and she fainted onto his money-stuffed mattress, but still.

“Big Shot”

We ALL know this person. Don’t be this person. The Gospel of Joel states very clearly that being audacious, goofy and fun is always going to get you better dates than being a pretentious bigmouth. For example:

“You May Be Right”

Every dude really should just blast this song when they’re getting ready for a date. And be done getting ready by the time the song is over.

“For the Longest Time”

This one encapsulates much of BJ’s whole dating philosophy. Let’s break it down: 1. Know where you’re at emotionally (“Maybe I’ve been hoping too hard…”) 2. Be realistic (“Maybe this won’t last very long…”) 3. Take risks (“I’ll take my chances, I forgot how nice romance is…”).

After examining the evidence, it’s obvious that Joel is a dating guru, but how can we understand and live by the Piano Man’s sage advice? Well, for one thing, listen to him. A lot. Absorb it. A lot of the lesson is about vibe.

But, for those of you looking for a more immediate “how-to,” here’s the Billy Joel Method for Dummies: Be bold, be thoughtful, be charming. And always let these three principles keep each other in check.

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