I'm 31, and I'm sick and tired of dating. I used to be great at it; I was fun, flirty, and fearless. But after what seems like a bajillion failed dates, I seem to have developed several habits that are actually keeping me single. You might ask yourself, "Will I ever find love?" If you're anything like me, still flaking on dates with a negative outlook on romance, you might be worried you won't ever settle down (assuming you want to eventually, that is). And the truth is, you might not, until you (and I) ditch bad dating habits for good.
It's normal to develop bad dating habits, especially after you've been in the game for a while. You'd think you'd get better at it as time goes on, but surprisingly, it's the opposite. You start to get jaded. Your heart's just not in it anymore. You interrogate people instead of getting to know them. You assume the worst, confuse judgments for high standards, or ditch dates in general. Sometimes, you're so desperate, you just adapt your personality to fit whoever it is you're dating. And that's no good either.
So here are some bad dating habits that are preventing you from finding the love you deserve. If you recognize any of them in yourself, it's time to stop doing them, so you can attract a great relationship into your life.
1. You're Negative
Being negative, difficult, or overly sarcastic on a date doesn't make you seem edgy or cool. It doesn't elevate your social standing or make you come off as intimidating or hard to get. If anything, it just makes you seem like a bummer to be around.
People want to be around other happy people. You want to commit to someone who is positive, full of life, and who makes you feel good. That doesn't mean you should hide who you truly are from someone, but you should put your best foot forward when getting to know someone you could potentially like.
Remember, would you want to date someone who constantly brings you down? Well, your partner wouldn't want to either.
2. You're A People Pleaser
While you might think being a people pleaser makes you seem easy-going, it actually makes you more of a doormat. The best way to gain respect from your partner is to show respect for yourself, and you can do that by being vocal about your needs, desires, and preferences.
If your crush wanted to be with someone who only liked all the same things they did and wanted to do what they wanted to do all the time, they could just be alone with themselves. But you date other people to get to know them. After a while, people pleasing can veer on the side of slightly annoying. It's like, just tell me what the hell you want for dinner! Make a decision every once in a while!
If you don't know who you are or what you want, then you're not ready for a relationship. The second you get into one, your partner will just walk all over you and then walk out the door.
3. You're Flaky
I'm definitely guilty of this. I cancel dates constantly. Then, I'll reschedule them and cancel them again. Maybe it's a fear of actually meeting people or being self-conscious that I look better in my pictures than I look IRL. I've had so many relationships not work out that, sometimes, the thought of going on one more dates makes my stomach turn. I just don't think I have any more conversations in me.
However, you can't find love if you refuse to ever go on a date. My soulmate isn't going to walk into my apartment and ask to marry me without us getting to know each other — despite how wildly convenient that would be. Finding love requires effort. It means leaving your apartment, going out to dinner, being vulnerable, and revealing yourself to someone else. You have to risk getting hurt, time and time again, until you find the right person who won't.
Sure, you can flake a certain amount of times, but after a while, it just becomes bad dating karma, and people are going to stop trying with you.
4. You Won't Get Over An Ex
If you're hung up on the past or still in love with your ex, then it's impossible to move on to the future. When it comes to dating, there's absolutely no competing with a past relationship if your heart is still there. Until you are fully over your ex, everything in the present or future will just be a rebound.
Don't date until you've really shut the door on your past relationship. Additionally, don't compare everyone new whom you date to your former lovers. Leave your baggage at the door, and open your heart to new opportunities. Otherwise, you'll never be able to get a fresh start.
5. You're Too Selective
Don't mix up standards with being overly judgmental or picky. We should all have standards when it comes to dating. You should want someone who is nice, intelligent, treats you with respect, and is passionate about their interests. However, you don't need someone who is a certain height with a certain hair color or who looks a certain way. It shouldn't be a deal breaker that your partner is brunette. They don't need to speak five languages.
When dating, make sure you differentiate between your needs and your wants. You might have a type — say, tall brunette people — but your soulmate could be a shorter blonde. You never know. Instead, you should base your wants off how someone makes you feel and their personality, and go from there. Because those are the qualities that actually matter in the long run.
If you find that your love life is in a rut, or if things are sitting stagnant in the romance department, ask yourself if you're engaging in any of these bad dating habits. If you are, it could be preventing you from finding the happiness that you deserve. It's time to stop being flaky and to quit the people pleasing, and when you're ready, start finding a significant other who is right for you. You'll be amazed at how quickly it can happen.
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