Spring-Clean Your Love Life By Getting Rid Of These 5 Terrible Dating Habits

by Annie Foskett

As of noon today, I am no longer a curmudgeonly cauldron of a person bubbling over with existential dread and anxiety about my tax appointment. What changed, you ask? Did I eliminate coffee from my diet? Nope, I live in New York. Did I meditate for 10 minutes upon waking up? Nope, I went to get said coffee. I simply opened my window, and let the 68-degree weather in. In the spirit of spring being maybe-sort-of-just-around-the-corner, it's time to talk about bad habits to clean out of your dating life as well.

You know how a solid spring clean in which you throw out all of your old magazines and donate trash bags full of clothing to the Salvation Army can make you feel like a brand new person? Well, a spring clean can apply to your dating life equally well. The old magazines are the exes you still follow on Instagram that you need to toss, and the trash bags full of clothing are the people you're still talking to (but mostly stringing along) who deserve a better home.

We all have different bad habits in our non-romantic lives. Some of us don't floss daily, some of us pick our nails, some of us fall asleep to the TV, and some of us do all of the above. (YES! Calling myself out in hopes I will finally be shamed into being a better adult woman.) When it comes to dating, we also all have different bad habits.

My personal problems have been that I stick around too long in half-relationships and that I do not put myself out there enough. Those routine dating behaviors also come with a hefty side of "takes every single rejection way too personally." All of these terrible habits encouraged me to start a podcast to help me get out there more, and it's actually working very well because going on more dates has taught me that dating is usually NOT personal.!) Here are some other bad dating habits to spring clean right out of your life for good this season.

1. Not Vocalizing What You Want

Whether on the apps or in a relationship, don't be afraid to make your wants and needs transparent. If we all did this, my unscientific guess is that couples and people who are dating casually would have 78 percent fewer arguments and broken hearts.

2. Not Ending Relationships When You Want To End Them

It's hard to break up. It's also hard to send a "thanks but no thanks" text to a request for a second date you just weren't that into. (Though I'd imagine you'd word it much more nicely than I did above.) If you've ever been strung along, you know how terrible it feels. Be direct. Sh*t or get off the pot in your next half-relationship, or actual relationship. It's the kind thing to do.

3. Drunk-Texting Bae

This goes for your exes or your new conquests, as one who has been guilty of this many times, I say: JUST SAY NO TO DRUNK TEXTING. Even if you think you're being cutesy, one misread text can escalate into a full-blown argument with stunning ease when under the influence. Keep your phone in your bag!

4. Sticking To One "Type"

Newsflash: We are mostly all wrong about what our "type" is. When it comes to the aspects of dating you can put down on paper — height, religion, education, career, etc. — I think we are usually mostly wrong about what's best for us. Going on more dates in 2018 has taught me that it's the connection, not the stats of a person that are important. I can't tell you how many dating profiles made me say, "He's exactly my type!" only to find out in person that we didn't click at all.

5. Not Challenging Ourselves To Date/Not Date

Whether you are always dating someone or serially single, why not take a breath and give the other option a try? If you're constantly in relationships, take a moment to be single and learn more about yourself. If you're always single, force yourself to get on the apps and go on those bad dates until you find someone fun to hang out with (or marry!). If you're in a committed relationship, why not challenge yourself to plan something spontaneous for your partner?

The thing about habits is that they remain unchanged unless you take action. Think about what represents the trash bag full of old clothes in your love life, and get rid of it by doing the opposite of whatever it is. Dating is hard, why not help yourself in every way you can?