If you’re single and don’t want to be and you find yourself repeating the same dating cycles over and over, you may be sabotaging your love life. It’s easy — and comfortable — to embrace patterns and behaviors, wearing them like a cozy blanket around our shoulders in the cold, cold world of dating. But, it’s often those very patterns and behaviors that keep us from finding a fulfilling and happy relationship. Below are ten ways you might be sabotaging your dating life.
1. You confuse a digital connection for in-person chemistry. (Having great text or email rapport isn’t the same as feeling a spark when you talk face-to-face.)
2. You keep making these first date mistakes.
3. You have a type and you never date outside of it.
4. You have a dating blog or column. If you’ve been writing about your dating life for an audience, you’ve probably learned that bad dates and relationship drama = entertainment. For some, chasing the entertaining storylines becomes more intoxicating (and, frankly, easier) than chasing a potential match.
5. You don’t believe it when someone tells you he or she wants something different than what you want (a casual relationship versus something serious). You think you’re special enough to change his mind.
6. You surround yourself with people who have negative views on relationships, dating, and the gender you are attracted to (i.e., they regularly say stuff like, “All men suck!”). People have a tendency to reinforce messages they regularly receive from people they like and trust (so surround yourself with people whose messages about relationships are positive!).
7. You believe you can change someone to be exactly what you’re looking for. (Pro tip: you can’t).
8. You don’t MOA as soon as deal-breakers present themselves, instead wasting time in relationships that will go nowhere while someone who could have been your perfect match gets snagged by someone else.
9. You are so eager to be in a serious, committed relationship that you rush The talk and scare away someone who might have been ready for a commitment in a month or two but not now.
10. You believe that having a relationship will make you feel better about parts of your life (or yourself) that you are unhappy with. The things that stress you out or make you feel bad aren’t going to disappear when you get a boyfriend, and the pressure on someone else to fix what you can’t or don’t want to deal with alone will only serve to attract those who prey on vulnerability (not exactly a recipe for a happy and healthy relationship).