Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be clueless, naïve, or gullible to make some pretty serious mistakes with your love life. Unfortunately, even brilliant, high-value women can get things wrong or fall victim to toxic patterns they’re not entirely aware of.
But the great thing about poor dating patterns and common mistakes is that they can be fixed with awareness and dedication. So here are some common examples that might really be messing up your dating life if you’re making them.
1. Still Believing in “the One”
Dating’s tough enough without expecting it to be a fairytale come true on top of it all. Although some relationships are definitely better and healthier than others, there’s no such thing as one that doesn’t come with any challenges at all. Buying into the idea that there’s only one person for everyone, yourself included, is one of the quickest ways to wind up disappointed again and again.
That ex you loved but who also wound up dumping you isn’t the one and only person on the planet who can make you laugh. Neither is that married neighbor you’re so sure you’d be perfect for if only things were different. There are many incredible men out there worth meeting and dating, so get out there and have fun until you find one that seems like a keeper.
2. Trying to Fix Broken Men
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re guilty of this. It’s easier to make this mistake than you think, and every woman’s done it a time or two. But at the end of the day, no guy is so good-looking, so great in bed, or so charming that he’s worth the kind of toxic situation you wind up in when you try to fix someone else.
The men who pass through your life are responsible for their own choices, lives, and wellbeing. It’s not your responsibility to repair them or be endlessly patient with them while they hurt you again and again. You deserve better than that – beautiful connections with emotionally mature men who don’t need or expect to be mothered by the women they date.
3. Being Way Too Available
Don’t worry. This isn’t about playing a bunch of coy little high school games and pretending you’re not interested in meeting up with someone if you are. This is about all of those times you might have let an interesting guy make you forget all about the rest of your life.
Do make room in your life for a great guy if you happen to meet one, but don’t let your life revolve around him. Never blow off opportunities to see your friends and family in favor of waiting by the phone for a guy to call, either. High-quality men actually want a woman who enjoys her life and is fully engaged with the rest of the world.
4. Not Having Deal-Breakers
If you’ve ever been told a time or two by family, friends, and loved ones that you’re unhappy with your love life because you’re just too picky, you’re not alone. So many women are made to think they should be grateful for any amount of attention from any man. Then they wonder why they keep ending up in one unsatisfying relationship after another.
Naturally, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to be flawless. But it’s actually very healthy to have deal-breakers, so make sure you know what yours are. Figure out what qualities you have to have in a partner – like honesty and financial stability – and stick to your guns. It’s OK to be as open-minded about the rest as you like.
5. Not Seeing Relationships as Two-Way Streets
Some women are givers who wind up with partners who only use them up instead of giving back in return. Others are the other way around – entitled, bossy sorts who drain their partners or drive them away. Neither approach is any way to run a relationship, so it’s essential to understand that upfront.
While partners don’t have to split everything perfectly down the middle in a relationship, it is essential to see them as partnerships. Healthy relationships are mutually beneficial, meaning both people involved are getting their needs met, whatever those needs may be. They know they can lean on one another when and how they need to, but they’re independent people in their own rights, as well.
At the end of the day, there are many different kinds of relationships out there. But the worthwhile ones always involve some give and take. They’re never about one person using the other one up or taking what they want without any interest in giving something in return. Keep this in mind, make your choices accordingly, and your love life is sure to improve.