You're a bright and beautiful woman with so much to offer and a buzzing life built with your own two perfectly-manicured hands.
So why are you settling for so much less when it comes to choosing the person you'll share it with?
It's time to stop downplaying your successes, silencing your needs, and accommodating bad behavior. You might fly solo a little while longer, but when you do couple up after dating for so long, it will be with someone worth your energy instead of someone who zaps it.
So, if you're guilty of any of these 25 dating mistakes, prepare for inevitable heartbreak.
1. You're constantly his cheerleader.
We all have down periods and times when we need support, but constantly spending your energy trying to cheer someone up gets old.
If he can't motivate himself without you doing the rah-rah routine, he's not relationship material. How can you have a happy, healthy relationship with someone who can't motivate themselves?
2. You idealize the 'future him.'
Do you know what's better than seeing someone's potential? Seeing someone work to achieve it.
3. You're OK with sexist comments because he's cute.
He tells you that you have "great breasts" on the first date. Sorry, what?
4. He has incredibly lazy dating practices.
OK, so maybe the days of showing up with flowers are long gone, but it's a sad state of affairs when a man texting you "want to get together briefly tonight?" at noon gets us excited about a first date.
This is supposed to be the time when he showcases the best part of himself, and that's all he's offering you?
5. You're swinging on his yo-yo of promises.
One day he's all about a commitment, and the next he wants to take things slow. At this age, relationships should progress at a normal pace, and consistency matters, especially when it comes to feelings.
6. You downplay your success to protect his ego.
A boss should date a boss or at least someone who's proud of the fact that you've worked your behind off to achieve your goals.
If he gets insecure about your success, perhaps he should be inspired to work harder on his own. And, really, he should be shining a spotlight on all of your successes, not throwing you shade.
7. You try to change him.
"Oh, you can change that" is a common statement tossed around between girlfriends. Even if you can, why would you want to waste your precious time and energy building your version of a better man?
Yes, we can all influence and inspire one another, but real change comes from someone realizing they can do better and want to do better, not from you doing it for him.
If the guy is happy with who he is and you're constantly trying to change him, he will feel you don't love him for who he is and that's going to hurt him and have him wanting to find a woman who does.
8. You pretend you don't want what you really want.
If you're looking for a relationship or want to get married and have kids, you should absolutely be honest about that. Agreeing to "Netflix and chill" with someone when you really want a dinner-and-a-movie relationship won't get you anywhere but frustrated.
9. You allow your biological clock to pressure you into a relationship you're not fully sure about.
It's hard when you want children and are single and feeling the pressures of time, but the reality is that having and raising children with someone you're not sure about isn't fair to anyone involved, including any future children you may have.
If you want a baby, you can have a baby, but to have a baby with a man just because he's a man is a bad, bad idea.
10. You use cute words and phrases to describe bad behavior.
Ghosting is actually ignoring someone. Referring to your time together as "hanging out" when you're sleeping together is hurtful.
11. His actions don't speak louder than his words.
A lot of people say a lot of things (and that can even include "I love you"). It's nice to hear lovely words, but if you're sensing a disconnect between what he says and what he does, you need to stop listening and open your eyes.
If you only paid attention to the time, attention, respect, and affection he showed, how convinced would you be?
12. You put up with any behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable.
You, and only you, are responsible for making your boundaries clear and walking away from anyone who doesn't honor them.
13. You're willing to wait for him.
If it's not the right time, it's not the right time. Sitting on the shelf while someone else weighs the pros and cons of being with you, or worse, doesn't think of you at all, is going to leave you heartbroken.
14. You think he's changed the second time around.
People can absolutely change, but if he was selfish, immature, or a cheater the first time around, you're taking a major risk counting on his "a-ha" moment.
Just know that going in means going in with open eyes and prepared to take full responsibility if things do not work out this time around.
15. He's 'good on paper.'
Are you planning to cuddle up with a notebook for the rest of your life?
16. You convince yourself that his nonsense makes sense.
He didn't text you back and missed your date because he fell asleep on the couch again? Does he have narcolepsy? Come on. If something doesn't make sense, it doesn't make sense.
17. He tries to hide you from his life.
A man who's serious about you brings you into his life. You meet his friends. He meets yours. You aren't blocked from his Facebook and he's cool with people knowing you exist.
18. You expect him to fulfill your list of fairy tale ideals.
No one is perfect. Not him, not you. It's great to think about a hot and sexy Enrique Iglesias-in-Hero-music-video fantasy but we have all had to date in a reality where flawed human beings are doing the best they can.
19. He's not willing to compromise.
Relationships are two-way streets where both partners are going to need to give as well as take.
The only person who is exactly like you is you, so if the guy (or you) thinks that compromise means you're not compatible, that's a sign someone is not mature enough to be in a relationship.
20. You aren't yourself around him.
If you have to hide who you are in any capacity in exchange for his affection, he's not for you.
21. He's afraid to be loved.
You're showing them the best and most tender parts of you, and they're getting scared. The more you love, the more they freak out. Pull back and they come closer.
This push and pull dynamic is utterly heartbreaking for those who are actually invested, and as much as you give, it will always be received with a side-eye. We need to love ourselves in order to be able to accept love and our partners must do this as well.
22. He's in denial about issues that impact your relationship.
There's a problem. It's correctable or at least manageable, if only they would admit it long enough to get help for it. You're happy to be there for them if they work through it, but they just can't face it.
On the flip side, if you're constantly hearing the same things from people who love you in your life, you might want to take note. There's no shame in having something to work on, but knowing and choosing to look the other way is not going to do your relationships any favors.
23. He's selfish.
We can all be self-centered, but if he only thinks about himself, his needs, his wants, his fears, his desires, and his point of view, there will be no room for you in the relationship.
24. You feel anxious when you're around him.
Butterflies are sweet. Feeling like your stomach is in knots is a whole other story.
25. He doesn't know what he wants out of life.
How can you build one together and know if your values and goals align if they have no idea who they are or where they want to go?
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