From waiting until the last minute for every deadline at work to being chronically way-too-early for everything, some habits are healthy, while others are holding you back — and your dating habits are no different. Most single people will change dating habits as they go out with more people, have different relationships, and learn from mistakes of the past. Approaching a new decade — say your 30s — is a great time to reassess and figure out what habits you should kick to the curb.
To get started, consider what was important to you in a partner when you were fresh out of college and beginning your career. Maybe you were still with your college boyfriend or girlfriend or you were excited to be independently building your life. Wherever you were in your romantic life, chances are, as you approach 30 — what’s now important to you has changed greatly. And for good reason: you’ve had more experiences, you’ve grown as a person and ultimately, what you now need isn’t what you needed back then.
But if you’re still dating like you’re 22, and ruling out possible dates because they don’t dress perfectly, falling too hard for people you just met, and playing games, it may be time to change things up. Straight from the experts themselves, here are the big dating habits to ditch:
1. Believing Every Person You Date Will Turn Out The Same
“While you may have been hurt in the past, each person is a new and unique individual. Just because someone else hurt you, does not mean that this person will. You have to judge each person as an individual, and for how they treat you. If you lack trust, and this is unwarranted, you will push this person further and further away as they feel they will never be able to earn your trust, and they are hurt from being accused of things that they are not doing.” -Martinez
2. Acting Like Someone You’re Not
“Stop game playing. Be secure in who you are. If you are not, check out of the dating world, work on yourself, and check back in. If at 30 you are not sure of who you are or what you want, that is OK, but you should own it and figure that out first. Being happy with who you are, knowing what you want is the best knowledge you can have when looking for a relationship.” -Sarah Stewart, MSW, CPC Life Coach and Author
3. Losing Your Sense Of Self
“There should not be an underlying impression that you are available all the time. They call, you drop everything and come running. You should have your own strong sense of self, and your own plans, that you are going to keep if this person calls at the last minute. If they are truly interested, they will learn to plan ahead.” -Martinez
4. Stalking All Of Your Dates Online...
“You are a unique and interesting individual. You have things to do and people to see. You do not need to spend your time glued to your phone checking in on what this person is doing when they are not with you. They are likely not exerting this sort of effort the other way, and it takes you out of the moment that you could be enjoying.” -Martinez
5. ...And Oversharing About Your Dating Life
“Ending a date on a sour note or publicly posting about how horrible your date was on social media might come back to bite you. It is important to keep it classy because you never know how or when this person might come back into your life, or who they know. A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t want your employer or a future date reading it, keep it to yourself.” -Sarah Patt, dating expert and matchmaker
6. Being So Damn Picky About Silly Things
“When you were not looking for a serious relationship, you could come up with silly reasons to exclude someone from your dating pool. As you get older, you need to get a little less picky, and a little more realistic that no one is perfect, but that does not mean they can not be perfect for you. While they may be different, they may balance you out. Is they little issue a deal breaker, or is it you that needs to be more flexible?” -Martinez
7. Jumping Into Relationships Too Fast
“There are certain people you know who jump too fast and blindly into relationship after relationship. This is the time in your life to slow down, get to know someone date, and take things at a leisurely pace to build a strong foundation. This way you give the relationship solid chance, and you really get to know the person, and you can feel assured in your choices.” -Martinez
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