If your dating life isn't going well, it may be time to stop and examine the whole process — what's working, what isn't, what you should do, what you should stop doing. The list goes on and on because the whole thing truly is a process, with a million dos and don'ts and things that can wrong.
For the most part, we are all familiar with what does work when it comes to landing yourself a relationship. Going on dates usually does the trick. As does working on yourself, and being ready to spend time with another human being. (All good things).
But it can be a bit trickier when it comes to what doesn't work. After all, none of us go out onto the dating scene hellbent on screwing things up. And yet it does happen. You may constantly say the wrong thing, without realizing that you're putting people off. Or you might have a negative mindset that makes life way more difficult than it needs to be. Or maybe you have bad habits galore, and a penchant for playing games (and nobody likes that).
See? The are a bunch of little things that you may be doing to accidentally mess up your chances of finding a happy, healthy relationship. Take a look at some more of them below.
1. Hanging On To Past Relationships
If you want to be in a relationship, the first thing you have to do is let go of old baggage. I know this is way easier said than done, but constantly focusing on the past won't make moving forward any easier. So if you can, let the past remain in the past, and start focusing solely on the future.
2. Playing Games
If you've scored yourself a date, and can see it going somewhere, resist the urge to play games. This means talking to each other like adults, and sorting out problems before they get too big, according to Connie Podesta on eHarmony.com. It also means ignoring your friends and all their advice to "wait an hour before texting him back." These kinds of games aren't sustainable in a relationship, and they certainly aren't healthy.
3. Changing Yourself For Others
If you want to try new hobbies, or go on a self-improvement kick, then by all means have at it. But don't change yourself for the sake of others, or in an effort to make someone like you. Sooner or later the truth will come out, and you'll have to admit to all the lies. It's not worth it, and it's definitely not a good way to start off a budding relationship.
4. Sitting At Home, Alone, Forever
I know, I know... the idea of going outside often sounds downright horrible. And yet, if you want to be in a relationship, you're going to have to put in the effort. One of the best motivations? A cool new hobby — preferably one where you'll meet "your people." "The more like-minded people you meet, the more likely you are to find someone special," said Carlene Thomas-Bailey on The Guardian. "It's that simple."
5. Turning Down Blind Dates
Or set ups, or a stranger's attempts to chat on a dating app. If you find yourself being too picky (and there is such a thing as too picky), then you are severely limiting your chances of finding a relationship. So give these people a chance, especially when they've been friend-approved. "If a friend sets you up, the prospective date should be vetted and at least half decent," said Thomas-Bailey. Might as well give it a go.
6. Thinking Online Dating Isn't For You
If you think online dating is creepy, or only for the desperate, think again. Forty million Americans are signed up for the likes of Match and OKCupid, making it not only totally normal to find a partner online, but also incredibly likely. So hey, give it a try.
7. Refusing To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Now's the time to change things up. This could mean hanging out in new places, or stepping out with different friend groups. You never know — a future partner could be lurking (sweetly) in that bar you never visit, or that book club you've been refusing to join.
8. Not Loving Yourself
If you aren't feeling confident and happy, you might find that none of your relationships ever work out. That's because, in the great words of RuPaul, "If you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?" It takes a lot of work to be ready to share your life with someone else. So make sure you travel, live alone, chase after your career, or do whatever else you deem necessary to really know and love yourself — before shacking up with someone else.
9. Ignoring Your Emotions
You don't have to be a totally self-actualized human being prior to entering a relationship. But you should know yourself pretty well, inside and out. "If you have not done the work of understanding yourself emotionally and sexually, you will enter romantic relationships from an emotionally dependent place," said Jill P. Weber, Ph.D., on Psychology Today. And that's just setting things up for failure.
10. Rationalizing Other People's Bad Behavior
If your dating life isn't going well, then I don't blame you for wanting to get out of that scene ASAP. But the last thing you want to do is settle for the wrong because you rationalized their poor behavior, according to Weber. This can become a habit, and can land in some pretty bad relationships. So do yourself a favor, and wait around for the person who is truly worth your time.
11. Looking For Fireworks
Some us wait around for people to give us movie-levels of happiness, and then worry when it doesn't come. "If you don’t instantly feel fireworks, you’re not interested," said Jennifer Garam on TheFrisky.com. Since "fireworks" don't actually exist, this is a pretty unfair standard to hold for yourself, and your potential partners. Most relationships grow overtime. As long as there is comfort and compatibility, let the fireworks build from there.
And let your relationships builds naturally, too. If you focus on yourself, and make an effort to meet new people, I'm sure you'll find yourself in a (happy) one in no time.
Images: Pexels (12)
Happy shopping! FYI, Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which were added independently from Bustle's sales and editorial departments after publication.