7 Ways You’re Ruining Your Love Life Without Realizing It

Make no mistake about it, dating sucks. Among the Tinder creeps, the ghosters, and the dudes who forget your name mid-sex, it’s hard as hell to find a quality guy out there, never mind a quality relationship.

There’s always the possibility of just being single and loving it. In fact, that’s the best possible option if a happy love life eludes you.

But if you’re sick of being single and you just can’t figure out why the hell a relationship seems beyond your grasp, we’re here to give you some brutally honest advice culled from years of dating (and hearing our friends complaining). Avoid the following rookie mistakes and love will be yours in no time.

1. You Treat Dating Like A Job

In most activities, the harder you try and the more you practice, the greater success you will have. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case with dating. If you’re for some reason determined to find a boyfriend, you may think it’s a great idea to download Bumble, Tinder, and Coffee Meets Bagel while using your morning commute to swipe on as many hotties as possible.

While it’s fun to swipe and get flattering messages, downloading a shitload of dating apps and going on a shitload of dates could possibly hurt your chances of finding a bae. Studies show that having too many options make it difficult for humans to make decisions. Not to mention that going on constant dates can make you tired of dating in general and make it feel more like a chore than something that’s supposed to be fun.

It might get to the point where instead of going in optimistic and looking for a fun new experience, you start rolling up to each date thinking, “This asshole better wow me.” And if that’s the case you might as well stay home, because guys and girls alike can smell that kind of shitty attitude from a mile away.

Not to mention after you go on seven dates to wine bars with guys named Matt, it’ll probs all start blending together and instead of ending up with your “soulmate” you’ll end up with 20 guys who all vaguely seem the same.

2. You View Guys As Commodities Rather Than People

Now, we know we aren’t supposed to tell single people to lower or re-examine their standards. So that’s not what we’re saying here.

But we can’t help but notice that so many of our perma-single friends will dismiss potential baes on totally arbitrary grounds, like their job, their neighborhood, or what “type” they are. In other words, don’t dismiss someone based on on-paper characteristics instead of who they truly are. How would you feel if they did that to you?

There is no such thing as build-a-boo and you can’t construct your perfect person all by yourself. But the thing is, you shouldn’t want to. In your head you may think that you want to date a artsy type that also happens to make six figures, has blonde hair, and wants three kids; but in reality you don’t know WTF you want just like the rest of us.

A study by OkCupid, detailed in the founder’s book Dataclysm, has proven this by showing that what people say they’re looking for in a partner is not usually who they end up messaging on the app.

Regardless, a partner is a person who’s as messy and complicated as you are. Throw your checklist out the window and focus on who you actually connect with, and you’ll be surprised what you learn about yourself and what you really want in a relationship.

3. You’re Still Entertaining A Fuckboy or Fuckgirl

It’s tough to fall for someone new when you still have an ex on the brain. Instead of focusing on replacing the one who ghosted you, you should be focusing on yourself and how to stop dreaming of the day where that one fuckboy or girl realizes what a mistake they made by fucking you over.

As Maya Angelou once told Oprah, when someone shows you who you are, you need to believe them. If someone keeps fucking you over, they don’t like you! Sorry.

Convince yourself you’re only seeing your fuckboy/girl for the sex all you want. It’s still going to be difficult to have a successful dating life until you completely get over the person who’s fucking with your head. Accept the fact that they’ll never be exclusive with you, and cut them out of your life. If they’re not going to take the time for you, they doesn’t deserve anymore of your time.

4. You Text Them Too Much

Okay, this might only apply to those of us who date dudes. But as retro as it sounds, people — especially guys — want what they can’t have. Communication is important later on in a relationship, but in the beginning stages, mystique will get you everywhere.

Unless there’s something super important you need to know about, there’s really no reason you should be texting a guy first at all. If you need something to occupy you on your boring subway ride, text your BFF instead (or your mom, or literally anyone else).

And it’ll especially benefit you because it won’t leave you wondering how potential bae feels about you. If you never text them first, you’ll always know that when they’re texting you it’s because they genuinely want to talk to you, which will save you a lot of overthinking and worrying.

We know that “playing the game” sucks, but studies show that playing hard to get really works. Sorry about it. That doesn’t mean that you have to wait a week before going out with them, but it also doesn’t mean that you should text them saying you like them after the first date.

Seriously, never do that.

5. You’re Looking In The Wrong Places 

Sorry Usher, but not all of us are going to find “Love In This Club.” If you can find a catch while dodging cocky douchebags in the dark and yelling over loud music, congrats! But for most of us this isn’t the place to find a partner.

Likewise, a hook-up app like Tinder might not be the place for you to find love either, especially if you’re not being clear about what you’re looking for.

Try changing up your routine and therefore changing up the people you’ll meet. Go to a new bar or restaurant, meet up with friends you haven’t seen in a while, check out a new bookstore or boxing classes. Honestly, don’t even look for hookups at all. Just do you and they will follow.

Unless doing you involves laying in your bed watching Netflix all day, then you might be fucked.

6. You Pretend You Don’t Have Feelings

It’s difficult to find love when you’re trying to force it, but it’s even more difficult when you’re acting like you don’t have feelings. I get that feelings and love aren’t #trendy, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all bad.

Open yourself up to the possibility of feelings and/or a relationship rather than pushing everyone away who seems like they could be bae material. If you’re afraid of emotions, all you’re going to do is get involved with fuckboys because they seem “safe” you don’t have to worry about falling for them.

Yeah, falling for someone means there’s potential for you to get hurt, but it also means that you could have a really great relationship that you’ll enjoy and learn a lot from.

7. You Treat Sex As A Reward or Bargaining Chip

If you don’t want to have sex on the first date, that’s totally fine and understandable, but forget the whole “three date rule” BS. You should be having sex whenever you want to, and you shouldn’t buy into bullshit about people not “respecting you” or taking your seriously because you want to have sex with them.

Sex isn’t something you give up as a reward because someone took you to exactly three nice dinners or texted you back for a week straight. Sex is something that two people want to engage in for no reason other than they’re super attracted to each other.

And if a guy doesn’t respect you after sex, he’s clearly got a madonna-whore complex issue and isn’t the type of guy you want to get involved with anyway.

Gimme More Dating

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