Trying to make your new relationship last or just looking to avoid a repeat of your latest dating mistakes? Follow our guide to finding Mr. Right. (No, it's not impossible!)
by Brenda Della Casa
Dating Mistake #1: Being Too AvailableWe're not suggesting you play games, but we are telling you to indulge your passions and resist the urge to abandon your social circle every time your new man sends an invitation. Take Sebastian, 34, from Chicago, for example: "When I was single, there were women I initially liked who seemed to be waiting by the phone for me to call, which let me know if I didn't meet someone else I wanted to date, I had a standby. There just wasn't anything to work for, and that turned me off," he says. The more you engage in and enjoy your life, the more he'll work to be a part of it.
Dating Mistake #2: Trying to Rehabilitate a Bad BoyEnding a relationship is rarely easy, and though flying solo might not be your long-term goal, being on your own is better than feeling alone in a relationship with someone who treats you poorly. Even when it might be tempting to give a toxic romance one more try, knowing when to cut your losses and move on leaves you available and baggage-free when the right guy comes along.
Related: 25 Things That Keep Him Hooked and Happy
Dating Mistake #3: Looking for PerfectionEncouraging you to settle isn't our style, but separating your desires from your deal-breakers can give your love life a major upgrade. "There are some qualities that your mate must have-being honest, for example-and others, such as movie-star looks, that should be thrown in the would-be-nice category," says Elizabeth R. Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. "Sit down and realistically figure out what characteristics are nonnegotiable and then be open-minded about the rest."
Dating Mistake #4: Feeling Sorry for YourselfResist the urge to bemoan your single status (which will only make him wonder why you find yourself such terrible company) and use this time to date yourself. Taking a dance class at the local studio, hitting up the exhibit you have been aching to see and trying out the new wine bar on the corner will not only offer you the chance to have more fun but will also leave you more likely to meet someone who shares your interests. So much better than sitting in your apartment waiting for someone to "wink" at your online profile picture, isn't it? Another bonus? You'll have far more interesting things to talk about over dinner than what your boss made you do on your lunch break last Friday.
Dating Mistake #5: Knowing His Thread-Count Before You Know His Phone Number
Getting it on with a sexy stranger is your natural-born right, but according to many guys, it can be the wrong move if you're looking for long-term love.
Follow the advice of super-sexy leading man Gilles Marini (he was Samantha's sexy neighbor in Sex and the City: The Movie): "Men love women who respect themselves and who do not rush into bed with them but instead go on a few dates, where they can start to gain an understanding of each other and then decide whether or not to take things further. Women need to know that taking it slow and getting to know one another is the best way to get into a good relationship," he says.
See our tips: 12 Things Guys Wish You Knew in Bed
Dating Mistake #6: Being Too Selfish in Your RelationshipOne of the downsides of being independent is that it can lead to some self-absorbed tendencies-a huge turnoff for men looking for a serious relationship, says Ming Gregory, a professional matchmaker at Color Blind International Dating Service. So make sure you're giving as much as you're receiving in your next relationship. "A partnership involves two people who share mutual interests and mutually benefit one another," she says. "It's not just about what being with him can provide you; it's about how you can come together to complement each other."
Dating Mistake #7: Believing in The One
"A lot of women make dating more difficult by placing so much pressure on themselves to find the one-and-only-man-in-a-billion they believe is right for them," says Ali, 35, from Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Instead of convincing yourself the ex you dumped was your soul mate or that perfect-but-married co-worker was your one that got away, take a cue from our male counterparts and approach the dating scene with the idea that there are plenty of men who are capable of making you laugh, sharing your values and melting your heart, and you're going to have fun with several of them until you find one worthy of your commitment.
Dating Mistake #8: Forgetting Your Manners
We can't imagine this is something you'd ever do, but a little reminder never hurts: Say thank you.
"Good manners have become so old-fashioned that men now wait for the thank-you at the end of the date as a way to see if she's worth seeing again," says Brian, 30, from New York City. "I don't care if the woman looks like Kate Beckinsale and has a Ph.D.; if she can't be bothered to utter those two little words, I am never calling her again."
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