If you're looking for a fresh start in 2014, why not take this time to refresh your dating life? After all, the new year is always a great time to reassess your well-being. Here are some bad dating and relationship habits to swear off. And if you're taken, we've got some tips for you too.
- Tipsy texting. Give up those drunk dials that only make a hangover worse.
- Waiting for guys to make the first move. If you want to meet guys, you have to put yourself out there. Something as simple as a smile or flirty eye contact will do.
- Living in the past. Let yourself forget your failed relationships, disappointments, or mistakes. Releasing that baggage will make you more open to new experiences and people.
- Wasting time on a guy you're not into. He may be good on paper, but if you don't have the spark or see a long-term future, don't date him.
- Wasting time on a guy who's not into you. Ditch the guy who's sending you mixed messages. Next!
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- Hiding your true self. You want to be that "cool girl" who doesn't care if he hangs out with the boys every weekend. But if it bothers you when he doesn't give you enough time and affection, tell him. It's the only way you'll find a truly happy, sustainable relationship.
- Focusing on his flaws. Is his hairline receding? Did he talk about his job a little too much when you first met him? Did he make an awkward joke in front of your friends? If you focus on these minor flaws instead of your overall connection, you're never going to get past the first date. Don't settle, but also give a guy a chance to impress you.
- Focusing on your flaws. Whether you get down about the fact that it's been ages since your last relationship or that you're more shy than your other friends, don't let that dictate your dating life. Instead, think about what makes you and your personality attractive, and promise that you'll accentuate those qualities.
- Worrying constantly about what your friends think. Don't let your friends' opinions of your man's job, personality, looks, or background influence you too much or turn you off from a guy. Listen to their earnest advice while trusting your own feelings for him.
- Limiting yourself to a type. Don't let the words "he's not my type," leave your mouth, whether you're online dating or getting set up on a date.
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- Waiting for his text or call. Stop letting his text or lack thereof make or break your day.
- Always going back to an ex. It didn't work out for a reason. Instead of wasting emotional resources on an ex, resist the temptation to text, Facebook stalk, or meet up for a hookup when you're feeling lonely.
- Second-guessing yourself. Did it bother you when the guy you're dating bailed on a plan or said something rude to a friend? Don't worry about whether you have a right to be upset. Trust your gut, and act accordingly.
- Taking your relationship for granted. Give up taking love, be it romantic or for a friend or family member, for granted. Tell the important people in your life why you love them in person or with a postcard, or when they do something that makes you happy.
- Picking fights. If you're feeling grumpy after a hard day at work, vent to your partner rather than getting mad at him about something unrelated like his dirty laundry. And if you're actually mad about the clothes pile, tell him straight up in a constructive way.
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- Comparing your relationship to others. Did your friend just get engaged? Are you wondering why your boyfriend isn't buying you lavish birthday presents? Just worry about your own expectations and needs, and communicate them to your partner instead of measuring yours against the relationships of others.
- Making your partner guess what's bothering you. Just be honest with your man if it bothers you that he didn't invite you to hang out on Friday night with his friends or if you're bummed he didn't do something special on your anniversary. If you shut down communication, give him the cold shoulder, and expect him to figure out what's wrong, he won't be able to address the problem, and your resentment will grow.
- Putting off intimacy. I know you're exhausted and just want to roll over, but reconnecting with your significant other before bedtime will probably help you relax and bring you closer. Give up making excuses.