10 Stupid Dating Mistakes I Made When I Was Younger That I’d Never Make Now

Dating is definitely not the easiest thing in the world, and it takes a long time to figure out how to succeed (and survive). Like a lot of women, I’m guilty of a lot of ridiculous behavior in the past when it came to matters of the heart, and they totally make me cringe now. Thankfully, I’ve learned my lesson and I’ll never do these things again:

  1. Giving up my entire life for a guy. First love alert. When I was 18 and had my first real relationship, I basically made sure that everything in my world revolved around my boyfriend. I figured that was what I had to do since we were in love. It was fun and exciting and magical… until he dumped me a year later. It wasn’t fun when I didn’t have tons of people to sit with in my college cafeteria because I had spent my freshman year hanging out with him. Lesson learned.
  2. Thinking that drama is a good thing. It seems so obvious now but it wasn’t back in the day. I truly believed that the more drama in a relationship, the better things are going. Maybe I watched too many teen dramas (I definitely did) but it took me a while to figure out that I shouldn’t always have a great big argument or discussion with the guy that I’m dating. Things should be much calmer and smoother than that.
  3. Name dropping my boyfriend in every single conversation. Wow, was I annoying AF. I had no idea, though. I was so excited to finally have a boyfriend that I just had to mention him no matter where I was or who I was talking to. I definitely haven’t made that mistake since.
  4. Going on first dates just for the sake of it. Two or three years ago, this was totally me. I thought that going on as many dates as possible was a good idea… even though the majority of those dates completely sucked. Now I know that the more dates I go on, the more bad dates I have. It pays to be picky and careful about who I spend my time with.
  5. Spending hours overthinking a text message. This is so not the way that I operate these days. It’s almost laughable that I used to take texting so seriously. I was a total cliche — I was the girl staring at my phone, trying to make sense of the words on the screen, feeling like I had no clue what it meant.
  6. Dating a guy because a friend set us up. Back in college, a good friend wanted me to date this guy that she knew. I wasn’t even sure if I liked him and yet I let myself get influenced by her. We hung out in a group and even though I wasn’t all that into him, I asked him out via Facebook the next day. He totally rejected me. Another lesson definitely learned: always listen to my gut.
  7. Jumping in way too soon. Back in high school and college, I had a ton of crushes and was totally convinced that things would work out happily ever after. Of course, most of those guys didn’t like me back because that’s just how it goes, and when I did start dating some of them, things always took a turn for the worse and soon. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up so much that I’m being unrealistic.
  8. Taking rejection personally. I used to think that if I liked a guy, there was something totally wrong with me if he didn’t return my feelings. Today, there’s no way I would let rejection get me down or lower my self-esteem.
  9. Not reading the signs and signals. A while ago, I went on a first date with a guy and it was clear that there was only a friend vibe. Still, I liked him and figured that wasn’t really what he was thinking. So even though he ended the date with the super vague “Take care, talk soon” I texted him the next day and asked him out again. Big mistake because his response was “I’m not interested in you romantically.” Ouch. Now I know to be more careful about who I open up to.
  10. Being ashamed of my single status. I’ve been single for most of my life, despite a few boyfriends and almost relationships (and a lot of first dates). I used to hate that about myself. I thought there was something wrong with me or that there must have been a reason why everyone around me always seemed to be coupled up and I just wasn’t. Since then, I’ve learned that my solo status doesn’t say anything negative about me — I just haven’t met the right person yet.
Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor. She shares gluten-free, dairy-free recipes and personal stories on her food blog, ahealthystory.com. She loves coffee, barre classes and pop culture.